Capilano Universe Series: Kirsten McIlveen & Laurel Whitney

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

7:00 PM to 8:45 PM
Campus: Off Campus
Location: Burnaby Public Library: McGill Branch
Contact: Dr. Leonard George
Email: lgeorge@capilanou.ca
Phone: 604.986.1911 ext. 2495

Women Behind Bars: Experience and Education in Women’s Prisons

with Kirsten McIlveen & Laurel Whitney

Incarcerated women are largely out of sight and thus forgotten. No longer part of their communities, they are the most marginalized in society. The intersection of sexism and racism victimizes women in prison. They are more likely to be younger, single, unemployed and without a high school diploma than Canadian women in general. But research shows that people who receive an education while jailed have a better chance of employment post-release and are less likely to return.

Laurel and Kirsten have worked for prisoner’s rights for over 25 years. Laurel has taught university courses in the BC Penitentiary and Matsqui Institution, and researched restorative justice as an alternative to incarceration. Kirsten has been visiting imprisoned women for 25 years with a group called Joint Effort. Kirsten has been a faculty member at Capilano University for 8 years, and Laurel for many years. They volunteer as life skills coaches for inmates on parole who have addictions problems. Their film about how paroled inmates benefit from community support was shown at a National Conference on Community Corrections. They teach a social sciences course to women in the Fraser Valley Institute, a women’s prison.