Nova Scotia woman who killed her daughter granted more freedoms
The Parole Board of Canada has recently granted Penny Boudreau some more freedoms.
The Nova Scotia woman, who is now in her mid-forties, is serving a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 20 years for killing her daughter, Karissa Boudreau.
The Parole Board of Canada recently granted Boudreau six escorted temporary absences to attend church and one escorted temporary absence to attend the home of a close friend.
"An escorted temporary absence is a temporary absence away from the prison, escorted by guards," said Emma Halpern, the executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia. She does not work with Penny Boudreau.
The decision, dated Nov. 29, 2021 read in part: “The Board views the proposed ETAs for family contact and personal development for rehabilitation purposes as being the next steps in a very gradual and structured release to the community.”
"It has been determined by experts who have designed our correctional model that in fact, gradual release back to community particularly for those who have had long term, long time frames incarcerated is the safest thing for our society because in fact, one of the greatest risk factors and I'm not talking about Ms. Boudreau here but just in general, one of the greatest risk factors for reoffending is a lack of community connection, a lack of supportive reintegrate programming, family connection all of those things contribute to high rates of reoffending,” said Halpern.
Karissa’s body was found in February 2008 on the banks of the LaHave River in Bridgewater, N.S. The 12-year-old was reported missing about two weeks before her remains were discovered. Her mother even held an emotional press conference with police while her daughter was still a missing person.
"I'll never forget watching the press conference with her crying, looking, wanting her daughter returned to only find out that she committed this crime,” said David Mitchell, mayor of Bridgewater.
"As a parent, I just cannot wrap my head around how you get to the point where you do that."
Boudreau later admitted to strangling her daughter with a piece of twine and placing her body by the river. Mitchell said Karissa’s murder is still hard for a lot of people in the small community of Bridgewater.
"It's impossible to make sense of what she did and so it's hard for people to reconcile that. It's also frustrating when someone was sentenced to life in prison and yet are gaining freedoms for most of us, we just can't understand how,” he said.
"For someone who murdered her child, to then be able to be out, it doesn't make sense.”