Manitoba Multifaith Council

Manitoba Multifaith Council is an association of faith communities, representatives of faith communities, and individuals from various faith traditions throughout Manitoba. For more information see our annual report.
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Faith Communities Supporting Released Prisoners
Please join us on May14th, 2019 to listen to Rev Harry Nigh and learn some of the practical ways we can open doors to ex-prisoners.  Harry Nigh brings over 40 years’ experience in ministry with prisoners and ex-prisoners. He served for 14 years as the Director of M2/W2 in Ontario. In 1994, he helped create the first Circle of Support and Accountability in Hamilton for a man who had a long history of sexual offending. From 2003 to 2014 he served as Toronto Community Chaplain for Correctional Services Canada, and in that time helped form Dismas Fellowship for ex-prisoners and friends. Currently a network of 11 Dismas Fellowships have been planted throughout Southern Ontario ( He and his wife Shirley live in Hamilton.

Event detailsMay 14th, 2019, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 600 Cambridge Street, Winnipeg. 
Registration starts at 830 am. 
For tickets go to Eventbrite- click here

Print poster here

Corrections Committee - Events

Networking Event
On Feb 13th, there will be an opportunity for faith community leaders, pastors, staff, ministry personnel, etc. to meet at Kateri church at 794 Ellice Ave Winnipeg to network and learn more from each other how faith communities can support prisoners being released back into the community.  This may be of particular interest to faith community leaders who are interested in supporting released prisoners, but are not sure where to start. 
Please feel free to contact Bernie Mullins at 204-725-3532 local 2235 to RSVP or for more information.

Print full poster here

MIC Corrections Committee was responsible for the creation of chaplain positions in Corrections. They are now firmly in place. In recent years the committee has begun to look at the Correctional System itself.

The likelihood that a prisoner re-offends is high. 2 initiatives sought to help released prisoners.

  1. We appealed for volunteers to support existing organisations that were seeking to help released prisoners. We met with 5 such organisations, defined their volunteer needs, and then created a brochure that outlined volunteer opportunities. The brochure was distributed and spoken to at faith communities. We attracted 10 possible volunteers who were put in contact with the relevant organisation. We would have liked more, but realistically had not expected bigger numbers. We need to repeat this project.
  2. We created a 24/7 phone number which a released prisoner can ring for help. The phone is based at the United Church halfway house on Macmillan St. Each released prisoner is given a plastic wallet (provided by Manitoba Public Insurance) containing a card listing the phone number (printed and paid for by Corrections Manitoba) plus a listing of helpful phone numbers and addresses. The project is in the early days, and so far we are averaging 1 phone call/month.

We have been successful in making a small improvement for visitors to Headingley, where now 2 visitors can speak together with an inmate.

We strongly supported the Coordinator as he successfully sought a ½ time position for a Moslem chaplain – the first non-Christian chaplain.

Manitoba Interfaith Council had already played a strong role in successfully advocating the need for Traditional Aboriginal Elders. In recent years we have advocated for Aboriginal Christian Chaplains, but to date have been unsuccessful.

As listed in the Purpose Statement, our current projects are

  • Visiting inmates at the Headingly Institution and the Remand Centre, enabling faith services and discussion groups.
  • Providing information about community services for inmates returning to the community
  • Establishing a help line for ex-offenders
  • Sponsoring education and dialogue with faith and community leaders
  • Supporting the establishment of an Islamic chaplain for provincial institutions
  • Promoting restorative justice week information in congregations and faith communities

New Directions

The Corrections Committee is presently re-setting its goals for the coming years. To do this it is considering a wide range of projects. There is a need for new people to help work on these projects.

People interested in participating in any of these projects, or who wish to suggest other projects, should contact Tom at

1. Plan and Implement an event that celebrates the successes in Corrections.

2. Restorative Justice (RJ) - a justice system that aims at restoring people to become helpful members of the community) is close to the heart of faith traditions. This fall we will be bringing in a speaker from the Christian Council on Justice and Corrections to talk about what is wrong with the Justice System and to advertise events in the November Restorative Justice Week. We are seeking creative initiatives in RJ.  

3. Pilot Project for those not held criminally responsible. Prisoners suffering from mental illness become worse through incarceration. We want to create a pilot project for such people that accords them dignity and, when possible, allows healing to take place.

4. Housing for released prisoners – there is a huge need for this. We need to look at ways in which this need may be met.

5. Helping released prisoners when they re-enter the community. It is standard that a prisoner released from jail leaves with very little money and, at best, inappropriate accommodation, and no job. We are considering advocating for a paid position in Corrections for a person who prepares and enables release plans for prisoners, as also in Social Services to provide help once they are back in the community.

6. Research Review of Ways of Reducing Incarceration – an examination of those constituencies that have successfully reduced incarceration. (Note – this would be a task for one volunteer that has a beginning and an end!)

7. Raise Volunteers that work in Literacy and Basic Education in Corrections. We have wanted to do this for some time, but the present overcrowding and gang presence in Corrections will not allow any increase in programs.