Corrections Committee of the Greater Toronto Area Intergroup
The GTA Inter-District Corrections Committee coordinates the work of individual A.A. members and groups to carry the message of recovery to alcoholics who are in custody. This committee meets monthly on the 1st Wednesday of each month to share the resources of the eight Districts in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) serving the Toronto South Detention Centre, Toronto East Detention Centre and the Ontario Corrections Institute. These resources include but are not limited to: assisting in the coordination of volunteers that go into these institutions, connecting those being released with AA members in Bridging the Gap, reaching out to Probation & Parole offices to carry the AA message, coordinating PenPal correspondents. For more information contact the committee chairperson.
Past experience has shown that attending an A.A. meeting on the outside on the day of release from prison is one of the most effective tools for them in making a sober transition and maintaining continued sobriety. It is strongly recommended that the person in custody who is an A.A. member have an A.A. contact on the outside (preferably with at least one year’s sobriety and of the same gender) who makes contact and arranges to meet him or her on the day of release to help in “Bridging the Gap” between the institution and A.A. on the outside. [Corrections Workbook, M-45i, p.36]
The Corrections Correspondence Service has been one of the most productive ways for individual A.A. members to carry the message to persons in custody. The General Service Office staff responsible for Corrections receives approximately 35 letters a day from persons in custody who wish to receive A.A. literature, A.A. contacts, interim sponsorship, and correspondence with A.A.s on the outside. It is difficult for an A.A. member behind the walls to participate in ongoing individual sharing about the A.A. program of recovery, particularly in large prisons. The Corrections Correspondence and PenPal services allows inmates to correspond with outside A.A.s on an individual basis. [Corrections Workbook, M-45i, p.45]; [PenPal Brochure]
A.A.s Carry the Message Behind the Walls because it is an opportunity to carry the A.A. message to the confined alcoholic who wants to live sober, one day at a time. Through a Corrections Committee working with Corrections personnel, alcoholics are reached who might never otherwise find the A.A. program. An active Corrections committee is a vital link to prisons and jails, providing professionals and other workers in correctional facilities with information about A.A., literature, and guidelines for setting up A.A. groups on the inside. [Corrections Workbook, M-45i, p.4]
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org, attend one of the monthly meetings (1st Wednesday of each month) being held virtually until further notice, or read more about AA and Correction Service work here.