Our programs are tailored to facilitate a transformation that  empowers individuals to align their inner resolve with a higher purpose, enabling them to execute their convictions with purpose and determination.

Self Help Core Groups

The Alberta Seventh Step Society Core Groups provide a forum where offenders can take a realistic look at their behaviours and utilize peer support to foster changes in their thinking and attitudes.

Our focus is at all times to change the negative behaviour of the membership with the recidivist being the prime candidate. This is done through learning accountability, discussion of one’s strengths and weaknesses, and how to use their strengths to help move out of the lifestyle that continues to bring them into the justice system. The membership is continually challenged to push past justifications and rationalizations for self-destructive behaviour as well as begin to understand that sacrifices need to be made in order to achieve and maintain freedom in the community.

The group also assists offenders with goal setting, realistic planning for their release and future, pre-release planning, and preparation for parole hearings. We believe that by building realistic plans and expectations, offenders can begin to envision their freedom and believe it is manageable by way of stronger sense of self, higher levels of motivation, and self-confidence.

We are not a social function, nor are we a social action for offender rights or system changes. The membership makes a commitment to change their lives and accepts the triad of members as equals. This triad includes the non-offender, ex-offender, and current offender with the belief that everyone can learn and grow as individuals through others’ perspectives and experiences. These meetings are closed to visitors; the potential member must be sponsored by an active member to attend. Sincerity in commitment is shown through attendance of four consecutive meetings, whereby the group will vote on membership.

Alberta Seventh Step


Laurel Carlson – Community Services Manager

Pardon Me

Criminal Record holding you back? The Pardon Me program can help!

We are a brand-new office within the Seventh Step Society, with locations in Calgary and Halifax, NS. Our role is to support and guide persons with criminal records through the process of applying for a record suspension from the Parole Board of Canada.

Although there are costs associated with a record suspension application, OUR services are available FREE to anyone eligible for a record suspension.

We offer judgment-free peer support by Case Managers with lived experience in the criminal justice system. Contact us today!


Pardon Me Case Managers – Record Suspensions

Mehmed Duska

Community Residential Facility

The Alberta Seventh Step Society’s Community Residential Facility (CRF) was initiated by Patrick Graham, an ex-offender who first pursued the Seventh Step philosophy as a way to change his own life.

In 1975, The Alberta Seventh Step opened their first Halfway House within the YWCA and housed 11 individuals. It was decided that a larger facility would be required and a permit to construct their own facility was submitted. On July 3, 1977 the doors to The Alberta Seventh Step’s very own Community Residential Facility were opened and this location continues in operation to date. Halfway Houses bridge an important gap for offenders between institutional care and the community. Gradual, appropriately supervised reintegration combined with the necessary goals and treatment plans reduces recidivism thereby decreasing risk and increasing community safety.

The CRF is a thirty-five bed facility which house adult male offenders transitioning from Federal incarceration into the community. Offender residency is mandated by the Parole Board of Canada on Day Parole, Full Parole, Statutory Release and Long-Term Supervision Orders. Referrals for residency are directed from Correctional Services of Canada (Calgary Parole) and the Alberta Solicitor General (Young Offender Branch).

The main purpose of the Halfway House is to assist with and support residents with their community reintegration plans. Key goals of the program are for residents to learn and hold the necessary attitudes, beliefs, and skills to live a pro-social lifestyle and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. Employment is a major focus of the CRF and all residents are required to maintain full-time work, be actively engaged in schooling and/or attend mandated programming. Excluded from the program are those individuals with significant mental health issues, known informants, and offenders with convictions that are sexual in nature. Residents are responsible for following conditions of their Parole, in addition, to all rules and expectations of the structured CRF program.

The CRF is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by four full-time Caseworkers, two Overnight Caseworkers, several casual staff and managed by the Residence Team Leader. Residents and CRF staff are supported by the Outreach Worker and the Community Services Coordinator to identify and assist with further needs of the offender. All staff work closely with Correctional Services of Canada as well as many other local community agencies to provide the best aid for successful reintegration.


Allen Spence  – CRF Manager

Taking Responsibility

The Alberta Seventh Step Society’s Taking Responsibility program was developed to assist parolees in achieving and maintaining their freedom in the community. It provides the men and women with a chance to take a realistic look at their behaviour and how their choices led them to trouble with the law and in jail.

In a group setting, the men and women will begin to understand their thought processes and how this can affect their attitude and behaviour. Alongside like minded peers, there is a non- judgmental group where they can discuss their mistakes, resentments, and how they plan to make positive change. Participants will be challenged to push past their justifications and rationalizations for self-destructive behaviour.

Throughout the course of the program many topics will be discussed openly, such as:

  • Freedom
  • Realistic thinking
  • What it means to be accountable and take responsibility
  • What is the truth about oneself
  • Positive and negative status, emotions, and values
  • What contributes to distorted thinking patterns
  • Letting go in order to move forward
  • Damage of resentments
    Goal setting
  • Importance of helping others

Taking responsibility is about encouraging participants to be accountable for their past, present, and future decisions. The participants will be encouraged and challenged to be reflective about their strengths and weaknesses and how these can be their success or their downfall. It is having the confidence to take charge of one’s life and believe they have the ability to make the necessary changes to stay out of prison.

Alberta Seventh Step Programs


Laurel Carlson – Community Services Manager