Past Event


Public Safety, Compassion, and Community Integration: Meeting the Needs of All

A public forum presented by the Salvation Army Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre Victoria in partnership with the Vancouver Island Criminal Justice Association.

Our hope is to open a dialogue in developing solutions that will meet the needs of both community members and those returning to the community from the correctional system. The majority of offenders will return to the community, and with a community strategy to reduce crime and support individuals who are less fortunate, we have an opportunity to make a significant difference where we live.

We hope to welcome an audience that includes law enforcement, support agencies, and the community. Community integration is an integral part of corrections, as is understanding that many offenders or those living on the fringes of society are often marginalized prior to their incarceration. Some of the challenges facing offenders may include: a history of addiction and/or comorbid mental health challenges, social isolation and marginalization, lack of affordable/supportive housing, physical and/or emotional abuse, poor employment history, past problematic substance abuse, addiction, poor social/interpersonal skills, low levels of formal education, illiteracy, poor cognitive/emotional functioning, past trauma, brain injury, or any myriad of physical injury or limitations.

Presenters include:

Keynote speaker: Dr. Gabor Maté, A renowned speaker, and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté; is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics, from addiction to mind-body wellness. Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories, and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them. As an author, Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. His works have been published internationally in twenty languages. Dr. Maté is the co-founder of Compassion for Addiction, a new non-profit that focusses on addiction. He is also an advisor of Drugs over Dinner.

Dr. Maté has received the Hubert Evans Prize for Literary Non-Fiction; an Honorary Degree (Law) from the University of Northern British Columbia; an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University; and the 2012 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from Mothers Against Teen Violence. He is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University.

His website:

Dr. Bruce Alexander has studied addiction since 1970 through counselling addicts in Vancouver and in prisons, conducted psychopharmacological research (the"Rat Park" experiments), supervised field research on cocaine use for the World Health Organization, and served on the Boards of Directors of NGOs in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside as just a few of his accomplishments. He has published Peaceful Measures: Canada's Way Out of the War on Drugs, The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit, and A History of Psychology in Western Civilization. Since retiring from the university as Professor Emeritus in 2005, he has lectured frequently in Canada and Europe and was awarded the Sterling Prize for Controversy in 2007.

His website:

Dr. Alexander will be speaking about the short-term opioid problem and the long-term addiction problem. He will address short-term problems, which call for immediate changes, such as the availability of Naloxone for recovery and new safe injection sites, and how the long-term problem calls for much deeper thinking about the nature of society and how we can raise our children in a fragmented world.

Mary E. Campbell, an expert in corrections and conditional release, and a human rights advocate and most recently retired as Director General, Corrections and Criminal Justice, Department of Public Safety Canada where her responsibilities included expert policy, program, legislative and research advice to support 14 different Ministers and Parliament since 1984.

Ms. Campbell wants to ask: "What can I do for you?" When Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan wrote this song over 35 years ago, he was undergoing a period of personal renewal. In our own renewal of compassionate reintegration, we will be challenged to find our own meaning in this question.

Kyle M. Deschamps, offering insight from a unique perspective.

Social Media links:

Official Site:

Facebook event page (if applicable):



Please check out our theme song, "Halfway Home", by clicking the guitar below.


Community Recognition Award:
In 2002, Royal Roads University presented the society with its Community Recognition Award for the ongoing success of the Bill Mudge House. In their commendation, the university stated:

In keeping with our university's core value of promoting the greater community, and justice leadership, Royal Roads takes great pleasure in recognizing the Laren Society for providing this outstanding and inspiring community service.

Campaign Extension:
For sustainability and enhancement of service to our clients and community we have embarked on a major project to raise funds for the renovation of our current Community Living House and the construction of additional living space. We are in need of assistance to offset construction cost for a badly needed upgrade and extension to our existing home. This upgrade and extension is intended to improve the quality and dignity of life for our residents, and to provide them with a safe and stable living environment while they undertake training and programming to adapt to their new community.

Click here for more info.



Donate Now

Faites un don

Laren Society:
Journey from Inside Out

138 Dallas Road,
Victoria, BC, V8V 1A3

Tel. 250.381.7949
Fax. 250 381-5661

Home        About Us        Programs        News & Events        Funding        How You Can Help         Links