Edmonton AA

Serving AA Groups In the Edmonton Area

The Corrections Committee meets on the 4th Wednesday of every month at 7.30 PM at the Alano Club (10728—124 Street NW, Edmonton, AB)

There is always a need for both male and female volunteers to take the message of recovery into prisons.

The Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous was in its seventh year when a pioneering warden at San Quentin asked nearby A.A.s to carry the message to alcoholics in the prison. The year was 1942—the warden was Clinton Duffy. He was heard to say, “If the A.A. program will help just one man, I want to start it.” Today there are hundreds of A.A. groups behind the walls, as well as corrections committees serving them. In 1977, the General Service Conference recommended that the Institutions Committee be dissolved and two new committees—one dealing with Corrections, and one with Treatment Facilities—be formed. The 1983 General Service Conference recommended that a Corrections Workbook be developed for carrying the A.A. message into correctional facilities.

Why A.A.s Carry the Message Behind the Walls

Many A.A. members are unaware of the important work being carried out by corrections committees. To those involved, however, corrections work is an opportunity to carry the A.A. message to the confined alcoholic who wants to live sober, one day at a time. Through a corrections committee working with corrections personnel, alcoholics are reached who might never otherwise find the A.A. program. An active corrections committee is a vital link to prisons and jails, providing professionals and other workers in correctional facilities with information about A.A., literature, and guidelines for setting up A.A. groups on the inside.

A.A. Volunteers in Correctional Facilities

A.A. members wishing to carry our message to alcoholics behind the walls of correctional facilities should understand that we always do so within the regulations of such institutions. A.A. members are usually treated no differently than other volunteers and, therefore, they are usually subject to the same regulations. Since regulations can and do vary, A.A. members will need to be informed about the specific rules and regulations for each facility they would like to enter. To that end, good communication between corrections administrators and local A.A. committees is essential. Following are some common volunteer regulations that A.A. members may be required to follow:

  • Facilities may require A.A. volunteers to sign agreements stating that the A.A. member will comply with local, state, and federal regulations regarding correctional facilities and prisoners.
  • Facilities may not allow A.A. volunteers to be on the visitors list of any inmate currently in that facility.
  • Facilities may not allow A.A. volunteers to take phone calls from inmates currently in that facility.
  • Facilities may not allow A.A. volunteers to have any contact with the families of an inmate currently in that facility.

Deciding to participate in Corrections Twelfth Step work is an important individual decision. A.A. members should carefully read all paperwork required by correctional facilities, and fully understand and be willing to comply with all rules and regulations prior to commencing such work.

From A Letter by Bill W. to a prison group in 1949:

Every A.A. has been, in a sense, a prisoner. Each of us has walled himself out of society; each has known social stigma. The lot of you folks has been even more difficult: In your case, society has also built a wall around you. But there isn’t any real essential difference, a fact that practically all A.A.s now know. Therefore, when you members come into the world of A.A. on the outside, you can be sure that no one will care a fig that you have done time. What you are trying to be—not what you were—is all that counts with us.

If you want more information about work in Corrections in the Edmonton Area, please leave your information at Central Office.