What is the EVE Program?
The EVE program was first started in1988 by the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec. In concert with different workers in the judicial system, the police and the Conseil québecois du commerce de détail, this program was put in place in order to find concrete solutions to the problem of shoplifting, often considered to be a social plague. The program is financed by les Services correctionnels du Québec and private donators.
Initially offering services to women exclusively accused of shoplifting, the program has increased its field of intervention and now offers a counselling service for women accused of economic crimes such as credit card fraud, writing N.S.F. cheques, changing price tags, theft of money or goods from work, purse stealing, pick pocketing, etc.
Economic infractions are the most frequent crimes committed by women (around 50%). These offences are non-violent, nor acquisitive. There is no typical profile, but the majority of these women commit their crimes because they face personal difficulties at various steps in their lives. Professional workers, assisted by well-trained volunteers, help these women identify the hidden causes of their shoplifting behaviour, the consequences and the means to control their behaviour.
Since 1990, different tribunals in the regions of Montreal, Montérégie and the Basses-Laurentides, as well as the Services correctionnels du Québec, have made agreements with the Société for the diffusion of the EVE Program. In 2013, we were forced to reduce the access to our services for women outside Montreal because of a lack of financial resources. Therefore, our services are now focused toward women accused of economic offences on the Island of Montreal or women under surveillance referred by the different offices of the Services correctionnels du Québec.
Our offices at the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec and the Montreal Municipal Court allow us to evaluate clients’ admissibility to the program and provide clinical services to women in need. The Montreal Municipal Court is especially open to social rehabilitation programs and succeeds well in treating complaints and sentencing in a very human way, without neglecting the protection of the society. In addition, we have improved the access to the program for women under the jurisdiction of the Services correctionnels du Québec by creating a fast track for them.
The objectives of the EVE program are:
- To offer a program adapted to women accused of economic crimes;
- To be an alternative solution to the traditional sentence, particularly incarceration for repeat offenders;
- To be a measure of decriminalization for first offences;
- To help the offender take responsibility for her behaviour;
- To reduce recidivism.
This video presents a short portrait of social programs, such as the EVE Program, at the Montreal municipal court.
How Does It Work?
Our services are bilingual, free and confidential. The therapeutically approach used by the EVE Program is based on group interventions. Groups are closed (no new participants are allowed once the group has started). The group sessions are structured and facilitated by a professional program officer.
Our approach is based on a psychosocial intervention in groups that encourage exchange and mutual aid.
The group sessions are comprised of a period of exchange followed by exercises and discussions of various themes such as:
- Different motivations for shoplifting and other economic crimes;
- The social, economic and personal consequences of these criminal acts;
- The acquisition of personal methods of control regarding the criminal act; etc.
The clinical activities are divided into two forms of intervention; each proceeded by an evaluation interview to determine the admissibility of the client, her needs and the orientation of the follow-up:
- First offences: 3 two-hour (3) group sessions;
- Recidivists: 10 two-and-a-half-hour (2 ½) group sessions.
- The accused must communicate with a group worker herself.
- An evaluation appointment will be made (as needed) to determine the admissibility of the client.
- Take note that a long delay is possible depending on the number of women requiring our services or vacations. The waiting period can be a few months long. Thank you for your understanding.
- By telephone at (514) 489-2116 ext. 223 for all women confronted with a problem of theft or fraud.
- Directly in person at your hearing, in our office on the 1st floor of the Montreal Municipal Courtfrom Tuesday to Thursday between 9 am and 12 pm. Inform your lawyer. We will immediately proceed with opening your file.
- If you must go to court before having been evaluated by an EVE program worker, ask your lawyer or the judge for a delay of a few months to verify your eligibility for the program. Inform us of your new court date.
- Following your evaluation for the EVE Program, a letter indicating the status of your file (admission or not, waiting for a decision) will be sent to your lawyer, or the Court or your caseworker at the Services correctionnels du Québec. If you participate in a group, the court will usually delay your appearance until after the follow-up is completed.
- Following your participation in the EVE Program, a letter indicating your successful or unsuccessful follow-up will be sent to the Court, or any other designated person.
- Leave a detailed message (first name, last name, telephone number, date of court hearing, name of court, lawyer).
- We will call you back as soon as possible to open your file, to orient you towards the group sessions of 3 or 10, to make an appointment for evaluation (as needed) at our headquarters. Be assured of our discretion.
Make a Donation Following a Court Order
If you wish to make a donation to the EVE Program following a court order, your contribution can be done:
- At the Elizabeth Fry Society headquarter (5105 ch. de la Côte Saint-Antoine, entre les métros Vendôme et Villa-Maria. The payment can be made in cash, with a certified check or held in trust, or a money order under the name of the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec.
- At our office at Montreal Municipal Court (room 1.565). The payment can be made:
- In cash, with a certified check (under the name of the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec) or held in trust
- By Interec Debit card
- By credit card (Visa, Mastercard et Discover)
- From your phone, tablet or computer, through Paypal (setting a Paypal account is not mandatory if you are paying by credit card on their website). Please follow the instructions below:
Please indicate your court file number on the Paypal form so we can trace your payment. Check out the following example: