The Society has adopted a series of statements which set out the Mission, Methods and Description of the Society. These "Core Statements" are as follows:
Effective, just and humane responses to the causes and consequences of crime.
The John Howard Society of Canada is an organization of provincial and territorial Societies comprised of and governed by people whose goal is to understand and respond to problems of crime and the criminal justice system. They are fiscally responsible for the continuance of the work and service of the National Office.
In furtherance of its Mission, the Society:
works with people who have come into conflict with the law,
reviews, evaluates and advocates for changes in the criminal justice process, engages in public education on matters relating to criminal law and its application, and
promotes crime prevention through community and social development activities.
More specifically, the Society engages in the following:
Advocacy, which includes active, planned and frequent contact with the media, key government policy analysis, advisors and politicians and committees with respect to the promotion of the objectives of the John Howard Society of Canada;
Research related to the development and dissemination of briefs and positions on matters of national importance which incorporates positions of member societies in the furtherance of the objectives of the John Howard Society of Canada;
Communication with members societies to promote a coordinated consultative process which allows the national society to monitor and respond to the needs of members and facilitate joint projects between the John Howard Society of Canada and its members;
Community Education which focusses on the sharing of information among members and the promotion of the objectives of the John Howard Society of Canada to the members through board development activities and broad based community education initiatives which enhances the role of the John Howard Society throughout Canada;
Coalition building through a coordinated process of information sharing and the dissemination of materials with other like minded national organizations;
Resource development initiatives to strengthen the ability of the national office to further the objectives of the John Howard Society of Canada.