John Howard Society of Canada - Our Mission: Effective, just and humane responses to the causes and consequences of crime.

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The John Howard Society of Canada

809 Blackburn Mews
Kingston, ON K7P 2N6

Tel: 613.384.6272
Fax: 613.384.1847

Executive Director:
Catherine Latimer

Improving the Corrections System:
John Howard Society’s 5-Point Plan

2. Sue for Peace in the War on Drugs

An element of the War on Drugs was that tough penalties would reduce drug use.  While evidence suggests this did not happen, our prisons are filling with people battling addictions.  With improving knowledge, evidence of effective approaches, and an understanding that addiction is an illness, there are better more effective ways to deal with addicts who commit crimes than disproportionately long sentences for their offences.  These include:

  1. New Drug Strategy to emphasize harm reduction,  prevention, and treatment of the illness of addiction
  2. Effective non-criminal justice system responses to addiction
  3. Assessing effectiveness of interdiction strategy for federal prisons – possibly reallocating resources for harm reduction and treatment efforts

(a) Objective/Standards

Supreme Court of Canada decision 2011:  Canada (Attorney General) v. PHS Community Services Society:   Read More

(b) Evidence/Statistics/Reports

Why the “War on Drugs” is a total failure:  How can Canada design better policy around drug use?:  Review of Paula Mallea’s new book:  “The War on Drugs: A Failed Experiment”: Read More

Report of the LSE Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy, Ending the Drug Wars, May 2014 Read More

Huffington Post shows US War on Drugs linked to the rise in incarceration Read More

(c) Commentary

Globe and Mail, October 2, 2013, War on Drugs an Expensive Failure Read More

Globe and Mail September 30, 2011, Reports on the Supreme Court of Canada decision relating to BC’S Insite, a safe injection site Read More

Richard Branson – Just say “no” to the war on drugs: Read More

(d) Promising Programs/Approaches

Guthrie House Therapeutic Community in Nanaimo recognized for the success of its innovative program in supporting the successful reintegration of prisoners with addiction issues:  Kudos John Howard Society Nanaimo Region:  Read More

Community drug treatment programs would make Ontario safer:  Read More

Thunder Bay’s progressive drug strategy includes harm reduction and collaboration among a number of community agencies, including John Howard Society of Thunder Bay: Read More

(e) Options for reforms

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) released an evidence-informed report on October 9, 2014 recommending the legalization with strict regulation of cannabis: Read More

Drug use prior to incarceration and associated socio-behavioural factors among males in a provincial correctional facility in Ontario, Canada:  “This study provides the first Canadian data in the past decade on drug use by recently incarcerated adults. We found that drug use and behaviours that increase the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections remain very common in this population. Incarceration provides an opportunity to provide services and links to programs for people who use drugs, which could decrease drug-related harms to individuals and society.” Read More

(f) Recommendations

To be developed