Our delegates will join with our planning circle over six days to learn from eachother, share what we learn, and take action.
Rose Adolph, Coordinator, British Columbian Native Woman’s Association is from Xaxl’ip First Nation located ten minutes outside of the town of Lillooet, BC, where she was born and raised. Her husband is from the same area; they have three children and also are foster parents. BC Native Woman’s Association was formed in 2011 to work towards directly addressing the many barriers that the urban Aboriginal, Inuit and Métis women face in the urban communities. BCNWA strives to continue to support through the continued bursaries and grants and employment and training programs while we work towards the provision of services and programs and other resources that will help assist Aboriginal women – such as Aboriginal women’s shelters, counseling, emergency and more accessible day care services.
Pushpa Basnet, Founder and President, Early Child Development Center and Butterfly Home, Nepal
Puspha Basnet has been working to strengthen the rights of children living behind bars with their incarcerated parents. Her efforts have been acknowledged by national and international media including the 2012 CNN Hero of the Year Award. She started the center in 2005 at the age of 21, when she was still a student of Social Work in Kathmandu University. In Nepal, if a woman goes to prison and none of her relatives can care for her children, the children often accompany their mother to prison. Children grow up in the confines of jail cells without access to education, proper nutrition, warm clothing, and medical care. Since 2005, more than 140 children of incarcerated parents have been taken under ECDC's care. ECDC coordinates with jail administrators to rescue children from jail throughout Nepal. The children receive regular medical check-ups and are enrolled in a local private school. Children have regular visitation with their mothers including during the holidays.
Chesa Boudin, Author and Lawyer
Chesa is currently working at the San Francisco Public on a Liman fellowship where he focuses on the intersection between immigration and criminal law. Chesa served as a law clerk to the Hon. Margaret McKeown of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 2011-2012. In 2011 Chesa completed his J.D. at Yale Law School. A Rhodes Scholar, he earned two master's degrees from Oxford University in 2006 and 2004. In 2003 he graduated summa cum laude from Yale College. Chesa has translated, edited, and authored several books. His most recent book, Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America, was published by Scribner in 2009. His scholarly law articles cover a range of topics such as direct democracy, immigration, institution building, and the rights of children with incarcerated parents. When Chesa was 14 months old his parents were arrested for their role in a botched armored car robbery. His father was sentenced to 75 years to life and his mother to 20 years to life in New York State maximum security prisons. His mother was released on parole in 2003.
Professor, Studies in Policy and Practice Program, University of Victoria. Susan Boyd is a member of End Prohibition and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. She is a community activist and drug policy researcher. Her contributions have been in the areas of women, drug policy, law and regulation, maternal/state conflicts, harm reduction, and drug films, print media and culture. Her scholarly and community work challenges conventional thinking about women, children, drug policy and criminal justice. Key to this work is including the voices of those most impacted by drug policy, analysis of drug discourse, critical questioning of drug prohibition and punishment regimes and the impact of racialized, gendered and class-based policy. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including the Hooked: Drug films in Britain, Canada, and the U.S.; From Witches to Crack Moms: Women, Drug Law, and Policy; Mothers and Illicit Drugs: Transcending the Myths, co-author of Raise Shit! Social action saving lives, and co-editor of With child: Substance use during pregnancy: A woman-centred approach.
Jane Buxton, Associate Professor School of Population & Public Health, University of British Columbia. Dr. Jane Buxton is an Associate Professor in the School of Population and Public Health and the harm reduction lead at the BC Centre for Disease Control. She is course director for the 2nd year medical program public health course and practicum director for the masters in public health program at UBC. In her research Jane uses quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods. Her research interests includes harm reduction, illicit drug use epidemiology, prison medicine, hepatitis A, B and C and knowledge, attitudes and behaviours regarding immunization. She is currently involved in research which explores preventing the transition of at risk youth into injection drug use; mortality and morbidity related to alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco; and risks related to smoking crack.
Sharon Content, Founder and President, Children of Promise (CPNYC), New York.CPNYC provides services to over 200 children of prisoners and their families each year through its after school, summer camp, mentoring and mental health programs. CPNYC understands that the cycle of intergenerational involvement in the criminal justice system can be broken if social, economic and educational inequities are addressed. Our work begins with the de-stigmatization of parental incarceration, creating an environment that is tailored specifically to the needs of our children. CPNYC offers children of prisoners the opportunity to explore new educational opportunities, express themselves creatively and emotionally, build meaningful relationships and gain new experiences. Children are empowered to speak openly about their family histories and their feelings of angry, sorrow and frustration. CPNYC programs help children to feel safe, nurtured and accepted in a strength-based environment; we recognize that the strength and resilience of our young people is best measured through their growing belief in the possibilities of their own promise.
Soni Dasmohapatra, Director, Dasmo Consulting Inc
Over the last 20 years Soni Dasmohapatra's career path has spanned the following sectors; government (provincial and municipal), academia, non- profit organizations, philanthropic organizations, policy think tanks, communication. Soni has held various positions in management, organizational development, policy research, teaching, facilitation, and communications. She has built her career focusing in areas of immigration, social determinants of health, mental health, early childhood development, youth employment, youth engagement/participation, education, arts and culture, gender equity, community development, organizational development/governance, strategic planning, social justice, advocacy, human rights, child welfare, poverty reduction and working with Indigenous communities. She has participated as a grant reviewer on numerous granting committees with the focus to provide support for community development. Throughout her career Soni has volunteered her time for numerous Board of Directors. She currently is a member of the Maytree Foundation Diversity on Board, a recipient of the United Nations Intercultural Innovation Reward. Soni has long been an advocate for human rights, the advancement of women, children, youth and minority communities.
Kirsten Hargreaves, Social Development Manager, District of Mission, BC.
Kirsten Hargreaves is the Social Development Manager for the District of Mission, British Columbia. Kirsten possesses a Montessori Teaching Diploma, a B.A in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Victoria and a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology with a focus on child and youth mental health. Kirsten collaborates with various levels of Government as well as community based working groups in areas such as affordable housing, outreach, health, food insecurity, community gardens, mental health and child and family development. Kirsten is also involved in a 5 year longitudinal research study on community mental health literacy. Kirsten aims to utilize an equity focused lens in all her work with community and intends to pursue Doctoral work in this area in the near future.
Alison Granger Brown - I have worked with federally and provincially sentenced women for thirteen years in a restorative capacity. My educational career began with Nursing in London England, becoming a Recreation Therapist in 1999 and gaining an MA in Training and Leadership in 2007. Having just completed an MA in Human and Organizational Systems, I will complete a PhD in Human Development by the end of 2013. The combination of this education and experience is the basis of my ongoing interest and some knowledge about issues relating to incarcerated women as well as organizational culture, wellness, and leadership. I approach all of these areas through an appreciative, solutions focused lens. My particular area of interest is the learning barriers and needs of women with prison and addiction history. My dissertation will ask what does the “done button” look like for those women who have lived in the cycle of addiction and crime, who seem to spontaneously decide to live a different life. I will look at theories of transformation and ask for the stories of healing. My hope is by having a better understanding we will be able to increase the opportunities for the occurrence of transformational moments.
Sharon McIvor - Sharon McIvor is an indigenous activist and academic. She is a member of the Lower Niclola Indian Band located outside of Merritt B.C. She has a law degree from the University of Victoria and a Masters of Laws degree from Queens University. McIvor is an Instructor, Indigenous Studies, at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Merritt, British Columbia. She writes and speaks on women's rights in the context of Aboriginal self-government. McIvor has worked in the areas of prison reform, violence against women (including aboriginal women), disability rights, aboriginal rights and equality rights. She was a member of the Wilson Task Force on the Status of Women in the Legal Profession and the Task Force on federally Sentenced Women. She has played a key leadership role in the Native Women’s Association of Canada for many years and is a member of the Feminist Alliance for International Action (with this NGO she has requested that the CEDAW Committee institute a Inquiry into the missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada) and the BC CEDAW coalition. McIvor, as plaintiff in the McIvor v. Canada case has successfully challenged the ongoing discrimination in the Indian Act which has forced the Federal Government to amend the Indian Act (the “McIvor” amendments). McIvor has, as counsel, appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada on numerous occasions. She also takes her advocacy to the United Nations at an international level.
Mary Kamau, Head of Nursing, Presbyterian University of East Africa, Kenya. Mary works in prison ministry with incarcerated mothers. Mary's focus includes heloing mother's find thier place in the society after imprisonment, dealing with stigma after imprisonment, empowering children and their mothers, and social support networks for mothers and children post imprisonment.
Debbie Kilroy, Author, Lawyer and Chief Executive Officer of Sisters Inside, Queensland, Australia. OAM, MLB, GDFMenH, GDLPrac and BSocWk, former prisoner is the CEO of Sisters Inside which is an independent community organisation which advocates for the human rights of criminalised women. Debbie is a strong, active advocate for the implementation and monitoring of human rights within women's prisons and against discriminatory practices. Debbie has participated in several international meetings including the expert meeting in developing the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (Bangkok Rules) and the Commission of Status of Women Sessions annually. She is the first person convicted of serious criminal offences admitted to practice law and Debbie's expertise is in criminal defence law. Sisters Inside Inc. is an independent community organisation, which exists to advocate for the human rights of women in the criminal justice system in Queensland, and to address gaps in the services available to them. We work alongside women in prison in determining the best way to fulfill these roles.
Ruth Elwood Martin, Clinical Professor and Director, Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education SIFP, UBC, Canada. Ruth Elwood Martin is a UBC Clinical Professor, Department of Family Practice, and Associate Faculty, School of Population and Public Health. She is Lead Faculty for Research for the post-graduate family medicine program and Course Director for Doctor Patient and Society 410 (Vancouver Fraser site). Ruth worked as a full-service family physician in Vancouver from 1983 to 1994 and part-time as prison physician in provincial correctional centres from 1994 to 2011. She is Director of the Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education (CCPHE), a centre that develops prison health educational and research opportunities and fosters national/international prison health linkages. Ruth’s current community-based research endeavours include a Randomized Controlled Trial that is evaluating the use of HPV testing as a primary screening test for cervical cancer, a Vancouver Foundation-funded preventive health project with men and women with incarceration experience, and a CIHR-funded project entitled ‘Unlocking the Gates to Health’ with women as they are released from prison. Photo by Martin Dee
Jane Miller-Ashton, Jane is a teacher, facilitator & mediator with a MA in Criminology (University of Ottawa) & over 34 years of work in the CJS with senior management service in 2 levels of government & h contributions in community based corrections, crime prevention, victim-offender mediation, & women’s, victims’ & First Nations issues. As part of her work experience with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), Jane co-chaired “Creating Choices: (The Task Force on Federally Sentenced Women) whose report was instrumental in forging new directions for federally sentenced women’s corrections including the closure of Prison for Women & the creation of smaller facilities including a healing lodge, & Jane headed up the early implementation of this work. Before coming to SFU Criminology on a 3year teaching exchange, Jane pioneered & headed up for 8 years, a Branch responsible for restorative justice, dispute resolution & victims services in CSC, and has experience both nationally & internationally in these fields. Since retirement, Jane has been a full time faculty member Kwantlen Polytechnic University teaching in the areas of conflict resolution, corrections, women issues, victimology & offers the Criminology Practicum Program. She is a member of the Healing Lodge ” Keepers of the Vision” Advisory Committee (Kekunawemkonawuk) & is passionate about & active in other volunteer social justice commitments with her partner Fraser, & a proud mom and god-mother.
Brenda Morrison, Director of Restorative Justice Centre, Assistant Professor, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Canada. Brenda is a social psychologist with field experience in outdoor education, government administration and restorative justice. Her teaching and research interests include transformative and restorative justice, responsive regulation, school violence and safety, conflict and cooperation, shame-management and social identity, the self and self-interest. She has presented papers at UNESCO, in Paris, and the House of Lords, in London. Nationally, she is a research partner with PREVNet (Promoting Relationships Eliminating Violence Network). In British Columbia, she is a member of the working group for Social Responsibility and Collaborative Learning in Education, and on the advisory board for the Victims of Homicide Support Initiative. She is an active board member for the North Shore Restorative Justice Society and an associate board member of Vancouver Association for Restorative Justice.
Kim Pate, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, Canada
Kim is the executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS). The CAEFS is a federation of autonomous societies which works with, and on behalf of, women involved with the justice system, particularly women in conflict with the law.
Carol-Ann Reynen, Warden, Fraser Valley Institution, has worked as an institutional Parole Officer, community Parole Officer, Case anagement Coordinator, Unit Manager, Unit Director of a high-intensity program unit as well as a Rehabilitation Unit at the Regional Treatment Centre, and Deputy Warden. Ms. Reynen’s career has spanned six different institutions within the Pacific Region along with a short period working in Community Corrections as a Parole Officer in Prince George, British Columbia. In September 2009, Ms. Reynen was promoted to the position of Warden at Fraser Valley Institution (prison for women) from her previous position as Deputy Warden at Matsqui Institution. Since assuming the Pacific Region’s Warden position at FVI, she has discovered in internal passion for women’s liberty issues and greatly enjoys her job. Ms. Reynen has been the recipient of various awards and honours during her time at CSC; most recent and noteworthy was the Exemplary Service Award in 2009 and the Queens Jubilee Award is 2012.
Tina Reynolds, Co-founder & Chair, Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH), New York, United States. Women on the Rise Telling HerStory WORTH is an association of formerly and currently incarcerated women who have been empowered by their own experiences while involved in the criminal justice system and beyond. Through mutual support, leadership development, organizing and telling our stories, WORTH transforms the lives of women who have been directly impacted by incarceration and changes public perception and policy. Reynolds has received a Master in Social Work from Hunter College. She is currently an adjunct professor at York, CUNY in the Behavioral Sciences Department teaching the “Impact of Incarceration on Families, Communities and Children”. She has published pieces on the abolition of prisons, the impact of incarceration on women and children, formerly incarcerated women and policy change and is an editor of an anthology “Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States”.
Samantha Sarra, Project Manager, Bonding Through Bars Roundtable
Samantha Sarra is a journalist and activist who is passionate about maternal health. Project Manager for the Bonding Through Bars, international roundtable, she was a knowledge leader at the Children's Environmental Health Equity National Training Program through the Centre for Environmental Health Equity. She is also a Birthing From Within Mentor and founder of the YWCA's pilot program for child birth preparation classes for single moms. She volunteers regularly at a local Youth Detention Centre and for The Shanti Uganda Society which runs a birth house and women's income generating group in Uganda.
Brenda van den Bergh, World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office of Europe
Brenda van den Bergh holds a Master in Economics (University of Groningen, the Netherlands) and a Master in Public Health (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK). In 2007 she moved to Denmark to work as Technical Officer for the Health in Prisons Programme with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe). In this position she provided technical support to Ministries of Health and Ministries responsible for prison health in the formulation of national programmes and strategies to address public health challenges related to prison health. She focussed specifically on women’s health in prison. She conducted research and wrote several publications in this area, among which the WHO Declaration on Women’s health in Prison. Since 2011 Brenda works for the HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections and Viral Hepatitis (HSV) programme with WHO/Europe, where she supports activities related to reducing vulnerability and removing structural barriers to key populations accessing HSV services
Tara Zupancic, Co-founding Associate Director, Centre for the Environmental Health Equity
Tara has been dedicated to environmental health research, advocacy and policy development for over 13 years with an emphasis on vulnerable populations and maternal and child health. She first began working with "socially vulnerable" children in 1996 in Bangkok, Thailand and is passionate about amplifying the voices of children in their quest to advocate for their own health. As co-founder of the Centre for Environmental Health Equity and former Director of Knowledge Leaders in Children's Environmental Health (funded by CIHR), she has been advancing Equity-focused Knowledge Translation (EqKT), an approach that informed the development of Bonding through Bars and much of her work in general. Tara completed a MPH in Health Promotion and Environmental Health at the University of Toronto and holds a Specialist degree in International Development from the University of Toronto. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) for over 7 years.