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ARCHIVED - Correctional Investigator Announces the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award

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OTTAWA, December 8, 2008 - Today, Mr. Howard Sapers announced the creation of the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award to commemorate the work and dedication of those who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to improving Corrections and protecting the human rights of the incarcerated.

The award is established in honour of Mr. Ed McIsaac who will shortly retire from the Public Service of Canada. "For 18 years, Mr. McIsaac epitomized tenacity, determination and perseverence through his work and leadership as the Executive Director of the Office of the Correctional Investigator," said Mr. Sapers. "Ed McIsaac's actions continue to serve as an example to all those involved in correctional practice. His relentless desire to uphold the human rights of prisoners contributed to numerous reforms promoting fairness in federal Corrections," added Mr. Sapers.

Mr. McIsaac began his career with the Office of the Correctional Investigator in 1981 and became the Director of Investigations in 1986. Mr. McIsaac was appointed as Executive Director in 1990 - a position he has held until today. "Throughout his career, Ed McIsaac inspired his staff and attracted support from various community organizations to address unfair treatment and to correct systemic issues in federal Corrections," said Mr. Sapers. During his impressive career at the OCI, Mr. McIsaac contributed to countless recommendations which would improve correctional effectiveness, protect the human rights of offenders, and enhance public safety.

The award may be presented to a person or an organization. Award recipients will be those whose social justice commitment and persistent efforts have contributed significantly to the advancement of human rights and correctional practice in Canada.

Award recipients will receive a reproduction of a scupture entitled Medicine Man, which symbolizes wisdom, clarity of thought and leadership. The original work was created by Ms. Audrey Greyeyes, an Aboriginal artist from the Plains Cree of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Recipients will also receive a modest cash donation which will be presented to a charity of their choice.

The Office of the Correctional Investigator is mandated by an Act of Parliament to be an independent Ombudsman for federal offenders. This work includes ensuring that systemic areas of concern are identified and brought to the attention of those responsible for the operations of our federal correctional system. Details on nominations procedures for the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award are on the Office's Website at www.oci-bec.gc.ca.

For further information:

Ivan Zinger, LL.B., Ph.D.
Director of Policy and Senior Counsel
Office of the Correctional Investigator
(613) 990-2690