John Howard Society of Waterloo-Wellington

About Us

Mission Statement

Effective, Just and Humane Responses To Crime and Its Causes


Healthy individuals and vibrant communities with minimal crime and the capacity to readily and positively address crime when it exists.
Our Values Are…

  • Safe and peaceful society and respect for the law
  • Dignity, equity, fairness and compassion when involved with the criminal justice system
  • All people have the potential to become responsible citizens
  • All people have the right and the responsibility to be informed about and involved in the Criminal Justice process
  • Justice is best served through measures that resolve conflicts, repair harm and restore peaceful relations
  • Independent, autonomous, non-government organizations have a vital role in the Criminal Justice process



Partner Assault Response Program

“I attended the PAR program here at John Howard. I was court ordered. At first I was very skeptical of how this program could help me and my marriage. My husband and I were very abusive with each other for 5 years. I thought it was over for sure. This program has taught me to be a better person, wife and mother. I believe anyone could benefit from this program. My gratitude to John Howard Society runs very deep. Thanks so much for helping me save my marriage and life.”

“I attended your PAR program twice. I found the teaching to be rather repetitive and the class was so long, but it ended up changing me entirely. I learned to manage my anger and understand healthy relationships. The teachers were understanding, patient, and gave great advice. Although it was sometimes humiliating to share my personal struggles in front of others, the other participants learned from my mistakes and vice versa.     Thanks so much!!”

Direct Accountability Program

“I was referred here by the Court for the Diversion Program. I found the entire experience to be positive! It was overall a learning experience for me. The two workshops I was referred to helped me understand why I had done what I did (theft) and how to avoid repeating this in the future.”

Community Aftercare Program

“I am an example of the healing and success of this Society: helped me with alcohol related problems.   (My Worker) has made a positive change in my life. His advice and support have been vital to my recovery.”

“I was attending John Howard for two years. I have been coming back to visit with my old workers as they provide me with support/references for help and knowledge. I am very happy with the service at John Howard.”

“I have found that the degree of help and counseling are unsurpassed. I find that even though I have to travel a little, it is 100% worth it. I feel that every town should have a JOHN HOWARD!!! My counselor is… # 1 in Canada without a doubt. He has really helped me to weather a few storms and I am very thankful that JHS is here. Thank you.”

“I was an addict for 10 years. I’ve been seeing (my worker) since 2001, on and off. Even though I took off on him many times and for long periods, he and John Howard were always there when I came back. They always supported me and offered resources. In 2010, I got serious about getting clean and I’ve been clean for 3½ years now. I’m working full time, got married and I have all my family support back. My success is due to the help from God and the John Howard.”

“I am a person with 28 years of incarceration under my belt. Since my release a few years ago and my contact with John Howard Society’s (Aftercare Worker), I’ve been able to break the cycle. I’ve never really had anyone to talk to without being judged when times got rough. I see (him) bi‑weekly and we talk about things that may be stressing me, or ways to deal with problems of everyday living. I’m going on my second year of freedom. Thanks … for being there to listen and give advice.”

Back on Track Program, Partner Assault Response Program and Aftercare Program

“I’ve been attending the building for the last two months on a regular basis. I’ve been for the Back on Track 2-day course. The info I’ve received has been helpful and I have passed it to my friends.            I also come for PAR and I have completed Phase 1.     I have already noticed the re-wiring within myself.        I also come for counseling and have received some really positive info and feedback. The staff from the entire building has been wonderful/caring and very informative.       Thank you to all at the John Howard Society.”

Extra Judicial Sanctions Program

“….. I would like to thank the volunteers of the John Howard Society….   They both were very helpful, kind and well knowledgeable…. “

…Their dedication to help youth in trouble with the law is really something special. The John Howard Society should be very proud to have (the volunteers) on their team.”Anger Management Workshop – Direct Accountability Program”If anger management, life skills and philosophy were introduced into our school system, we could help eliminate or radically reduce deviant behavior we often find turning up in the court system.  It was a lovely class where I felt my voice was being listened to and I found great joy in learning the productive cycle of thinking and action today in this workshop!””I learned a lot.  This program should be offered to schools at the high school level so we are better equipped to handle stress and anger “Substance Use Workshop – Direct Accountability Program

“Everything was well presented and helped me think of safe and healthy ways to deal with various substance abuse situations.  Overall, very happy with the program”



The John Howard Society takes its name from an 18th century Englishman who dedicated his life to prison reform. John Howard experienced prison firsthand when the ship he was aboard was captured by French privateers while sailing to Portugal in 1756. His experiences in captivity had such a powerful impact that after his release he spent the rest of his life trying to improve the miserable fate of prisoners in European and British jails. John Howard’s enormous effort resulted in significant reforms, including the Penitentiary Houses Act passed in England in 1799.

The example of John Howard reflects the credo of the present day Society, that citizens must be responsible for their criminal justice system. There are currently over 55 John Howard Society offices across Canada, 17 of which are located in Ontario. All Branches share common Core Values.


Board of Directors

Rose Rabidoux

Tara Ross
Vice President

Matthew Ichim

Jean LeDrew Metcalfe

Shirley Ann Hilton

Ameet Talreja

Melanie Garbarz

Bonita Bonn

Jennifer Adolphe

Mike Tennant

Eugene Fenton




Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy Statement September 1 2022

Our Commitment

The John Howard Society of Waterloo-Wellington (JHS) is committed to protecting the privacy of the personal information of its employees, members, donors and other stakeholders. We value the trust of those we deal with, and of the public and recognize that maintaining this trust requires that we be transparent and accountable in how we treat the information that is shared with us.

Defining Personal Information

While providing services, we frequently gather and use personal information. Personal information is any information that can be used to distinguish, identify or contact a specific individual. It can include personal characteristics (e.g. gender, age, ethnic background, education), health (e.g. health history, health-services received by them) or activities and views. Personal information excludes publicly available information and business contact information such as names, addresses and telephone numbers as published in directories.

Privacy Practices

Anyone from whom we collect such information should expect that it will be accurate, complete and up-to-date; and that it will be used only for the purposes for which it was collected. Any other dealing with this information is subject to your consent. We may use and disclose this information in order to act as required or authorized by law.

Appropriate safeguards have been set in place to protect personal information from theft and loss; unauthorized access, disclosure, copying or use.

Updating of Privacy Policy

JHS Waterloo will regularly review our privacy practices and update as necessary. Please check on an on-going basis for information on our most up-to-date practices.

Contact Information

Questions, concerns or complaints related to the Agency’s privacy practices should be sent in writing to the attention of:

The Privacy Officer
310 Charles Street East,
Kitchener, Ontario
N2G 2P9




Accessibility Feedback

Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) was passed by the Ontario legislature with the goal of creating standards to improve accessibility across the province.
One of the specific standards that has been developed and made law, is the Accessibility Customer Service Standard. The aim of the legislation is dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

We value all of our visitors and strive to meet accessibility needs. If you would like to provide feedback relating to your experience under this legislation, please click on the following link:

Download Feedback Form

Complaints Policy

John Howard Society of Waterloo-Wellington


The John Howard Society of Waterloo-Wellington is committed to providing high quality services and to dealing with and resolving complaints from community members as quickly as possible. All complaints and appeals will be handled professionally, confidentially and in a timely manner. The purpose of this policy is to set out procedures in the event of a complaint from a community member.


  1. Complaints must be submitted in writing (by mail, fax or email) to a Program Manager. The name and contact information for the complainant must be provided in order for the Agency to respond to the concern. The Program Manager will inform the complainant of the time frame for addressing the concern.
  2. Complaints will be dealt with as soon as practicable. A written response that explains the outcome will be provided to the complainant.
  3. All complaints will be documented and will include the contact information of the complainant, details of the complaint, the process involved in addressing the complaint, and the outcome. A summary report that includes the actions taken will be provided to the Executive Director.
  4. If a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaints process, the complainant may submit a written appeal (by mail, fax or email) to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will inform the complainant of the time frame for providing a response. A written response to the appeal that explains the outcome will be provided to the complainant. The outcome of an appeal is final.
  5. Complaints involving any financial or fundraising matters will be reported to the Board of Directors.

Contact Information

Complaints may be submitted by:

Email: (use “Complaint” in the subject line)

In Writing or By Fax:
John Howard Society of Waterloo-Wellington
Attention: Program Manager

Kitchener Office:
310 Charles Street East, Kitchener, ON N2G 2P9 Fax: 519-743-9632

Cambridge Office:
40 Ainslie Street South, Cambridge, ON N1R 3K1 Fax: 519-622-7043