Tom Allen

Ex-con alumnus wins first Allard award

June 28, 2007

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Ex-junkie cum SFU-trained criminologist Tom Allen received the first annual Pierre Allard Award in May.             

The award, named after a former Quebec prison chaplain, recognizes previous federal offenders who have turned their lives around and made a significant positive contribution to their community.

Allen (above) spent three years in a federal prison in the ‘60s as a young offender, attended SFU briefly in 1972, then returned to provincial jails several times before cleaning up his act after an 18-month sentence for heroin trafficking in 1981. In 1988, he returned to SFU, earning a BA and an MA in criminology. For the last seven years he has taught at Kwantlen University College.

His thesis, published as Someone To Talk To (Fernwood Publishing, 2000), chronicles the grim spirals of poverty, marginalization and despair for the homeless on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

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