Donna de Jong is the Executive Director of The John Howard Society of Hamilton, Burlington and Area.
The JHSHBA was established in 1949 and named after John Howard who lived in the 1700s and who after a couple of months in a French prison while on his way to Spain decided to be an advocate for prisoners.
The society’s mission is, “To provide programs and services to justice involved individuals and others, to achieve positive outcomes for the people we support and for the community at large.” Basically, it focuses on prevention, intervention and reintegration, or as Donna, summarized, before, during and after.
She said four million Canadians have a criminal record. Donna mentioned a number of myths about the society and then debunked them. Some are: only for men, only for people coming out of prison and soft on crime. 
There were a number of questions asked: Support from the Ministry of Health - none even after multiple requests. Restorative justice - great success with serious crimes but lots of preliminary work required to get buy-in from both sides. Hamilton Spectator article saying 81% of inmates in Hamilton Detention Centre were in custody on remand - plenty of systemic barriers caused by this where inmates jobs, families, etc. are impacted and where more room could be made available for those who are a more serious threat to the community. Political pressure - could be good if well informed but often for election motivation. Recidivism - a very small percentage have returned to crime. In US some states will not let anyone who served time vote even when out of prison - here prisoners can vote even while incarcerated.