International Literacy Day - September 8th, 2019

This is the first book I have read from start to finish.
— Inmate at Bowden Institution

Our prison book clubs help Canadian inmates practice and improve upon their literacy skills constantly. According to the Literacy and Policing Project, 79 of every 100 people entering into correctional institutions do not have a high school diploma. When people have low literacy, they are more likely to be isolated, avoid engaging in community activities and opportunities and have weakened problem-solving skills. Struggling with socialization, citizenship, problem-solving and communication can potentially explain why such a disproportionate number of prisoners come from a background of low literacy. 

The Literacy and Policing Project continues to report that prison-based education programs (not unlike our book clubs) help increase rates of successful rehabilitation. They note that prison literacy programs can reduce the potential of re-offense by up to 30%. Having gained stronger literacy skills in prison, inmates can often approach job searches and employment with more confidence, and will possess the skills needed to succeed in a steady job. 

Literacy skill-building is a central part of why we are so dedicated to opening book clubs in every federal prison in Canada. Our members, volunteers and donors know the amazing impact these book clubs have on incarcerated people in Canada and we are so excited to celebrate our success and future today on International Literacy Day!


This painting was left behind by an inmate at an England prison after leaving on parole.

This painting was left behind by an inmate at an England prison after leaving on parole.