John Howard Society of British Columbia. Nanaimo Area Council

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John Howard Society of British Columbia. Nanaimo Area Council

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The John Howard Society of British Columbia was initially established in Vancouver in 1929 and incorporated in 1932, becoming the first John Howard Society in Canada. The objects of the Society as outlined in its constitution were: to seek to remove conditions which lead persons into crime; to befriend the first offender; to work for the wise and just treatment of those confirmed to penal institutions; to guide and help the mothers, wives and children of men in prison; to help discharged and paroled men and women to re-establish themselves; and to work for wise and just legislation with reference to court procedures and penal administration. The John Howard Society of Canada was later established in 1962. In 1983, the John Howard Society of British Columbia moved its head office to Victoria to act as an umbrella organization for the various independent John Howard Societies operating throughout British Columbia, including the John Howard Society of British Columbia, Nanaimo Area Council.

Over their histories, regional John Howard Societies in British Columbia have aimed their services towards delivering programs and services for people impacted by the criminal justice system, as well as those facing multiple barriers such as homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, and mental health disabilities. Programs and services have provided assistance with housing, education, employment, and other community-based needs. Regional societies have also been involved in services and advocacy to encourage alternatives to the social justice system, including parole, probation, bail supervision, and community assessments. The John Howard Society, Nanaimo Area Council specialized in local programs including addiction treatment, restorative practice, community reintegration, employment, and community health and wellbeing.

In September 2022, the John Howard Society, Nanaimo Area Council partnered with Connective and changed its name to Connective Support Society, Nanaimo. In its September 7, 2022 press release, the organization explained the change as a response to a need for unified programming serving the needs of marginalized people experiencing homelessness, addiction, and justice system involvement.

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