The Value of Supporting & Pen-paling with Prisoners: Breaking the Cycle of Crime

When individuals are incarcerated, they often lose contact with the outside world and feel isolated from their loved ones. However, studies have shown that when inmates have a pen-pal or receive support from the outside, it can significantly impact their rehabilitation and reduce the likelihood of reoffending. In this blog post, we’ll explore the value of supporting and pen-paling with prisoners.

The Importance of Support for Inmates

According to research, prisoners who receive support and maintain contact with the outside world have a higher chance of successful rehabilitation. This support can come in many forms, including pen-paling, sending care packages, and visits from family and friends. It can also provide a sense of hope and motivation to inmates who may be struggling with the challenges of prison life.

CTF’s Program Coordinator, Rachel Perry, encountered many prisoners who’s family had completely abandoned them during their incarceration. One inmate in particular told Rachel that in the 5 years since he was in jail she was the first person he talked to from the outside who wasn’t his lawyer. The Dreams For Prisoners program is successful because it combines two aspects of therapy for inmates: Firstly, it helps them understand their dreams and apply the messages to create change in their lives. Secondly, it helps keep the loneliness at bay and give hope to those inmates who have the potential to get their lives back on track.

Benefits of Pen-Paling for Inmates

Pen-paling is an excellent way to support inmates and make a difference in their lives. When inmates have a pen-pal, it can help them feel connected to the outside world, reduce their feelings of isolation, and provide a sense of purpose. Writing letters can also help inmates practice their communication skills, learn new things, and express themselves in a safe and healthy way.

Studies Show the Impact of Pen-Paling on Inmates

Research has shown that pen-paling can be an effective tool in reducing the likelihood of reoffending. According to a study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Corrections, inmates who receive at least one letter per month have a 13% lower chance of returning to prison than those who do not receive any letters. Another study conducted by the Florida Department of Corrections found that inmates who received regular letters had a 36% lower recidivism rate than those who did not.

How to Get Involved in Supporting Inmates

There are many ways to get involved in supporting inmates, including volunteering with prison programs or organizations, writing letters to inmates through pen-pal programs, and donating to organizations that provide support to prisoners and their families. By providing support to inmates, you can help break the cycle of crime and make a difference in the lives of those who may be struggling to find hope and motivation.

Get Involved in Supporting Prisoners Today

Supporting and pen-paling with prisoners can have a significant impact on their rehabilitation and reduce the likelihood of reoffending. Research has shown that inmates who receive support from the outside world have a higher chance of successful reentry into society. By volunteering with prison programs, writing letters through pen-pal programs, or donating to organizations that provide support to prisoners and their families, you can make a difference in the lives of those who may be struggling to find hope and motivation. Take action today and help break the cycle of crime.

Why CTF is Donation-Based

This week CTF received more than $100 in donations to help keep our phones & websites running. This generosity reminded me of the the reason CTF is donation-based. We have avoided grants & government funding so we can maintain our autonomy and authority over our programming. We’re different and truly unique to anything out there. Donations from socially justice-minded individuals keep our programs in our hands which allows us to run client-centered programming tailored specifically to the needs of the individuals, families and communities we work with. Thanks again to those who have donated recently or in the past. Your contributions are truly valued & deeply appreciated!

News From the Board of Directors

The CTF Board of Directors has been meeting weekly for the past three months. Our main goal is finding ways to sustain our ever-increasing transformation programs to inmates & their loved ones across Canada.

We’re launching a new multi-level membership package, training new volunteers for our pen pal program, and gradually increasing the number of clients we’re accepting through the crisis phone line services.

We’re very excited about 2021!

Nothing boring about these board meetings 🙂

CTF Now Receiving PayPal Payments

Since our inception in November 2018, CTF crisis phone lines have operated solely from the generous donations from supporters. When we offer a safe place for inmates to work through their issues we are creating a more peaceful environment both inside and outside the jail walls. Every human being has issues and when we work through them together all our lives can have more peace.

CTF is now accepting donations through PayPal on this website. Consider donating today to support our growing transformation programs in Canadian jails.

Did You Know We Offer Post-Release Counselling?

At the beginning, it was just me, Rachel, answering calls from inmates from Maplehurst Correctional Center in Milton, Ontario. In fact, Maplehurst is the biggest provincial jail in all of Canada. It houses people who have been charged with a crime but have not been sentenced or they have been sentenced and it is less than two years,

At first, way back in 2018, I was taking calls, listening to dreams, giving interpretations, and working on a book of dreams from inmates. One man, aged 22, started calling then and now, in December 2020, he’s been released and is still connecting.

Our organization has grown as our clients have grown. Now we have a post-release program as well for inmates who need some extra support as they transition to the community. Contact us for more information if you or your loved one would like more information on our post-release services.

We’re making it even easier for our supporters to donate!

If you would like to donate to any of the CTF programs you can do that now by clicking this link.

In 2020, we’ve supported victims & perpetrators of crime through a transformation process. We’ve helped with therapy, court preparation, social advocacy, and relationship building.

We currently operate three phone lines to jails in Toronto. If you’d like to donate to help us continue offering this support for free to our clients, please click here to send funds through a secure Paypal service.

In a Hamilton, Ontario jail we have about a dozen inmates interested in our 19-Day Correspondence course. If you would like to donate to help with the postage & fees associated with running this program, please click here for a secure Paypal donation.

We also deliver newspapers to our clients who are incarcerated and run a penpal program. If you’d like to help support either of these programs please click here.

We are excited about the growth in our organization in 2020 and look forward to an amazing 2021.

Become a Member and Help Reduce Crime

When CTF answers calls to the crisi phoneline or sends encouraging letters through the pen pal or transformation programs we are reducing rates of criminal activity.

How is this possible? I’ll tell you by sharing an example. One inmate called the crisis line daily for the full duration of his 6 month bid in a provincial jail. We did therapy sessions around past trauma, relationship work around his parents and girlfriend, and inner work to build confidence and clarity for a positive future.

When he got out of jail, he went back to school, moved in with family instead of going back to the streets, and he continued connecting with CTF volunteers who gave him support on his journey.

This is how we reduce crime. We are healing trauma. We are strengthening relationships. We are building skills and capacities.

When you become a member you can help your own loved one in jail or help sponsor someone else who is committed to creating positive change in their lives.

When you’d like to sign up as a member you’ll find a variety of options and can choose the one which best suits you and your family. We are working on a we website for our members and will share it here soon. In the meantime if you’d like more information you can send us a message on the contact page me we’ll get back to you with more details soon.

Rolling Out Our CTF Store

We are working hard to adjust to the changing times and to assess community needs. We’d like to help ease the hardships of people suffering most during this pandemic.

To this end we are taking great strides to expand services to our members, to supply useful goods and services to those in need, and to offer a continuous stream of positive encouragement and inspiration.

More details will be coming soon! Check here often for updates, special opportunities, and stories of success and growth.

It’s Been a While…

Dear friends, members, clients & readers!

Back in March 2020, I posted an article about delivering food packages to potential Covid-19 suffers and then shortly afterwards I became ill as well for about three weeks with something doctors said resembled Covid-19 but I was never tested. Back then, tests were reserved for people working on the front lines, people suffering with severe breathing issues, and seniors. Since I didn’t fall into any of those categories I was instructed by the health specialists to self-isolate for 14 days and go to hospital if symptoms worsened.

At that time, I fell out of the habit of writing daily and I’m really surprised to look back and see the last post was in March. The good news is this – CTF is still operational, even though it has been affected by the pandemic as most organizations have. Here are some highlights of the past nine months:

  • In July we held our first Annual General Meeting (AGM) through Zoom with participants from Ontario and British Columbia
  • At our AGM we elected two new board members, bringing the total to four
  • In September & October we launched a 19-Day Transformation Program in Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Center and we started looking into getting a 1-800 number
  • As of December 2020 we have six phonelines available to a dozen jails in Ontario
  • Throughout 2020 we connected with dozens of inmates & their families to promote transformation and personal growth
  • Richard Hasting’s book Dreams For Peace, which introduces the Dreamwork approach which is now used in jails across Canada, is now available in 5 book stores in the lower mainland, in addition to being available online
  • Some of our clients have been released from jail and have great success stories to share – they’ve gotten married, or are working in a chosen field, have completed their GED (high school) or other training programs, etc.

We are continually in awe of the strength, determination & enthusiasm for the inmates & families we work with. We thank everyone who has donated, volunteered, or contributed in some positive way to CTF clients throughout 2020. Time to put the year behind us and get ready for some new beginnings. You can look forward to more activity on this website, more updates, more information and exciting stories about transformation!

Photo by James Wheeler on

Local Man With Covid-19 Symptoms Recieves Care Package

Vancouver, B.C. – A local man with symptoms of the Covid-19 virus gave a thumbs up sign when he received 10+ bags of groceries donated today by nearby community members.

Three families contributed about $200 worth of fresh fruits & veggies, essentials like breads, and meats, as well as items for breakfasts and dinners. All three families are members of the Baha’i Community, near Vancouver, B.C., and the volunteer driver works with the Community Transformation Foundation outreach programs. This was the second week in a row of food deliveries for this household.

This gentleman is not alone during his struggles right now. As the whole world braces for the uncertainty of this virus, connecting with community couldn’t be more important. Actions such as this remind us that amidst a time of physical distancing there can be a lot of social cohesion & togetherness. Before our food packages came, this man said he had run out of food. I strongly believe no one should ever know the suffering of being hungry and not have a meal to eat. For this reason, I am filled with so much gratitude to the volunteers and families who reached out during a time of need and demonstrated that even in a time of social-isolation we truly are not alone.