In 1980, the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec opened Maison Thérèse-Casgrain, the first halfway house for women in Québec. While the house is in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood of Montreal, it serves the entire Montreal region as well as the southwest part of the province. Approximately 100 women in the process of reintegration into society are housed in Maison Thérèse-Casgrain each year.
The house is financed in large part by the Correctional Service of Canada as well as les Services correctionnels du Québec.
Maison Thérèse-Casgrain can welcome up to approximately 40 women for stays that range from several weeks to several months. The residents can be referred by the Établissement de Leclerc de Laval (provincial prison), Joliette federal penitentiary or community correctional workers.
Women coming from the provincial prison can stay at the house in a context of : 1) temporary absence 2) temporary absence in preparation for conditional release or 3) conditional release.
Women coming from a federal penitentiary can be accommodated at the Maison Thérèse-Casgrain if they are under one of the following statuses: 1) temporary absence, 2) day parole, 3) full parole or 4) statutory release.
The halfway house can exceptionally accept women with suspended sentences or on supervised probation if a correctional worker in the community referred them.
- To promote the socio-community re(integration) of female offenders;
- To be an alternative solution to emprisonment;
- To prevent recidivism;
- To help the offender accept responsibility for her behaviour;
- To help the offender develop attitudes and skills that will assist her in developing her potential.
- The Maison offers its residence continuous 24-hour support thanks to its team of professional counsellors who are present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- The house workers offer psychosocial follow-up as well as specific counselling for each woman’s individual problems: drug and alcohol abuse, conjugal or family violence, interpersonal relationships, health, etc. They also intervene regarding the resident’s crime cycle in order to prevent recidivism and a return to the judicial system.
- At Maison Thérèse-Casgrain, women are also helped with finding employment, professional training, returning to school, finding lodging, budgeting, family, health, as well as all types of dependence.
- In addition, the residents can also benefit from group programs aiming a better psychological and social rehabilitation: relapse prevention, anger management, emotional autonomy and creativity workshops.
- Computers are available for all the residents needing to make job or apartment research or information inquiry on the Web.
- In 1992, a program of mother-child cohabitation was put into place to give residents a welcoming place to assist them in maintaining their relationships with their children.
- Residents can also benefit from the services of a team of volunteers available for support and accompaniment. This service is available on request.
The team of Maison Thérèse-Casgrain is comprised of a clinical director, three clinical counsellors, a day caseworker, a night caseworker, and several support caseworkers that are present day, evening and night, seven days a week.
The members of the team are there to support, orient and supervise the residents in their different activities concerning their reintegration into society. They have been trained to intervene with different models of intervention in order to respond to the multiple, varied needs of the residents.
5105, chemin de la Côte Saint-Antoine
Tel: 514.489.3887 or 514.489.2116 ext. 227
For any additional information or to join our team of volunteers, we invite you to communicate with Christine Champagne, Clinical Director of the halfway house.