What is the Council of Elizabeth Fry Societies of Ontario?

Elizabeth FryThe Council of Elizabeth Fry Societies of Ontario (CEFSO) was established in 1952, initially meeting informally in the communities with member societies. CEFSO was formally registered as a non-profit corporation in 1985. Council members consist of eight of the Elizabeth Fry Societies in Ontario located in Hamilton, Kitchener (Region of Waterloo), Ottawa, Toronto, Barrie (Simcoe County), Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Peterborough. Each society is represented at Council by the Executive Director and one member of their Board of Directors.

Council believes that there must be fair and equal treatment of women who are, who have been, or who may be, at risk of coming into conflict with the law, that the community has a responsibility to be active in the criminal justice system, and that the role of the voluntary sector is vital to the effective realization of these goals.

Council monitors the conditions for both provincially and federally sentenced women in prison, through visits to jails and direct contact with prisoners, and advocates for improvements to those conditions. We are involved in several government task groups looking at issues involving the women with whom we work and the agencies we represent. Council also strongly promotes public education about women in the criminal justice system, giving talks at schools, universities and businesses.

Funding Sources

Funding for Council comes mainly from individual and corporate donations, foundation grants and the sale of break open tickets.

Mission Statement

The Council of Elizabeth Fry Societies of Ontario (CEFSO) is the regional voice in Ontario for women who are or have been in conflict with the law, or are at risk of conflict with the law. The Council promotes the following principles:

  • There must be fair and equitable treatment of women who are or have been in conflict with the law, or are at risk of conflict with the law;

  • The community has a responsibility to be active in the criminal justice system;

  • The role of voluntary and non-governmental organizations is vital to the effective realization of this mission.

The purpose of the Council is to act on matters concerning women who are or have been in conflict with the law, or are at risk of conflict with the law, and to provide member society support.

CEFSO Executives

Diana Majury, President
Joy Thompson, Vice-President
Monique Bois, Treasurer
Erin Bellavance, Secretary