Exiled in Canada: a sex offender finds refuge with Mennonites

Michael is a sex offender. He's nervous to talk with us, but he's doing it for one reason: to tell you about the people who helped support him as he returned to society. People who helped him when no one else would — a group of Mennonites from Regina, Saskatchewan.
(Getty)

[PLEASE NOTE: THIS EPISODE MAKES REFERENCE TO SEXUAL ASSAULT]

This is a story about a man named Michael. Or, a man we are calling Michael.
Peter Peters (left), Florence Driedger and Otto Driedger are Mennonites from Saskatchewan.

He's asked to be anonymous because he's worried that his family might be harassed — or even attacked — if we say his full name on the radio. That's because Michael is a sex offender.

He's committed sexual assaults on adults and children, boys and girls, and criminal psychologists have labeled him a high risk to reoffend.

Michael is nervous to talk with us, but he's doing it for one reason: to tell you about the people who reached out and helped support him as he returned to society. People who helped him when no one else would — a group of Mennonites from Regina, Saskatchewan.

Behind the 'Exiled' series

In this podcast extra we're talking with Sam Fenn and Gordon Katic. They've brought us documentaries over the past two weeks — both stories about sex offenders. Specifically, what it looks like to reintegrate a sex offender into society after they come out of prison. One doc focused on Canada and the other took us to the U.S. We've invited these guys here to talk about the backbone of these stories: academic research. Read more →

In this podcast extra we're talking with Sam Fenn and Gordon Katic. Over the past two weeks they've brought us stories about what it looks like to reintegrate a sex offender into society — in both the U.S. and Canada. 22:36

About the producers

Sam Fenn
Sam Fenn is co-host of the Cited podcast, a documentary radio program about research and higher education. He has produced radio documentaries about a Japanese American baseball player during the Second World War, the rise and fall of Vancouver's world-class drug policy, and a weekend festival for Christian teens. Sam has a MA in history from the University of British Columbia.
Gordon Katic
Gordon Katic is co-host of Cited. He has produced radio documentaries about the myth of the American "Superpredator," a fight over how to teach Canadian history, and the push for sex ed reform in Ontario. Gordon is taking a MA in journalism at the University of British Columbia.
Alexander B. Kim
Alexander Kim is a journalist and radio producer based in Vancouver. He is a producer for Cited and an associate producer for CBC Radio. He has reported for CBC Aboriginal, Arctic Deeply, Discourse Media, and Canadian Psychiatry Aujourd'hui. He is also the host and producer of Theoretically Speaking, a podcast about absurd science.