Lesley Ann Van Selm
This profile was prepared when Lesley Ann Van Selm was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Lesley Ann Van Selm has developed a new citizen-based process for reintegrating and rehabilitating juvenile offenders that starts while they are still in prison and continues once they rejoin society. Before they are released, the process raises the young people's emotional intelligence. The program is shaped, vetted, and critiqued by the inmates themselves and is run by ex-offenders. After their release, the former prisoners are absorbed into society thanks to the support of a broad based network of potential employers, substantially decreasing the risk of recidivism. This process has gained the support of both the provincial and national correctional service departments across the country.