The Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia (EFMNS) is a non-profit, charitable organization devoted to improving the lives of marginalized groups of identified women, girls, non-binary, and gender diverse individuals who have been let down by a broken justice system that perpetuates inequality.
Advocate for restorative alternatives to incarceration by addressing systemic gender discrimination in federal and provincial correctional facilities across Nova Scotia.
To break the cycles that lead to criminalization by offering critical supports for transitional housing, programming both in jail and in the community to help develop essential life skills, and a range of court navigation services to provide underserved communities with the access to justice they deserve.
Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) was a pioneering campaigner for better conditions in British prisons during the Victorian Period. Her persistence for social change served as the catalyst for prisoner advocacy to treat all people deprived of their liberty with humanity and dignity. Gaining the support of prominent members of society, such as Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Fry played a significant role in changing legislation to improve the standard of care in the corrections system.
The first Canadian Elizabeth Fry Society was established in Vancouver in 1939. To create a strong network of local societies across the country, the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) was formed in 1969 and incorporated as a voluntary non-profit organization in 1978. Today, there are 24 member societies in Canada with two in Nova Scotia: Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia and Elizabeth Fry Society of Cape Breton.