Women who have experienced conflict with the law may want assistance from community organizations, government agencies, and other service providers. But to receive that ‘care’, they must submit themselves to a variety of forms of what they regard as intrusive surveillance and coercive control over many aspects of their lives. The tension between care and control creates dilemmas for criminalized women that they must negotiate in all their interactions with social service providers. Criminalized women who access community services face problems that are caused or complicated by the marginalized positions they occupy within society. Thus it would be contradictory for community organizations committed to social justice to exclude ‘services users’ from having determination in the services they access.
Adrienne Mook worked for four years as the Program Coordinator of PACE (Programme d’action communautaire pour les enfants/ Community action program for children) at a community organization called CFAD (Continuité-famille auprès des détenues / Family Continuity after Incarceration). She is interested in collaborative learning, co-constructed knowledges, anti-oppression, resilience and strengths-based approaches. Mook believes challenges to non-profit organizations and community research lie in trends towards professionalization, and loss of a commitment to social justice principles.