Structured Intervention Units and the Implementation Advisory Panel

In April 2021, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness appointed Howard Sapers as the Chair of a renewed Structured Intervention Unit Implementation Advisory Panel (SIU IAP) to monitor, assess and report on issues related to the ongoing implementation of the Structured Intervention Units.

The renewed Advisory Panel reflects a diverse spectrum of perspectives, knowledge and experience related to federal corrections that allow for greater consideration to be given to  the unique needs of federal inmates.

The Implementation Advisory Panel has issued preliminary observations on the operation of SIUs over the first 21 months that the SIUs have been in place.

Appointees

Chairperson

Howard Sapers

Mr. Sapers, a prominent expert on effective and humane corrections management, previously served as the Correctional Investigator of Canada and an Independent Advisor to the Government of Ontario on corrections matters. He has also served as Vice-Chairperson for the Prairie Region of the Parole Board of Canada, Director of the Crime Prevention Investment Fund at the National Crime Prevention Centre, and as Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Alberta. Mr. Sapers is a past President of the Canadian Criminal Justice Association. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and, between 2012 and 2016, was a North American Regional representative to the International Ombudsman Institute. Mr. Sapers is currently a Trustee on the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's (CAMH) Board of Trustees. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa's Department of Criminology, Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University's School of Criminology, and has been awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Ottawa.

Members

Ed Buller

Mr. Buller is a member of the Mistawasis First Nation in Saskatchewan. He has been the Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres and the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto as well as President of Pedahbun Lodge, an Aboriginal substance abuse centre in Toronto.

While working at the federal Department of the Solicitor General, Mr. Buller was responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Aboriginal Justice Initiative's Corrections Initiative (1991-1996) and the Aboriginal Community Corrections Initiative (1996-2001), which were implemented as part of the Federal Government's Strategy for Aboriginal Justice. Mr. Buller has also been Director of Aboriginal Policy with the Department of Public Safety.

He is currently a board member of Crime Prevention Ottawa, Ontario's Quarter Century Club and is an Elder/Advisor to the Canadian Institute for Health Information as well as a resource, Elder and counsellor at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Ed is a former member of Canadian Reference Group to the World Health Organization Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.

Anthony Doob

Dr. Doob is Professor emeritus of criminology and was a long-serving director of the Centre of Criminology at the University of Toronto. He has championed the place of empirical evidence in the development of policy for over 40 years, notably as a member of the Canadian Sentencing Commission, as a contributor to programs of the National Judicial Institute and as the founder and co-director of the University of Toronto's Criminological Highlights, a publication that provides an accessible look at recent high quality research. Since 2009, Dr. Doob has been a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada's Academy of Social Sciences. He received the University of Toronto's Carolyn Tuohy 'Impact on Public Policy' award in 2011 and was awarded the Order of Canada in 2014 for his scholarship in the field of criminology and his role in shaping Canadian justice policy.

Ed McIsaac

Mr. McIsaac has been active in the Canadian criminal justice system for over four decades. He has worked with both government and non-government agencies to promote the recognition of offender human rights in correctional institutions.

When he served as the longtime Executive Director at the Office of the Correctional Investigator, he directed numerous reviews of segregation practices in federal penitentiaries across the country. He has authored scores of recommendations focused on improving Correctional Service of Canada's treatment of incarcerated individuals.

In 2009, Mr. McIsaac received the Public Service Award of Excellence recognizing an "outstanding career exemplifying the ethics, values and priorities of the Public Service of Canada." On his retirement, the Office of the Correctional Investigator established an award in his name to acknowledge annually those who "have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to improving Corrections and protecting the human rights of the incarcerated."

Mr. McIsaac has an undergraduate degree from Queen's University and a Master's degree in criminology from the University of Ottawa.

Farhat Rehman

Ms. Rehman co-founded Mothers Offering Mutual Support (M.O.M.S) in 2010, a support group for women who, like herself, have a son or a close relative in Canada's correctional systems. She has participated in advocacy efforts by speaking out publicly about her experiences as a mother of a son suffering from mental health challenges while incarcerated. Ms. Rehman represents M.O.M.S. on the Corrections Reform Coalition in Ontario, a group of over 20 agencies and groups advocating for reforms in Ontario's criminal justice system. She was the president of CCMW-Ottawa Chapter from 1995 to December 2020. The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) focuses on women's equality, social justice, civic engagement, and gender justice for women.

Ms. Rehman has received several awards for her community work, including the Canadian Council of Women's Women Who Inspire Award in 2016, the Governor General's Meritorious Service Award in 2017, and the Ottawa Muslim Women's Organization's Community Service Award in 2019.

Janet Taylor

Mrs. Taylor began her 27-year career with CSC in 1988 prior to retiring in 2015. Over the course of this period, she held various positions which enabled her to gain a broad understanding of the organization's mandate and operations. Having a keen interest in working directly with the offender population, Mrs. Taylor became a Parole Officer and eventually Manager of Assessment and Intervention (MAI). As the MAI, she chaired and coordinated the activities of the weekly Correctional Intervention Board and was the institutional liaison between the Parole Board of Canada and the Atlantic Institution, where she supervised the activities of the Indigenous Liaison Officer and Elder, and worked closely with them and the Regional CSC Headquarters on implementing activities related to Indigenous initiatives. 

Mrs. Taylor chaired the institutional Segregation Review Board and became a valuable and highly respected resource for the Wardens of Atlantic Institution on issues related to segregation and the initiatives to develop plans to reduce the segregated population. During her last few years at Atlantic Institution, she served as acting Assistant Warden of Intervention over various periods, while continuing her efforts to assist with the reduction of segregation cases.

Mrs. Taylor has a BA, majoring in Sociology with a minor in Psychology, from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. 

Johanne Vallée

Mrs. Vallée has a diverse background of experience, working not only in the community criminal justice sector, but also the broader public service. Over her 20-year career, she led the Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec (association of rehabilitative services of Quebec). She was also Vice-President of the National Crime Prevention Council of Canada, Associate Deputy Minister of the Correctional services directorate in Quebec, Deputy Commissioner of women offenders and Deputy Commissioner for the Quebec region at Correctional Services Canada. She is currently Chair of the Joint Committee between peace officers in correctional services and the Ministry of Public Safety Quebec. She is also Vice-President of the Centre de pédiatrie sociale (Centre for social pediatrics) in Laval.

Mrs. Vallée has a sociology degree from the University of Ottawa and a Master's degree in criminology from the University of Montreal. In 2005, she received an award from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the University of Montreal for her career achievements. In 2012, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2019, the Society of Criminology in Quebec gave her an award honouring her career achievements.

Margo C. Watt

Dr. Watt is a Full Professor of Psychology, and Coordinator of the Applied Forensic Psychology program at St. Francis Xavier University (StFX, Antigonish, NS). Dr. Watt is an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS), and Honourary Research Associate at the University of New Brunswick. As a registered clinical psychologist, Dr. Watt has provided professional services to the Correctional Service of Canada over the past 25 years, including forensic risk, specialized mental health, and complex case assessments.

She was the recipient of StFX’s President’s Research Award in 2009, Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013, and Jules Léger Research Chair (2017-2019). Her publications in Forensic Psychology include: Explorations in Forensic Psychology: Cases in Abnormal and Criminal Behaviour (2014) and Case Studies in Clinical Forensic Psychology (Winter 2023).

Robert Seymour Wright

Mr. Wright is an African Nova Scotian Social Worker whose more than 30-year career has spanned the fields of education, child welfare, forensic mental health, trauma, sexual violence, and cultural competence.

A “clinician/academic/administrator,” he has always integrated his work delivering direct practice clinical service to clients with teaching and supervising interns and promoting lasting systemic change through social policy advocacy. He teaches, consults, trains, speaks, and comments on a wide range of clinical, social policy and social justice issues. He has served in senior roles in child welfare administration and as a civil servant in Nova Scotia, and has been a sessional instructor on child and youth studies, education, counselling, social work, and criminology in various universities.

His extensive pro bono work gave birth to The Peoples' Counselling Clinic, a non-profit mental health clinic. He is the pioneer of Impact of Race and Culture Assessments (known as Enhanced Pre-sentence Reports in Ontario) and is leading a project to recruit and train assessors nationally.

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