- Our ultimate goal after a crime must be the reconciliation of those caught in the conflict as well as reconciliation within the community as a whole. (A&P 1984, pp. 367-368, 46)
- Victims, offenders and people that work in the system all have needs that the church should address. (A&P 1984, pp. 367-368, 46)
- The state should provide adequate compensation to victims of violent crime or their survivors. (A&P 1973, pp. 278-279, 283, 40)
- A supportive program of treatment for people with addictions to drugs is preferable to punishment. (A&P 1964, pp. 354-355, 358, 96)
- Presbyterian congregations should encourage acceptance of people who have been incarcerated through support marked by realism and warmth, compassion and practical help. (A&P 1962, pp. 299-300, 302, 36)
- The church encourages non-discriminatory personnel practices in regard to employing people who have been incarcerated. (A&P 1962, pp. 299-300, 302, 36)
Select actions of The Presbyterian Church regarding people affected by criminal activity
2011: General Assembly raised concerns with the Minister of Justice that directing public funds to build more federal prisons may not adequately address challenges in the Canadian justice and correctional system which include:
- the need for more resources to treat mental illness and substance addictions.
- a disproportionate number of people who are incarcerated are racially and/or economically marginalized.
- inadequate funding for training programs that support the development of vocational and life skills resulting in fewer opportunities for people who have completed their sentences and returned to the community.
The church also communicated that the Government of Canada has the responsibility to protect the public and to ensure that funds allocated to public safety are wisely spent.
1984: General Assembly approved bringing concern for ministry to the victims of crime to the attention of the church and encouraged congregations to become involved in this ministry in every way possible including support systems, prayer, and pastoral services. The Board of Congregational Life (now the Life and Mission Agency) was asked to develop resources on the criminal justice system to sensitize congregations to the need of those involved at all levels in the system, but particularly the victims, so as to restore their spiritual wholeness. (A&P 1984, pp. 367-368, 46)
1978: General Assembly re-affirmed support for the work of the Church Council on Justice and Corrections (of which the church is a member). (A&P 1978, pp. 207, 52)
1973: General Assembly approved several reforms which the Government of Canada introduced to the criminal justice code (including legal aid and the abolition of corporal punishment). General Assembly asked that victims of crime be provided adequate compensation by the state and expressed concern for public safety in cases of temporary release, day parole, and parole. (A&P 1973, pp. 278-279, 283, 40)
1962: General Assembly encouraged acceptance of people who have been incarcerated through the support of groups working with people who are re-entering public life after a period of incarceration, non-discriminatory personnel practices and an outreach policy marked by both realism and warmth. (A&P 1962, pp. 299-300, 302, 36)
1952: General Assembly informed the Government of Canada of its willingness to recommend ministers to be appointed as prison chaplains. (A&P 1952, pp. 186-187, 16, 92)