Guthrie House therapeutic community

BC Corrections partners with the John Howard Society to deliver a unique program at the Nanaimo Correctional Centre for individuals with addictions.

Guthrie House is a 55-bed therapeutic community, separate from the rest of the correctional centre, that combines work, treatment, counselling and around-the-clock behavioural modelling to address the root causes of addiction and give residents a chance at a new beginning. Individuals participating in this program are called residents.

To qualify, residents must:

  • Be serving a custodial sentence of at least four months
  • Meet behavioural standards
  • Undergo regular and random drug testing
  • Pass an assessment by their peers

Residents demand accountability from one another and will challenge insincerity. The progress they see in each other and themselves fosters a positive environment and dedication to the program.

At the end of their custodial sentences, residents are transitioned into the community, provided with assistance to find work and housing, and monitored for up to six months following their release. An impact analysis of the therapeutic community has demonstrated that it does help individuals make changes in their lives, with reductions in reoffending of up to 44%.

See Nanaimo Correctional Centre Therapeutic Community Preliminary Impact Analysis.

Resident philosophy

Watch this video for a first-hand account of how our staff and partners at Guthrie House use their holistic approach to help residents learn to live healthier, more positive lives:

See how Guthrie House uses a holistic approach to help