media release

Sapers addresses mental health, addiction in federal prisons

February 20, 2014

Janet Webber, SFU Public Square, 778.782.9479,
Scott McLean, SFU Vancouver, 778.782.5151,

Howard Sapers, the Correctional Investigator of Canada and a recipient of the 2013 Simon Fraser University Outstanding Alumni Award for Public Service, will be at SFU’s Vancouver campus on Feb. 24, speaking to the challenges and costs of managing mental illness in federal penitentiaries. SFU Public Square is presenting the public lecture.

Drawing from his office’s investigative reports, Sapers will address some of the issues associated with continuing to rely on prisons and security-driven responses to manage offenders with mental health and addiction issues. The dialogue will also cover how treating addiction as a health issue in the community can prevent deeper and often more harmful involvement with the criminal justice system.

As Correctional Investigator appointed by the Canadian government, Sapers serves as the federal ombudsman for offenders in Canada, working to support the rights and fair treatment of those under the care of Canada’s correctional system.

A former executive director of the John Howard Society of Alberta, Sapers was previously a member of the Alberta Legislature, and currently serves as a North American Region member of the International Ombudsman Institute Board of Directors.

The event, which takes place on Monday night at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, is free, but requires online registration. Attendees are asked to consider donating to the Mary Steinhauser Memorial Bursary for SFU Aboriginal Undergraduate Students in Arts and Sciences.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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