About Us

Who We Are

The John Howard Society of P.E.I. , an affiliate of the John Howard Society of Canada, is an incorporated , nonprofit organization, which was founded in 1960 with a great deal of support, effort and involvement by the Kiwanis Club of Charlottetown. Its purpose was to assist Islanders involved in the criminal justice process in the difficult transition from institutional to community living. This assistance is still applicable today however , more and more emphasis is being placed on crime prevention.

The John Howard Society of P.E.I. is governed by a Board of Directors and encourages volunteer involvement, as appropriate in programs and services.

To help people so they can achieve their potential.

  • provide client-focused supports using strengths-based
    and harm-reduction approaches;
  • help to address prevention and diversion from homelessness
    and incarceration; and
  • build connections and referrals to supportive community services.

We envision a place where everyone contributes
to a safe, healthy and just community

  • We aim to create a safe environment for all.
  • We treat each other with dignity, fairness,
    and compassion.
  •  We strive to meet people where they are at
    – emotionally and physically.
  • We work to resolve conflicts, reduce harm, and
    restore peaceful relations in society.
  • We work collaboratively with our clients, our team
    and our community partners.
  • We are all accountable for our actions.


Our History

John Howard was an 18 century English nobleman who was captured by the French while sailing from England to Spain and subsequently spent five years in French dungeons before being traded back to England as part of a prisoner exchange. He was given the post of Sheriff of Bedford which had as one of its duties the task of inspecting the prisons. No Sheriff actually carried out these duties in the past, but john Howard was different. Shocked by the corruption, stench, filth, starvation and disease in the jails, he dedicated his life to improving prisons conditions through out England, Wales and most of Europe. His famous report on the state of prisons in England and Wales led to legislation against the more obvious evils of the system and slowly changed public opinion in favor of more humane prison conditions. It was 70 years , however, before there was significant reform.

In 1929 Reverend J. Dinnage Hobden of New Westminster, British Columbia formed a group to assist persons incarcerated upon release into the community following the completion of their sentence. On February 29, 1932 this group was registered under the , ” Society Act ” with the Registrar of Companies in British Columbia as the ” John Howard Society of British Columbia”.

In 1946, the Citizens Service Association in Ontario changed its name and became the John Howard Society of Ontario. Most other provinces formed John Howard Society between 1947 and 1960. In February of 1962 the John Howard Society of Canada was formed when all the provinces except for Quebec, ratified a constitution. Quebec joined the John Howard Society in 1980 and the Northwest Territories in 1994.

JHS PEI 2023 - 2027 Strategic plan

Person-Focused Supports
Inspire individuals to build confidence and promote self-sufficiency and stability.
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Prevention and Diversion
Influence positive impacts on individual lives and society through community leadership.
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Organizational Performance
Build organization capacity and culture to positively impact individuals and community.
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