Protesters cross bridge to support women in prison

The Lady Justice Walk in Saskatoon is an effort to highlight problems women face in the criminal justice system.

Saskatoon walkers carry chains as part of Elizabeth Fry Week

People in Saskatoon carrying chains across the Broadway Bridge for National Elizabeth Fry Week. (Peter Mills/CBC)

Many people in Saskatoon carried chains across the Broadway Bridge today to raise awareness for incarcerated women.

The Lady Justice Walk is part of National Elizabeth Fry Week. It's an effort to highlight problems with the criminal justice system.

Sue Delanoy, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan, said it is important to recognize the high number of women in prison.

"We want people to recognize that putting somebody in jail, especially a female, has a lot of other repercussions around it," Delanoy said. "Acknowledging the plight of children and women is important for us."

Delanoy said the majority of women who are imprisoned are mothers, which has a significant impact on their families.

"It's so easy for all of us to say, 'They committed a crime, just throw them in jail and lock away the key.'" Delanoy said. "We are just so much better of a society when women are well taken care of and so are their families."

One of the biggest problems, Delanoy said, is a lack of assistance for women with addictions, mental illness and victims of domestic abuse.

"We have way too many women on remand," Delanoy said. "They're in a void. They're not sentenced yet so they can't take part in any programming to get them back into the community. It's like dead space for them."