Prison Program

TMI’s prison program operated in various federal prisons first from 1967 to 1978, and again in 2000.

In its earlier phase, 11 prison courses were offered at Leclerc Institution, St-Vincent-de-Paul’s medium security prison, and Archambault Institution in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines. Courses like “The Springs of Creativity”, “Canadian Writers and their Identity” and “Quest of Science” were given in line with TMI’s classic liberal arts programming.

Then, in 2000, reading discussion courses were offered anew at Cowansville Institution in Quebec for a total of 80 English inmates. Courses were held in the chapel and facilitated by Peter Huish, the penitentiary’s Protestant chaplain. Due to a shortage of funding available for English-language initiatives, TMI’s prison program had to be designed as religious programming under the auspices of the prison chapel. Courses focused on theological considerations around forgiveness, God and Scripture. Most notably, courses also included the participation of volunteer “outmates” as fellow students as a way to foster meaningful interaction, both intellectually and socially, between both groups.