The Organization

Reneault-Tremblay Award

The Reneault-Tremblay award is named in memory of the first Executive Director of the Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec.

This distinction aims to remember a man who spent a large portion of his life to promote community action and is awarded to an individual or a non-profit organization working in this spirit, for its outstanding contribution.

The ASRSQ gives away this award every two years to an individual or organization for its unique and exceptional contribution to community action in criminal justice, crime prevention and adult offenders’ social reinsertion.

It is the Association’s view that active community participation in the solution of crime-related problems contributes to social development and, consequently, to the well-being of our community.

The Recipients

  • Sister Marguerite Rivard | 2016

    The Reneault-Tremblay award was presented on June 9, 2016, to Sister Marguerite Rivard during the ASRSQ’s annual meeting, which took place at Drummondville’s Best Western hotel. By awarding her this prize, the ASRSQ recognizes the outstanding aspect of her social and citizen involvement with women offenders.

    Sister Marguerite, week after week, goes to prisons to offer comfort and hope. She helped, consoled and supported thousands of women since she has decided to meet with them, after 26 years in a monastery. Sister Marguerite has always given her all in her engagement towards women offenders. No rain, nor cold, snow or distance stopped her from visiting prisons in Joliette, Montreal, or Laval. Women have always known they could count on her. She was the first one to sound the alarm on the detention conditions once she realized that they interfered with the women’s moral and physical integrity. She spoke to everyone who would listen on the “Tanguay women who were sacrificed on the altar of austerity” and never hesitated to use the media to inform the population on their conditions at the Leclerc Building. Her commitment to these women and her sense of justice guided her actions, and we can only be in awe of her determination and courage.

    She is one of the thousands of volunteers working in the shadows every day to bring comfort and hope through their welcoming presence and empathetic listening, in order to provide a bit of happiness. Sister Marguerite became the confidant of thousands of incarcerated women, some of them confided in her their deepest secrets. Because of her compassionate look, her smile and her resilient listening, they found a reason to live and move on, despite the sadness, shame and suffering.

    At 83 years old, she still has many years in front of her, thanks to her good health, insightfulness and loving heart. We wish that she will be able to continue her mission for a long time.

  • Centre d’intervention en violence et agressions sexuelles (CIVAS) | 2014

    The Reneault-Tremblay award was presented on May 6, 2014, to the Centre d’intervention en violence et agressions sexuelles (CIVAS) during the ASRSQ annual meeting, held at the Manoir des Sables, in Orford. By awarding them this prize, the ASRSQ recognizes the outstanding aspect of their involvement and contribution in the treatment of sexual offences. Mrs. Sara Martinet, Executive Director of the CIVAS, received the distinction with gratitude.

    The Centre d’intervention en violence et agressions sexuelles (CIVAS) of the Estrie region celebrated its 20th anniversary last year (2013). Building on its past for a stronger future, the CIVAS works on a daily basis to offer interventions with the latest techniques in the field of sexual assaults, while remaining respectful of its clientele and collaborators. Since its beginnings, the CIVAS worked its way through, despite criticism, and the stigmatization of its field of expertise. While developing on a regional level, the CIVAS contributed to the provincial development of this field of intervention by adding to the resources of the Chaudière-Appalaches and Montérégie regions. On a regional level, the CIVAS keeps building new partnerships and strengthening existing ones. Recently, the organization turned to supporting the caregivers of their clientele by developing an entire program dedicated to helping them. In fact, a workshop on the subject was offered at the last CIFAS in Quebec. The CIVAS also established the PACIS program (for teenagers) in the Estrie region and collaborated with an impressive number of partners and collaborators, namely the CALACS, the Santé Bien Être des Hommes (SBEH) committee, the Rencontres Délinquant-Victime (RDV) program and the Soutien aux Hommes Agressés Sexuellement durant l’Enfance (SHASE) organization. While maintaining its professional services, the organization made it a priority to actualize its procedures, both clinical and administrative. The CIVAS Estrie team, in partnership with the CIVAS Montérégie, reassessed the entirety of its therapeutic program, in both content and structure; the therapy is now held over 20 months, and includes 74 workshops based on modern practices.

    We should mention that the CIVAS received a special mention from the RIMAS and the Montreal Philippe-Pinel Institute for the quality of its modernization. For the past 15 years, the CIVAS also collaborated in the organization of an annual symposium on crime prevention and intervention. The CIVAS Estrie is an open-minded resource, built on values such as respect, equality, accountability and autonomy.

  • Robert Woodrough | 2012

    The ASRSQ’s board of directors decided in 2011–2012 to modify its Reneault-Tremblay award criteria of attribution by adding a category of recipient: an employee of the community network known in the field for their values, creativity and community involvement, as well as their ability to act in the social reinsertion context and to promote alternate measures to incarceration. The award can be given as a celebration of the person’s career, or their participation in the development of important and innovative projects in social reinsertion.

    The 2012 recipient of the Reneault-Tremblay award is the very first one for this new category. The ASRSQ’s board of directors exceptionally decided to proceed without a jury, as one candidate clearly stood out. This person is Mr. Robert Woodrough.

    After receiving its Bachelor ès Arts degree, Robert began his career at the Canadian Employment and Immigration department, where he encountered the world of working conditions and employability. Craving new challenges and now aware of the specific needs of offenders, he decided to join the community work side in 1978, and began a long and successful career, in which he was the architect in the development of specialized services geared towards inmates of four penitentiaries. This lead to the creation of a community-focused manpower centre called OPEX. In 1982, Robert joined the Via-Travail corporation and OPEX became OPEX82. 

    Robert’s project never stopped growing and Via-Travail now provides employability services in Montreal, Laval and Laurentides-Lanaudière, in addition to nine federal penitentiaries and two provincial prisons. This amounts to 34 individuals servicing over 650 offenders in their community and 1,200 in detention. We can say that the employability services developed by Robert constitute a unique integrated services model in Canada when it comes to the community correctional services field.

    But Robert could not stop there. He founded, in 1987, the CRC La Maison Essor, which moved a few years later to Montreal’s Ahunstic neighbourhood, in a building that once housed a religious community.

    Robert’s social involvement could not be limited to his corporation. Aware that any community action is positioned within a larger frame and that it is crucial to build and maintain a strong network in which each member can find strength and support, Robert got involved in a big way. He did so most notably with his colleagues of other employability organizations on different common cases, including that of the federal transfer of work force services to the provincial level, and by creating the Advisory committee for the adult offender population. But it still was not enough for him, as he had to get actively involved in the ASRSQ throughout the nearly 30 years he worked with OPEX and Via-Travail. He was part of the Association as both an administrator or committee member. He retired on March 31, 2011.

    In recognition of Robert Woodrough’s outstanding work in the field of social reinsertion in Quebec and within the ASRSQ’s community network for more than 30 years, the Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec’s board of directors awards him the 2012 Reneault-Tremblay award.

  • Services d’aide en prévention de la criminalité (SAPC) | 2010

    The Reneault-Tremblay award was presented on May 19, 2010 to the Services d’aide en prévention de la criminalité (SAPC) at the ASRSQ’s annual meeting, held at the Manoir des Sables, in Orford. By awarding them this prize, the ASRSQ recognizes the outstanding aspect of their involvement with the incarcerated population and their contribution to the volunteer engagement. Mr. Gaétan Cloutier, the SAPC Executive Director, received the award with emotion.

    If at first it was focusing on helping inmates during its first few years of existence, the SAPC has since broaden its mission to provide support and comfort to anyone presenting difficulties of adaptation in society, whether they come from the prison environment or not. Through a dozen specialized services and the support offered by both its volunteers and employees, the SAPC promotes social reinsertion of any individual showing difficulties of adaptation in society, whether they are offenders, vulnerable, with fragile mental health, drug addicts or homeless, presenting high risks of homelessness, or anyone who needs help and support. Social rehabilitation cannot happen without social inclusion, which is why the presence of volunteers is highly important. The SAPC’s consideration for its volunteers proves that the organization recognizes the importance of the contribution of the community with a population that is often left behind. Through this aspect, the SAPC is a model of community engagement. All of the services it developed over the past 46 years expose a perfect sensibility towards mankind, regardless of its condition.

  • Henriette Doré-Mainville and Claude Mainville | 2008

    The Reneault-Tremblay award was presented yesterday to Henriette Doré-Mainville and Claude Mainville at the Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec’s annual meeting, held at the Manoir des Sables, in Magog. By awarding them this prize, the ASRSQ recognizes the outstanding aspect of their involvement with the incarcerated population.

    Since their wedding, 38 years ago, they have been working together with the incarcerated population in helping them in their social reinsertion process, so they can regain their dignity. Their involvement and dedication is limitless: spiritual growth, workshops on forgiveness, training sessions and healing, palliative care, guidance, active listening, press relations, conventions, symposia, etc. They were the 2004 recipients of the Regional Volunteering award of Correctional Service Canada. They had then reached 5,544 hours of volunteering in different correctional institutions. They have also served in halfway houses and many community organizations. The Maison Joins-toi in Longueuil would never have opened without them. Their contribution is exceptional and has an extremely positive effect on the incarcerated population and their kin, the CSC employees and the community. The Doré-Mainville couple is a source of inspiration and a model of perseverance, hope and humanism for all.

  • Marie Beemans | 2006

    Yesterday, Marie Beemans received the Reneault-Tremblay award given by the Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec in front of the 130 people in attendance at the Vieux Clocher de Magog. It is with great pleasure, pride and emotion that the ASRSQ presented this award to Marie Beemans for her continuous outstanding involvement with the incarcerated population.

    Marie Beemans is the perfect volunteer who gives without ever looking to receive, never counting her time nor money. Nicknamed Ma Dalton, Marie Beemans is entirely devoted to helping others. Strong believer in liberty and convinced anti-conformist, she flies all across the province from institution to institution, always ready to talk to the press or in front of government committees. Fighting every battle, she was particularly involved during the last campaign aiming to bring back the death penalty.

    Her first contact with the prison world happened when she was 17 years old (she lied about her age to get into Ottawa’s communal prison) and it convinced her that she was born into privilege: young girls her age were incarcerated there for minor crimes, held back by their misery and lack of education. She then spent most of her free time in between classes (and would even skip a few) to help her new acquaintances. She then pursued her mission at Kingston’s women prison. In 1982, she began doing interventions in men penitentiaries, while still remaining active within the women community. She was also president of the Church Council on Justice and Corrections and a member of the ASRSQ’s board of directors for many years. She helped establish the Face to Face program that facilitates visitation between volunteers and inmates. In 2001, during the International Year of Volunteers, the Canadian government celebrated her model involvement.

    From Deux-Montagnes, where she raised her family, to Kent Street, in Montreal, where she lived for a few years (a home where she never needed keys, why lock a door?) she cannot count the number of people of all walks of life who stayed with her. For many years, not a week would go by without her welcoming someone in need: refugees, children, prostitutes and ex-inmates. In fact, since 1991, her house has been a residential care home for paroled inmates from federal penitentiaries. Two or three men, at the end of long sentences, cases that halfway houses cannot receive, arrive at Marie’s, who help them find a certain autonomy and never leave them behind, even once their stay is completed.

    For her many years of dedication for those she always considered her extended family, the ASRSQ believes that Marie Beemans deserves the Reneault-Tremblay award.

  • The Joins-toi | 2004

    In addition to celebrating its 30th anniversary, the residential care corporation the Joins-toi, located in Granby, was granted today, in front of 130 people, the Reneault-Tremblay award, given by the Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec (ASRSQ).

    It is with great joy, pride and emotion that the ASRSQ presented this distinction to the Joins-toi for the exceptional contribution of its founding members who made a difference in promoting two causes: the importance of the social reinsertion of adult offenders, and the citizen involvement in supporting these offenders. 

    The Joins-toi was created in order to welcome inmates serving in the community. At first, sisters from the Society of the Helpers of the Holy Souls hosted the inmates in a section of their covenant. Despite tensions arising at first within the residents of the neighbourhood who discovered the practice, its pioneers and those who followed rallied the entire community.

    The convictions on which these pioneers built the Joins-toi must be celebrated, as they illustrate open-mindedness, tolerance and a deep belief in mankind. The precursor of the Joins-toi then believed in the importance of offering a place to everyone in the community, through the promotion of citizen participation in the administration of delinquency justice.

    The Joins-toi closely works with the community and other organizations to the betterment of the entire community. Throughout the years, the Joins-toi established a strong and positive relationship with the community and contributed to fix many crime-related issues in its region through different programs designed for the needs of the population, and acted as trailblazers for other halfway houses in Quebec.

    For all of these reasons, the ASRSQ believes that the Joins-toi deserves the Reneault-Tremblay award.

  • Roger St-Pierre | 2002

    In 1995, Mr. St-Pierre had all of his woodworking tools stolen. Instead of judging the perpetrators, he tried to understand them and find ways to help them; this is how the organization Main tendue aux jeunes de la rue was born, in Saint-Eustache.

    For over seven years now, Mr. St-Pierre has focused on the social reinsertion of street youth by trying to find solutions to different issues, such as nutrition, housing, drug use and life organization. He offers a plethora of activities (for instance, cooking and baking classes) with great results, as they are held in values like democracy, creativity, solidarity, social justice, human dignity, self-respect and the respect of others and their differences. 

    Monseigneur Paul Guay, from the Trois-Rivières region, was also awarded a special mention for his continuous involvement with the underprivileged, most notably the incarcerated population and offenders.

  • Geneviève Tavernier | 1999

    This woman from Sainte-Marie-de-Monnoir keeps fighting with all her might to make sure the underprivileged have their place in society. Mrs. Tavernier is a retired journalist who presides over the board of directors of the Joins-toi, an organization dedicated to the social reinsertion of adult offenders. She fought every battle to make sure that these individuals have the appropriate support to be able to make positive change in society and contribute to its well-being. Lately, she was participating in implementing a similar resource in Longueuil, the first of its kind in the region.

    Moreover, the jury also awarded a special mention to Mrs. Marie Beemans for her active involvement in a similar field.

  • Service action communautaire de l’Outaouais (SACO) | 1997

    A true initiatives’ incubator aiming to fulfill the needs of the Outaouais population, this organization was the originator of the establishment of services for young offenders and victims of criminal acts. Its popularity grew when it started providing services to the underprivileged unable to pay their fines. SACO offers a program of alternative measures to incarceration for these individuals.

  • Bruno Dandenault | 1992

    This man contributed in a big way to establishing services for the underprivileged in the Estrie region. He is one of the founding members of the Service d’aide aux prisonniers de Sherbrooke. He acted as the chaplain for adult offenders at the Cowansville penitentiary. He contributed to the outreach of halfway houses in Quebec and participated in establishing services for inmates dealing with alcoholism and drug abuse.

  • Société Elizabeth Fry of Montreal | 1989

    The Société Elizabeth Fry contributed to the establishment of services for women offenders. The Société founded the first halfway house for delinquent women. It offered rehabilitation programs within the Tanguay prison and developed alternatives to incarceration for women dealing with shoplifting issues.