Eventually, most inmates re-enter society. By encouraging literacy while incarcerated, we help them develop empathy, listening skills, and self-awareness.
Who we are
Book Clubs for Inmates (BCFI) is a registered charity that organizes volunteer-led book clubs within federal penitentiaries across Canada. Currently (2016), BCFI is facilitating 26 book clubs inside 17 different penitentiaries in seven provinces.
BCFI runs French and English language book clubs for men and women incarcerated in minimum, medium, and maximum security facilities. Book clubs are usually made up of 10-18 members who meet once a month to discuss books, both fiction and non-fiction of literary merit.
Every month, hundreds of inmates participate in book clubs across the country and each year thousands of brand new books are purchased, read, and discussed.
MEANINGFUL LIFE CHANGES
Discussion is mediated by community volunteers, who guide conversation into themes such as identity, adversity, forgiveness, and resilience—and how these themes relate to the inmates’ lives. The book clubs encourage positive change through the power of literature.
The book clubs help inmates develop pro-social skills, such as respectful listening and speaking. And as inmates read and discuss literature, they also develop stronger reading and communication skills. All these together help them make meaningful life changes, and upon release reintegrate more successfully back into the community.
To establish book clubs in every federal penitentiary in Canada.