Chairperson: Jennifer Oades
Jennifer Oades was appointed Chairperson, Parole Board of Canada on January 31, 2018 and reappointed in 2023.
Ms. Oades began her career with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) in 1991. She held numerous positions at National Headquarters, and worked in community corrections as a Parole Officer. In 1996, Ms. Oades joined the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada (now Public Safety Canada) as a Senior Policy Advisor.
After returning to CSC, Ms. Oades was selected to lead the establishment of the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA). Ms. Oades served as its Executive Director for five years. Upon her return to CSC, Ms. Oades continued her work within the policy and intergovernmental portfolios and served as the Director General of the Strategic Policy and Intergovernmental Relations Branch, followed by the Director General of the Learning and Development Branch. Ms. Oades was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Women in January 2010. She worked in partnership with the Native Counselling Services of Alberta in their establishment of Buffalo Sage Wellness House – the first Corrections and Conditional Release Act section 81 healing lodge for women offenders. Ms. Oades retired from public service in May 2014.
As the Chairperson of the Parole Board, Ms. Oades has championed gender, trauma and culturally-informed practices in the parole hearing process, particularly for women, Indigenous Peoples, Black Canadians, other vulnerable populations and victims and survivors of crime. Ms. Oades has supported increased out reach activities across Canada to help Canadians better understand the work of the Board. She continues to be invited to speak about the work of the Parole Board and the contribution it makes to public safety at national and international meetings.
Ms. Oades has been recognized for her work through various prestigious awards. In 2011, she received the President's Award from the International Community Corrections Association, recognizing her leadership and dedication to advancing the awareness and effectiveness of community corrections for women. She later received the Commissioner's Commendation Award, as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. In October 2018, Ms. Oades received the ICPA Correctional Excellence Award for outstanding contribution to the Association. In 2020, she became the first recipient of the Renée Collette International Excellence Award from the Association of Paroling Authorities International in recognition of her significant contribution to the advancement of international criminal justice.
Ms. Oades holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Native Studies (now called Indigenous Studies) from Trent University.
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