Criminal Justice

criminal justice work of Quakers in Canada

Quaker Elizabeth Fry reading to the prisoners in Newgate, 1816. CC-BY British Museum

The worldwide community of Quakers has worked on concerns related to criminal justice for over 350 years. These stem from experiences in the seventeenth century of being imprisoned for our beliefs.

Our work is rooted in penal abolition (PDF) – seeking to eliminate the punitive mindset which pervades society and justice systems by transforming harmful approaches to ones that are healing.

CFSC’s work has focused on improvements to the treatment of prisoners, restorative and transformative justice, and the needs of victims (read a brief history of this work (PDF)). The present focus is on justice systems and their effects on children and youth.

CFSC’s justice mandate

CFSC’s Quakers Fostering Justice (QFJ) program committee works toward discerning, developing and encouraging responses that actively prevent harm, repair harm and move beyond harm in relation to the justice system. It does this in ways that are healing for all concerned and for society as a whole. The fostering of justice as healing is the ground from which QFJ’s methods, processes and partnerships emerge.

CFSC achieves this by:

Current issues and areas of work: