25 July 2018

As the Canadian government continues to work on Bill C-75 on the reform of the penal system, Sophie de Saussure, a 2017 Trudeau scholar, is examining the social effects of a parent’s incarceration on children, in an article published on July 12, 2018 in Policy Options.

In Canada, tens of thousands of children are living apart from a parent who is behind bars. In addition to the stigma, which often keeps them silent and ashamed, these children can face significant social, psychological, emotional and financial difficulties. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's 2011 recommendation  emphasizes the need to promote alternatives to detention for those with a dependent child, yet these children are invisible in Canada, both on the political stage and in the media. Worse still, they are also neglected by social policy.

With three avenues for reflection, Sophie de Saussure hopes to get the government to include into its reform the question of the children of offenders, and to develop a public policy in support of them.

Sophie de Saussure

Sophie de Saussure (law, University of Ottawa) is exploring how courts might better take the interest of offenders’ children into account when determining offenders’ sentences.

2017 Scholars