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Women and Community Corrections

Please note that this page is being updated. 


This initiative developed following the Opening Key Note speech at the ICPA’s 20th anniversary conference in Montreal, entitled “Beyond Prisons”. The ICPA was challenged to develop a globally inclusive conceptual corrections and conditional release system for women, with an aim to inform governments, policy makers, practitioners, partners and the public about how to improve the current system of corrections and conditional release. Fully endorsing the underlying philosophy of the Bangkok rules, the goal is to move to a system that largely rests within the community. Moving “beyond prisons” will promote a more efficient and effective community system and demonstrate improved public safety results.

Women were chosen to be the focus of this initiative for a number of reasons including that they are the fastest growing incarcerated population (having grown over 50% in the last 18 years versus a growth of 20% for men); they are a smaller population; they are a more motivated population and tend to have better community results than men. Further, experience suggests that what works for women generally also works for men, so the concept has potential for expansion.

Expected results:

The expected result will be a resource that will start a conversation of what could exist for sentenced women that would be more effective than the current system. The Task Force will take approximately two years to complete, and the final product will be presented to the Board at the 2020 ICPA AGM and Conference.

The results would provide:

  • An overview of women offenders;
  • a broad overview of the importance of community corrections for women;
  • principles which should guide the development of a system for women through all phases post sentence (i.e., from architecture, classification, staff recruitment and training, program, pathways to successful reintegration, diversion and community sanctions etc.) ;
  • a focus on providing information to various components of the criminal justice system (e.g. courts, judges etc.) by educating them in relation to women offenders;
  • a focus on public education;
  • a focus on the need for partnerships;
  • a list of relevant research;
  • a list of examples of promising diversion programs and community sanctions;
  • relevant cost – benefit analyses.

Steering Committee:

  • Jennifer Oades, Co-Chair; Chairperson, Parole Board of Canada, Director, ICPA.
  • Diane Williams, Co-Chair; Treasurer, ICPA, President ICPA North American Chapter
  • Denise Robinson, President & CEO, Alvis House, and Chair of ICPA Community Corrections Network
  • Stephen Pitts, Consultant in Criminal Justice, United Kingdom
  • Kelley Blanchette, Assistant Deputy Minister, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Rosemary Caruana, former Assistant Commissioner, Corrective Services New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and Co-Chair of ICPA Community Corrections Network
  • Melissa Hamilton, Senior Lecturer in Law and Criminal Justice, University of Surrey

The Steering Committee will be supported by Sarah Byron, Senior Project Manager and Suzanne Brisebois, Special Advisor to Jennifer Oades.

The Steering Committee will meet regularly (electronically and during the ICPA and other conference already scheduled for members) to develop a program of work, engage partners and stakeholders as required, and report regularly to the ICPA Board and membership.

The Task Force on Women and Community Corrections is currently involved in a broad consultation strategy involving the international corrections and conditional release community. The goal is to produce a reference of existing programs and projects designed for adult criminalized women within an institutional or community correctional environment.

Click on the links below to find out information about leading practices in different jurisdictions internationally.

Facility Architecture/Design

Assessment Tools

Staff Recruitment & Training

Correctional Interventions

Policy & Legislation



Community Facilities

Future Plans



Questionnaire on Women and Community Corrections

Contact us:

Upcoming activities: Side meeting at the 2019 ICPA Conference in Buenos Aires (details to be confirmed)