Northern John Howard Society of BC


Welcome to the home of the Northern John Howard Society of BC. 

The Northern John Howard Society of B.C. recognizes the tradional territories of the Lheidli T'enneh 

"The Northern John Howard Society of British Columbia is a non-profit community justice organization which works with, and on behalf of offenders, ex-offenders, their families, their victims and their communities. The Society promotes individual and collective responsibility to help those at risk, stop reoffending, repair harm and prevent crime."


People have the right to live in a safe and peaceful society as well as a responsibility to accept humane consequences when this right is infringed.

Every person has intrinsic worth and the right to be treated with dignity, equity, fairness and compassion without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex age or mental disability when involved with the criminal justice process.

All people have the potential to become responsible citizens.

Justice is best served through measures that resolve conflicts, repair harm, and restore peaceful relations in society.

Independent, non-profit, non-government organizations have a vital role in the criminal justice process.

History of NJHS & Bio:

The Canadian history of the John Howard Society began with a group of church workers in Toronto in 1867. Their mission was to bring spiritual help to prisoners in the local jail. In 1874 this small group became known as the Prisoners Aid of Toronto and recognized that more than spiritual aid was needed by the prisoners. The Prisons Aid Association of Toronto became inactive in 1915 when interest dwindled. 1929 a citizens' group led by General Draper, the chief of Police in Toronto reactivated the association as the Citizens Services Association. General Draper believed that the work of police was undermined by the circumstances facing people on release from prison. This organization of volunteers provided practical help to ex-prisoners with housing, clothing and employment.

In 1931 Reverend J. Dinnage Hobden formed the group in British Columbia under the same name of the John Howard Society. John Howard was a great prison reformer who lived from 1726 to 1790. The society aided prisoners and ex-convicts in rehabilitation and re-integration.Reformer John Howard

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 Societies between 1947 and 1960. In February of 1962 the John Howard Society of Canada was formed when all provinces, except for Quebec, ratified a constitution. Quebec joined the John Howard Society in 1980. The Northwest Territories joined in 1994.

The John Howard Society fills an important role in public education, community service and in pressing for reform in the criminal justice area. It is a secular organization not tied to any religious group.

Currently there are branches in:

  • Over 78 communities across Canada providing more than 450 programs and services,
  • provincial offices in all 10 provinces and the Northwest Territories
  • and a national office in Kingston Ontario

The John Howard Society of Canada is a national, provincial and territorial Society compromised of and governed by people whose goal is to understand and respond to social and health related problems with a focus on criminal justice.

The John Howard Society began working in Prince George in 1956 and was incorporated as the Northern John Howard Society of British Columbia (NJHS) in 1990 as an independent nonprofit Society affiliated with the John Howard Society of British Columbia and the John Howard Society of Canada. NJHS is governed by a community Board of Directors.

Latest BC News

Posted: Dec 11, 2017

The John Howard Society of the North Okanagan & Community Region's Dec 2017 Quarterly Newsletter is here. Inside you will find information on upcoming projects, donations and you will learn more about our Board & Staff. 

Vernon resident earns Spirit of John Howard Award

Posted: Oct 19, 2016

Prince George Citizen

Posted: Oct 17, 2016

2015-16 Annual Report Online

Posted: Oct 3, 2016

We achieved a huge amount in the past year, and you can read about it in our 2015-16 Annual Report.

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Last year, more than 112,000 people in communities across BC were helped thanks to the contributions of our supporters.
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