How safe are our communities? What are we doing to protect the people in them?
Opening a New Door for Women in the Sex Trade
Blue is a colour of calm, contemplation and solace. As the colour of the ocean and the sky, it is often associated with freedom. It’s also the colour most closely associated with service and health care workers. “There are a number of ideas about the meaning behind a blue door,” says Mary Fearon, Director of the Blue Door program with Thrive, part of the Community Youth Network. “One is that it symbolizes a place of refuge or safety, which I think our program offers to our participants.”
Women in Prison
Denise Hillier Director of Clinical Services, Stella’s Circle
Many incarcerated women have lived in poverty and are challenged with histories of trauma, addiction and mental health. For those who are mothers, the additional challenge while incarcerated at the Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville is maintaining connection to family. Relationships are critical, especially for women. Mothers grieve the loss of connection. There are few visits by children with their mothers as children are either in care or with family who may not be able to afford transportation to the prison. For mothers from Labrador, there is further distance between their children and the communities who support them.
There is a need to build supports and collaboration to ensure the needs of incarcerated mothers, their children and caregivers are met. Incarcerated mothers need access to grief and loss counselling. For those who are able to maintain some connection to their children, there needs to be assessment of the potential use of technology in maintaining supports.
Women in the correctional system have little access to education and employment while in prison. Opportunities for learning are limited to high school courses through the GED (high school equivalency) program but post-secondary training is not available. The only employment skills offered are brief one- or two-day programs such as Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). There needs to be access to programs that enable women to build work skills that are transferable to the community.