For Immediate Release

ARCHIVED - Professor Michael Jackson of the University of British Columbia receives the Inaugural Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award

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OTTAWA, September 1, 2009 – Today, Mr. Howard Sapers, Correctional Investigator of Canada, is extremely pleased to announce that University of British Columbia Law Professor Micheal Jackson has received the prestigious Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award. The award was established 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.

"For more than three decades, Professor Jackson has been one of the key advocates for prison reform and social justice in Canada" said Mr. Sapers. Professor Jackson's social justice commitment and persistent efforts have contributed significantly to the advancement of human rights and correctional practice in Canada. "Professor Jackson has had an immense influence on correctional reforms in Canada. For example, his work on ensuring due process and fairness in cases where inmates are disciplined or placed in segregation has had important positive public policy implications" added Mr. Sapers.

The Selection Committee noted that while many have contributed to promoting human rights values in Canadian corrections, Professor Jackson's work stands out. His efforts have spanned the courtroom, the penitentiary cell, the classroom, the printed word, and Parliament. Whether arguing before the Supreme Court of Canada, offering support through the food slot of a steel door, challenging a new generation of students to critical thought, or publishing guidance to legislators, Professor Jackson has courageously demonstrated an unwavering commitment to upholding and defending fair, dignified and humane treatment for prisoners. For Professor Jackson, the commitment to preserve rights for all citizens depends ultimately on our preservation of the rights of those in our prisons and penitentiaries.

The Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award was established in honour of Mr. Ed McIsaac, who retired earlier this year from his position as Executive Director of the Office of the Correctional Investigator, in recognition of his relentless drive to uphold the human rights of prisoners and his significant contribution to numerous reforms promoting social justice in federal Corrections. When advised of this year's award receipient, Mr. Ed McIsaac said: "I have known Professor Jackson for over twenty years. Michael's tireless efforts in pursuit of fairness and human rights in corrections have been an inspiration for all of us in this field. I can think of no one more deserving of this recognition."

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 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.
Executive Director and General Counsel
Office of the Correctional Investigator
Tel: (613) 990-2690