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Issue 35.3



By Irving Kulik, CCJA Executive Director



World Congress on Probation and Parole 2021: No One Left Behind: Building Community Capacity

5e World Congress 2021) at Ottawa – Call for Papers
Canadian Criminal Justice Association (CCJA)

You are cordially invited to submit an abstract for a presentation at the 5th World Congress on Probation and Parole! This international event is being organized by the Canadian Criminal Justice Association in collaboration with the Parole Board of Canada, Correctional Service Canada, Public Safety Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It will be held at the Delta Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Consider attending this networking opportunity to learn about the latest in probation and parole around the world. The theme of the event will be “No One Left Behind: Building Community Capacity”. This Congress will explore the challenges, opportunities and success stories involved in building community capacity and sustaining partnerships that support successful reintegration for diverse groups of offenders in an evolving global environment.


By Nancy Wright, Justice Report Editor

CCJA Interview: Alberta’s Dr. Jon Friel (RPsych) elaborates on a call he made in Justice Report #34.2 (2019) advocating the establishment of a Canadian commission on best practices (i.e., evidence-based human services/programs for children, adolescents, and adults) encompassing provincial and federal carceral/residential/group home/foster care programs and post release. Dr. Friel points out that the ever increasing amount of yearly data from books and research on various methodologies to assist disenfranchised children, adolescents, and adults in Canada has no oversight other than peer-reviewed journals. These data are accepted as is by the general public and other relevant stakeholders. Professionals involved with care delivery in foster care, group homes and residential or carceral institutions, says Dr. Friel, have no hope of being able to make reasonable assessments as regards what works and what does not work, making public oversight of best practices a must.


Medicalization of Mental Health in Canada: Beware of the DSM-5
By Dr. Jon Friel (RPscyh, AB)

Dr. Jon Friel issues words of caution over the U.S. standardized diagnostic tool for mental health, the DSM-5, critiquing its use of clusters of symptoms and lack of empirical evidence in defining mental disorders and emphasizes that assessing a client’s mental health issues must always take into account their social context, cultural responses in the face of distress, family and other relationships, performance at school or work, age and maturity, and what they consider to be normal behavior when participating in important activities. Dr. Friel considers the impact on behaviour of flawed social settings, such as bullying in schools, violence/neglect/abuse in homes and at work, over-representation of certain groups in the CJS, etc. and asks if medication can be expected to fix such ills. On the one hand, notes Dr. Friel, experts are saying the problem is cultural and sociological (that pain-based behaviour requires trauma-informed care) but on the other you are medicalizing behaviour and emotions and categorizing the child or teen or adult with mental health issues on the basis of broad groups of symptoms. Since mental-health diagnostics is a complex process and requires skills that not all professionals possess, says Friel, a Canadian commission on evidence-based practices would provide critical support.


Time to Shift the Canadian Paradigm: Youth Justice Services and Trauma-Informed Care
By Dr. Denise Michelle Brend and Dr. Delphine Collin-Vézina

Exposures to traumatic stressors occur at extremely high rates among children and youth involved with child welfare/youth justice systems, and traumatic stressors can result in secondary traumatic stress among associated professionals. To date, Canadian TIC (i.e., trauma-informed care) initiatives have largely developed in isolation resulting in the duplication of work, slower service delivery, and higher implementation costs. To address these gaps 39 researchers, 18 collaborators, and 43 partner organizations from across Canada have been united, under the leadership of Program Director D. Collin-Vézina, to establish the Canadian Consortium on Child & Youth Trauma (CCCYT). These members will be co-developing resources, curating empirical and practical knowledge, training students and professionals. CCCYT resources include a network where questions can be asked, problems can be solved, and best practices can be advanced and made available to community groups, researchers, and policymakers Canada-wide


Québec’s Unique Field of Psychoéducation
By Noémie Caya (Ps. Ed.) and Annie Asmar (Ps. Ed.)

Psychoéducation is a field of human sciences that emerged in the mid 1950s in Québec. The field was conceived in the context of live-in rehabilitation centres for children with severe emotional disorders and juvenile offenders between the ages of 15 and 18 following release from adult prisons. In the 1970s, educators in Québec recognized a need for a similar approach for youth exhibiting serious affective disorders and youth offenders as an alternative to incarceration. “Psychoéducation” became an official discipline with the creation of the École de Psychoéducation at Université de Montréal in 1972. In Québec today, psychoeducators work daily in diverse settings, including health and social services networks (e.g., community service centres, youth protection, rehabilitation centres); schools; private residences (i.e., people’s homes); community organizations (e.g., transition houses, social reinsertion/ employment organizations and those serving immigrant populations); provincial daycare centres; supported housing (e.g., group homes, residential care, detention centers, shelters, transitional housing); multidisciplinary and/or private clinics, jails and prisons, psychiatric hospitals, and physical rehabilitation centres, among other. The therapy provided by psychoeducators is distinct from and complements that of other therapists working in the social and health sciences. A degree in Psychoéducation is currently only attainable at French universities in Québec but its practice has been expanded, by Correctional Service of Canada for example, into other provinces. This trend is likely to continue given the degree to which the work of its practitioners complements that of professionals from other spheres of human services


Reviews – NFB Documentaries on Criminal Justice with Review Editor Dr. John Winterdyk (Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB)

Review by Sophie Piché (MRU Undergraduate): 2019. Nance Ackerman, Ariella Pahlke & Teresa MacInnes (Writers/Directors), Teresa MacInnes & Annette Clarke (Producers).

Review by Catharine Pandila (MRU Undergraduate): 2016. Steve Patry (Writer/Director) (2016). Nathalie Cloutier, Denis McCready (Producers) & (version française) Colette Loumède. WASESKUN [Motion Picture]. Canada: National Film Board of Canada.

CONVICTION [Motion Picture]. A Sea to Sea production in co-production with The National Film Board of Canada


By Nancy Wright, Justice Report Editor

Conviction is a collaborative documentary film that envisions alternatives to prison through the eyes of women on the inside. The CCJA thanks five of the key participants in Conviction for taking the time for this interview: two of the federally sentenced women who worked with three filmmakers, a senator, and a guard – among other – to envision an alternative to prison and also to imagine what they would have needed in their lives to avoid incarceration. “A microcosm for a worldwide crisis, the film chronicles the women’s journeys as they navigate the world inside and outside prison walls, joining advocates and politicians in questioning the ideas of punishment and prison” (Conviction, #Build Communities Not Prisons (


The Consequences of Conviction for Imprisoned Women
By Dr. D. Scharie Tavcar, Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB

In this article/review, Dr. D. Scharie Tavcer calls for legislative change mandating support following release from prison for those – in particular women – who have had a disproportionate amount of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and/or victimization as adults. Presenting research and statistics that substantiate the need for trauma-informed approaches for care and treatment, Dr. Tavcer also references a Sea to Sea Productions/National Film Board documentary, Conviction (2019), in which several incarcerated women imagine much-needed changes in carceral and post-carceral treatment.


CCJA – Join Us!

Opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the Association’s views, but are included to encourage reflection and action on the criminal justice system throughout Canada.

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