MCC Ontario reintegration programs closing due to funding challenges

group of people in a meeting viewed through frosted glass with the words Restorative Justice on the glass

Since 1998, MCC's reintegration program, which includes Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) and Faith Community Reintegration Initiative (FCRI), has supported individuals transitioning back into the community after incarceration. Through this program, MCC has worked alongside individuals to reduce victimization and empower them to lead responsible, constructive, and accountable lives.

It is with heavy hearts that MCC Ontario announces the closure of its CoSA and FCRI programs effective June, 2024. This decision is a result of ongoing challenges in securing sustainable funding for the programs' operations.

Over the past several years, MCC Ontario and CoSA Canada have diligently worked to secure long-term funding for the CoSA program and related reintegration initiatives. Despite these efforts, sustainable funding from both Federal and Provincial governments has remained elusive. Government funding is crucial in sustaining MCC's restorative justice reintegration programs, making it increasingly challenging to continue operations without it.

The closure of these restorative justice reintegration programs will also impact other innovative and restorative justice projects that MCC Ontario's dedicated staff have integrated into the program. While the program has received support from generous foundations and donors in Southwestern Ontario, shifting funding priorities has led to the loss of secure ongoing funding, making continuation untenable.

Over the years, MCC Ontario's CoSA and FCRI programs have played a vital role in building relationships, fostering community safety, and providing support for individuals transitioning back into society from prison. The dedication and compassion of countless staff and volunteers have left an indelible mark on communities across Southwestern Ontario.

MCC Ontario understands that the closure of these programs will be met with sadness and disappointment by core members, dedicated volunteers, staff, and community partners. In the coming days, MCC Ontario will work closely with community partners to support individuals in finding alternative support programs in the community. However, it acknowledges that this transition will present challenges, as these programs offer something unique and irreplaceable.