On January 1, 2017 Howard Sapers was appointed Independent Advisor on Corrections Reform for the province of Ontario. In May 2017, he released his first report titled, Segregation in Ontario, which provided the Ministry of Community and Correctional Services with advice and recommendations on ways to reduce the use of segregation, improve conditions of confinement for those segregated and enhance accountability and transparency in the segregation process. A second report, Corrections in Ontario: Directions for Reform, was released in October 2017 and called for transformative change in numerous areas of correctional operation. In total, the two reports contained 125 recommendations. Based upon Mr. Sapers’ recommendations, the Government of Ontario has committed to passing new principle-based correctional law for the province.
Between 2004 and 2016 Howard Sapers was the Correctional Investigator of Canada. Previously, Mr. Sapers has been the Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Alberta, an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing Edmonton Glenora, Director of the National Crime Prevention Centre Investment Fund and Vice Chairperson (Prairie Region) of the Parole Board Canada.
Mr. Sapers is a Past President of the Canadian Criminal Justice Association, has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and between 2012 and 2016 was a North American Regional representative to the International Ombudsman Institute. Mr. Sapers represented the community of small federal departments and agencies on the Government of Canada Small Department Audit Committee and was Chairman of the Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces Ombudsman Advisory Committee. Mr. Sapers work as Correctional Investigator was recognized in the cover story of the Fall 2016 edition of Power & Influence magazine.
Mr. Sapers is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Criminology, and has been awarded a Honourary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Ottawa. Mr. Sapers is currently a member of the Ryerson University Department of Criminology Advisory Council and the Legal Aid Ontario Prison Law Advisory Committee.