Who are we?

We are a non-profit, charitable organization that is concerned with the causes and consequences of crime. We believe that crime is a community problem that requires community-based solutions.

Our History

The John Howard Society of Grande Prairie takes its name and spirit from the 18th century humanitarian, John Howard (1726-1790), whose name has become a symbol of humane consideration for incarcerated individuals.

John Howard was a voluntary and unofficial enquirer into the subject of 18th century prisons and prisoners. In 1773, John Howard began his work as a prison reformer as the Sheriff of Bedford. For the next twenty years Howard worked to improve the terrible conditions of prisons. His report, “On the State of Prisons in England and Wales,” along with other writings, was instrumental in establishing regulations to reform prison systems.

John Howard was not afraid to voice his concerns or critique prison conditions. On one of his seven trips to Europe, he told the Emperor of Vienna that he would rather be hung than stay in the Emperor’s dungeons. As a private, involved citizen, John Howard set an example that has become a cornerstone of the John Howard Societies: there cannot be effective crime prevention solutions without community participation.

In 1866, the Howard Association was formed in England to continue John Howard’s work. This association merged with the League for Penal Reform in 1921 to form the “Howard League of Penal Reforms.” The first official John Howard Society in Canada was formed in Vancouver in 1924 and officially incorporated in 1931. The John Howard Society of Alberta was established in 1948. The John Howard Society of Grande Prairie started as a committee of citizens in 1979 and was formally incorporated as a non-profit society in 1986.


Informed, collaborative, effective and humane responses to the causes and consequences of crime.



Prevention not prisons.


Core Values

  • We believe that every individual has intrinsic worth and has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • We believe in the potential of all human beings and in their capacity for growth and change.
  • We believe that all individuals have the right to live in a safe and peaceful society and that justice is best served through measures that resolve conflict and restore harmony.
  • We believe that individuals are responsible for their own actions and must be held accountable for those actions.
  • We believe that the root causes of crime are found within communities and that the solutions to crime are also found in communities.
  • We believe in serving community needs by cooperating and collaborating to achieve a healthy and safe society.


The John Howard Society of Grande Prairie supports:

  • Re-integration
  • Education
  • Social Development
  • Restorative Justice
  • Crime Prevention
  • Harm Reduction