Welcome to Communitas (formerly MSCM)

04 Jul, 2012

Communitas uses restorative justice principles to assist the reintegration of those who have been in prison.  By assisting reintegration, Communitas works to reduce recidivism thereby enhancing community safety.  We enjoy the support of Correctional Service Canada (CSC), Montreal Community Chaplaincy (Aumônerie Communautaire de Montréal) and a number of area churches and community groups.

Mission Statement

Adopted at Steering Committee - January 11, 2012

Communitas is a non-profit essentially volunteer-driven, English-speaking organization, working in accordance with the principles of Restorative Justice for a safe community, through the accompaniment and re-integration of those who have served time in a penitentiary.

Guiding Principles

  • Serve the needs of those who are or have been under correctional mandate either institutionally or in the community.
  • Maintain our identity as an expression of community chaplaincy.
  • Be an informed voice on justice and corrections issues.
  • Build and maintain connections with important allies and partners.
  • Widely promote the work of Communitas for the benefit of those whom we serve.

Our Beginnings

The need for Communitas, a project whose aim is to assist those released from prison to reintegrate well into our community, was recognized in listening carefully to the concerns of prisoners about their prospects when they return to the community. We also listened carefully to family and community members when they spoke about their experience of loss and hurt related to all that brings about crime in the community and the punishment which follows from it.

This initial survey work was carried out in 1999, mainly in the Southwest part of Montreal from which the largest number of our focus group came. An ad hoc Steering Committee came together from concerned community members at the end of 1999, and Montreal-Southwest Community Ministries as we were then called, was launched.

Our work started then, and developed in welcoming prisoners back into the community and accompanying them in their transition. Within a year we had recruited a significant number of volunteers, provided appropriate training for them and in 2000 had formed a first Circle of Support and Accountability (CoSA). On 11 September, 2001, the first Open Door community meeting was held at the downtown YMCA.

These most important elements of our ongoing and developing work were established in those first two years of operation. Now we report each month on the work of some 50 or more volunteers; we can count more than 50 CoSA’s provided by Communitas of which 7 are still in operation, and Open Door, where between 25 and 50 people gather each week, has just celebrated 10 years of community-making.

Our Context

We are linked with, and serve alongside other community projects with similar missions of assisting the social reintegration in the greater Montreal area of those who have been in prison, all under the banner of Aumônerie Communautaire de Montréal, with connections to the Correctional Service Canada, the Parole Board of Canada, and the National Crime Prevention Service as shown in this organogram.

mscm organogram


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  1. January 17, 2016

    hello , my husband is makig time in ontario he has to apply for his day parole in the next 3 month we both are resident of montreal need to know if this is a halfway house if so what we need to know to apply you can email me back or call me at 514-553-3877

    • Wendy
      January 19, 2016

      Hello Carolina, MSCM is not a halfway house but we are an organization that aids in reintegration back into the community. Feel free to attend one of our events at Open Door (Tuesdays from 7-9pm at 1444 Union Street), we would be more than happy to receive you and your husband.

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