Howard Sapers professional experience includes work in public policy, with a focus on justice, corrections, oversight, and accountability. He currently consults domestically and internationally on human rights and criminal justice, correctional policy and practice, the prevention of deaths in custody, and the intersection between mental health and criminal justice. He has been retained by provincial, territorial, and national governments and agencies, human rights organizations, NGOs, private counsel, and professional associations.
Between 2004 and 2016 Howard Sapers was the Correctional Investigator of Canada. Mr. Sapers has served as the Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Alberta, an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Director of Canada’s National Crime Prevention Centre Investment Fund and Vice Chairperson (Prairie Region) of Parole Board Canada. Mr. Sapers is a Past President of the Canadian Criminal Justice Association, was a long serving 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. In 2017, Mr. Sapers was appointed by the Ontario government to conduct a two-year independent review of Ontario Corrections that resulted in 3 major reports containing over 160 transformative recommendations.
Mr. Sapers is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Criminology and a Visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa Department of Criminology. In 2016, he was awarded a Honourary Doctor of Laws from the University of Ottawa. Mr. Sapers is currently a member of the CanFASD Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and a member of the Legal Aid Ontario Prison Law Advisory Committee. On April 15, 2021, the federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness appointed Mr. Sapers Chair of the Structured Intervention Units Implementation Advisory Committee.