Correctional Investigator of Canada
Mr. Howard Sapers was appointed Correctional Investigator of Canada on February 24th, 2004. His office provides independent oversight of the Correctional Service of Canada and serves as an Ombudsman for federally sentenced offenders.
A graduate of Simon Fraser University, Mr. Sapers has an extensive background in criminology and corrections gained through a combination of education, employment, community and public service. Prior to his appointment as Correctional Investigator, Mr. Sapers held a variety of criminal justice positions, including: Vice-Chairperson for the Prairie Region, Parole Board Canada; Director of the Crime Prevention Investment Fund at the National Crime Prevention Centre; and Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Alberta.
Between 1993 and 2001, Mr. Sapers served two terms as an elected member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly representing Edmonton – Glenora. He held various Critic portfolios including: Health, Education, Science and Finance. During his second term, Mr. Sapers served as House Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition.
An active community volunteer, Mr. Sapers has held a number of positions, including: President of the Canadian Criminal Justice Association; President of the Alberta Criminal Justice Association; and Vice-Chair of the City of Edmonton Safer Cities Advisory Committee. He currently serves as a Chairman of the DND/Canadian Forces Ombudsman Advisory Committee, North American Region Member of the International Ombudsman Institute Board of Directors, and a Member of the Board of the Directors of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman.
Mr. Sapers has received national recognition for his work and service. This recognition includes: the Canada 125 Medal; the Weiler Award for Social Development; the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal; and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2010, Mr. Sapers was acknowledged as a Champion of Mental Health by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and he has received the President’s Commendation from the Canadian Psychiatric Association. Mr. Sapers has been recognized as an Outstanding Alumni by Simon Fraser University and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Ottawa in 2016.
As Correctional Investigator, Mr. Sapers continues to pursue priority concerns and challenges in federal corrections such as mental health and corrections, preventing deaths in custody, and the special needs of Aboriginal offenders, aging offenders and federally sentenced women.
A much sought after public speaker and media commentator, Mr. Sapers has delivered keynote addresses, guest lectures and chaired academic panels at several prominent conferences and events across Canada and internationally. He has taught courses in Criminology, Correctional Law and Communications in the Correctional Services Program at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton. Mr. Sapers is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, and has authored publications including journal articles and textbook chapters on ombudsmanship, human rights and corrections.
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