The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

 

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Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan (EFSS), incorporated in 1981, is one of twenty-five sister agencies that comprise the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)—the first of which was established in Vancouver in 1939. EFSS is the only organization in the province that works with young and adult women involved with the criminal justice system; its programs and services aim to end recidivism and support crime prevention. Emphasis is upon a social development approach, not costly incarceration, in the belief that the most effective and humane solutions are community-based.

EFSS operates the Women’s Community Training Residence (WCTR) in Saskatoon, the only facility of its kind in Saskatchewan. It has room for fourteen women, and small children sometimes live with their mothers. Women-staffed, the facility is open to provincially sentenced women, federally sentenced women on day parole, women on probation, women serving conditional sentences, women serving intermittent sentences, and women on bail supervision. They work or study in the community; in-house programming focuses upon women’s concerns. The organization is culturally sensitive, as a disproportionate number of these women are Aboriginal: a staff Elder provides support and guidance, and encourages them to develop links, or reconnect, with their Aboriginal cultures.

Ailsa M. Watkinson

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