Ottawa, December 8, 2022 – Today, Dr. Ivan Zinger, Correctional Investigator of Canada, is very pleased to announce that Louise Leonardi is the 2022 recipient of the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award.
“Recognized as a tireless leader for social justice, Ms. Leonardi has dedicated many years of her career to improving Canadian corrections and protecting the human rights of incarcerated individuals by supporting and building connections with their families, an aspect that is often overlooked in the world of corrections,” said Dr. Ivan Zinger. “Her efforts help to ensure that the families of incarcerated people are not left behind. She is a beacon of hope for those on the inside. I am absolutely delighted to recognize Ms. Leonardi as this year’s recipient of the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award .”
For the past ten years, Ms. Leonardi has served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Families and Corrections Network (CFCN), a national organization that provides research, support, resources and programs for family members of incarcerated individuals. Recognizing the collateral impact of incarceration on children in particular, Ms. Leonardi’s efforts have included a project with Nova Institution for women, where CFCN helps to maintain family ties between incarcerated women and their children, including providing support for women and their families during reintegration into the community. Additionally, she spearheaded the Dad HERO (Helping Everyone Realize Opportunities) project to address the needs of incarcerated fathers.
Ms. Leonardi’s work has also contributed to improvements in how Correctional Service Canada communicates and interacts with family members after the death of a loved one in custody. In addition to her role at CFCN, Ms. Leonardi has spent many years serving vulnerable populations and addressing issues related to criminal and social justice, as well as poverty and homelessness. She is also a founding member of the New Brunswick Restorative Justice Committee.
The Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award was established in honour of Mr. Ed McIsaac, who served as Executive Director of the Office of the Correctional Investigator for 18 years. Each recipient of the award receives a reproduction of a sculpture by Ms. Audrey Greyeyes, a Cree artist from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, entitled Medicine Man . The award symbolizes wisdom, clarity of thought and leadership. A virtual ceremony will take place this morning, hosted by the Office. Presented annually since 2009, there have been 13 other recipients of the award.
Details on nomination procedures for the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award are available on the Office’s website at http://www.oci-bec.gc.ca/cnt/award-prix/nom-eng.aspx .
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Monette Maillet