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These books are available for borrowing through the MOMS Lending Library in Ottawa. If you do not live in Ottawa, check at your local library.

Why Good People Do Bad Things: How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy: Debbie Ford

This book exposes the pervasive and often hidden impulses that influence our everyday decisions. Debbie Ford expertly guides us into the heart of the duality that unknowingly operates within each one of us: the force that compels us to live by our values, give and receive love, and be a contributing member of the community, and the force that holds us back, sabotages our efforts, and repeatedly steers us toward bad choices.

Through the Glass: Shannon Moroney

Through the Glass is an intimate and gripping journey into prisons, courtrooms and the human heart in which she reveals the far-reaching impact of Jason’s crimes, the agonizing choices faced by the loved ones of offenders and the implicit dangers of a correctional system and a society that prioritizes retribution over rehabilitation and victimhood over recovery. 

The Criminal’s Handbook: A Practical Guide to Surviving Arrest and Incarceration in Canada: C.W. Michael

The Criminal’s Handbook is an unflinching and practical document that delivers important survival techniques for anyone unfortunate enough to be arrested, tried, and incarcerated in Canada. 

Walking After Midnight: One Woman’s Journey Through Murder, Justice and Forgiveness: Katy Hutchison

“Many people who have been harmed or wronged often feel that to respond with non-violence and forgiveness is to be weak.  As Katy Hutchison reveals here, to forgive and seek reconciliation not only requires even more strength than a resort to force or retaliation, but also ensures deeper, more far-reaching beneficial consequences for all concerned. I am sure her remarkable story  will serve as an inspiration to others beset by grief and loss as  she was.” The Dalai Lama

Addictive Thinking: Understanding Self-Deception: Abraham J. Twerski

Addictive thought is inherently self-deceptive, yet often offers a superficial logic that can easily seduce and mislead the addict, as well as family members. Dr. Twerski presents a vivid and understandable portrait of this devastating disease, with examples from his own clinical practice of how it affects the cognitive processes, decision making and reasoning of the addict. Fascinating from the perspective of human behavior (everyone will recognize some of their own self-deceptions in this book!) and very helpful for anyone who is trying to understand, or help someone with severe addictions.

Orange is the New Black: Piper Kerman

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424—one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system.

Cool Heads at Kingston Pen: Ron Haggart

Written by the reporter, Ron Haggart, who helped resolve the 1971 riot at Kingston Pen. After the inmates summoned his help, he and others mediated an end to the crisis.

Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? : Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life’s Difficulties: Ajahn Brahm

The 108 stories in Who Ordered this Truckload of Dung? offer thoughtful commentary on everything from love and commitment to fear and pain. Drawing from his own life experience, as well as traditional Buddhist folk tales, author Ajahn Brahm uses over 30 years of spiritual growth as a monk to spin delightful tales that can be enjoyed in silence or read aloud to friends and family.

What Should I Say? Sandra Keller

This is the story of Lucy, a little girl who lives with her dad and Granny while her mother is in prison. This book can lend insight into the questions that often arise when a parent is in prison. It can be a teaching tool for caregivers and professionals.

Should I Be Sad? Sandra Keller

This is the story of a six-year-old boy who lives alone with his mom because his father was imprisoned before he was born. He struggles with the fact that his father is absent. This book can lend insight into the muddles that can occur when a parent is in prison.

Daddy’s Coming Home!

For children, this book can be read as a story or used to discuss an inmate’s return.

Jeffrey’s Out of Jail

For children, about a young boy whose father is finished his prison term and going to a halfway house.


Hard Time in Canada: One Man’s Journey Inside and Out: Lee Steven Chapelle

An Insider View of Canadian Justice Policies & Corrections – Lee Steven Chapelle, who first hit jail at sixteen before serving more than twenty years in the prison system, shares unparalleled insight into the troubling state and future direction of Canadian corrections.

Aftermath: Lepine, Monique and Gagne, Harold

The mother of Mark Lepine tells the story of her life before and after the Montreal Massacre.

The Little Book of Restorative Justice: Howard Zehr

Howard Zehr, known worldwide for his pioneering work in transforming our understandings of justice, here proposes workable Principles and Practices for making restorative justice both possible and useful.

The Little Book of Conflict Resolution: Lederach, John Paul

John Paul Lederach is internationally recognized for his breakthrough thinking and action related to conflict on all levels – person-to-person, factions within communities, warring nations.

A New Kind of Normal: Carole Kent

After her only son was sentenced to life in prison, Carole’s life took a permanent detour. She and her husband Gene have been adjusting ever since, moving to Florida to be near the prison and starting a new ministry for prison inmates and their families.

Waiting Together: Hope and Healing for Families of Prisoners: Carole Kent

Due to events beyond your control, you find yourself with a loved one in prison. Carol Kent has been there and knows what it’s like to have life flipped upside down. She writes Waiting Together from a heart that understands what it’s like to navigate a new normal, offering hope and healing from a Biblical perspective.

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