John Howard Society of Toronto

Mailbag Program

Notice: This program is currently on hold until further notice.

The Mailbag program is designed for people who are in jail with little or no family or community support on the outside, and would like the opportunity for contact in platonic correspondence.

A Pen Pal will be assigned to correspond with the person requesting to be part of the program. Letters will only be written while in custody.

  • Our Coordinator of Institutional Services reviews letters coming from within the institutions and the volunteer’s letter as well. Once the letters have been reviewed they are then forwarded appropriately. This is to ensure the confidentiality and safety of all participants.
  •  All of JHST’s programs do not permit any type of discrimination based on race, ancestry, place or origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, criminal record, marital status, family status or disability.
  • This is NOT a dating service.

Individuals who are interested in taking part in the Mailbag Program can make self-referrals via the John Howard Society of Toronto’s institutional volunteers and coordinators, other John Howard Society branches, or through other agencies, family or friends.

Upon receiving each request for service, we will advise the individual in writing. Whether a volunteer is available to correspond with them immediately. If a volunteer is not available, they will be put on a waiting list and a volunteer will be assigned at the first available opportunity.

When a volunteer becomes available both parties (the client and volunteer) are advised of the Policies and Procedures of the Mailbag Program.

All correspondence from both parties is mailed to the attention of the Coordinator of Institutional Services at the John Howard Society of Toronto.

Coordinator of Institutional Services
3313 Lake Shore Blvd W
Etobicoke, ON M8W 1M8