Board of Advisors, Legal Line (since 2001)
Marisa is one of Canada’s leading experts at erasing criminal records from public record, and getting her clients USA Entry waivers so that they may travel easily into the United States. She has been a life long criminal justice advocate with an education in human services – counselling & therapy.
For over 20 years Marisa has worked in a harmonious partnership with Ian Levine and Antree Demakos, the Founders of Pardons Canada, and also Legal Line.
In 2014, Marisa acted as a consulting criminal records expert to Antree as she authored the nationally acclaimed 300 page book on pardons and waivers: Antree Demakos, Canadian Criminal Records and How to Start Fresh, published by Fitzhenry Whiteside. This definitive reference book has since been distributed, and is used by over 3,000 police stations, court houses, and probation and parole offices across Canada.
Everyone deserves to have HOPE so Marisa began championing for this under-represented group in the mid 1990’s.
Marisa’s background includes work with young offenders in open-custody settings with Operation Springboard which was established in 1984 as a community based agency working to support people who are otherwise under served. She then advanced to earn tenure with The Ministry of Corrections, now called The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), by facilitating programs for male residential clients in drug treatment facilities. This is where she discovered that her hearts passion was to help people get pardons and waivers and she began studying to become one of the best in the field.
She has enjoyed the last 20 years working with all levels of government in developing the most efficient and effective strategic planning, policy implementation, and innovative solutions designed to make things easier for her clients.
Marisa held many positions after being hand picked by the Founders of Pardons Canada. Starting her career as a Counsellor, then Team Leader, she moved into the Program Coordinator of the Courts Department & Parole Board of Canada (PBC) Liaison roles, US Waiver Dept. Head and finally, Director of Stratgey & Development for Pardons Canada, before she branched out with the unyielding support and full encouragement to build Pardon Partners.
Pardon Partners was created to meet the needs of her clientele … including ‘straight talk’ about the different stages of processing so her clients always understand THE TRUTH about this important application which affects their lives in such a positive rebirth, and real life way.
MARISA cares about people, which from her experience always seemed lacking with the ‘corporate-type’ take-a number-and wait attitude that other ‘helping’ agencies have adopted in her industry. Sadly, clients just become obscure file numbers that just get stuffed into filing cabinets until some eventuality forces them along the process without enough consideration for the applicants ideal well being. For Marisa, this sub standard approach to helping people motivates her to run Pardonpartners.com by always acting in accord with her belief that everyone’s life matters.
Throughout her long career there have been numerous and extraordinary legislative changes. Marisa has trained more than 60 staff, developed office-wide internal procedures, and established strong relationships in working with the courts and police, CPIC, RCMP, Parole Board, U.S. Customs & Border Protection & Admissibility Review Office, the Consulate General, and the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Office.
Marisa is committed to working with individuals who are ready to clear their name and START FRESH towards their best future, free from all the barriers that otherwise needlessly rob people of their peace-of-mind and ability to advance themselves long after their punishment has been served. She advocates that everyone would be wise to avail themselves of the opportunity which exists for them to apply for their pardon and rejoin society as productive and vibrant members. Once her clients criminal records have been cleared, every single person goes on to be optimistic, independent, and happier family members, friends and neighbours which invariably makes life better for all of us.