Prison Miistry / Restorative Justice

July 10, 2024

prison hands


The Prison Ministry/Restorative Justice (PMRJ) network is an area which the Society of saint Vincent de Paul needs to be more active in. There are many topics that come under the PMRJ. These include the inmates in our federal and provincial institutions and their families as well as the criminal justice system which often keeps inmates behind bars for months and even years while they await their time in court, which may end in freedom.

Prison inmates are there because of very bad decisions which can often be the result of childhood and adult life living in poverty. This is not to absolve them of their crimes but only a recognition of the need to include the criminal justice system in any of our efforts to alleviate poverty in Ontario and Canada. There must also be an acknowledgement and understanding of the effect of systemic racism has on both poverty and criminal justice.

There are a number of ways you can help, whether by doing prison visits, helping inmates upon release, providing various resource for inmates use and of course advocating for systemic changes to the criminal justice system.

We currently have a strong and growing PMRJ network dedicated to various efforts to address these issues while advocating for systemic structural changes. I would like to invite you to participate in the PMRJ network. We shall continue to add resources and possible activities to this webpage which can help inform our members and encourage them to join our network.

Jim Paddon, Chair