TCM Tidbit #9

The Prison and Police Court Work was growing in importance every year.  The Jail Sunday School was under the join auspices of the Toronto City Mission and Prisoners’ Aid Society.  There was a staff of twelve teachers, divided between the male and female Sunday Schools.  They were held every Sunday morning at nine o’clock.  Other services were held throughout the prison, in hospitals and corridors, and everything possible under the circumstances is done to win men and women from the ways of sin, to a simple trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our most encouraging work had been among first offenders, several young men having not only professed their acceptance of Christ, but since their discharge, have proved by their conduct the reality of the change.  We were greatly helped by a liberal grant of books for the jail from the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago.  These were read eagerly by many, and had much to do in influencing a number to seek the Saviour.

In connection with the jail, sixty-nine visits were made to the Police Court in 1900 where we secured the release of twenty-two aged, homeless persons, placing them in proper homes, such as the House of Industry and the House of Providence, while others were sent by rail to their native places in the province, thus freeing the city from the cost of their maintenance, and placing them in homes instead of in prison.  During that year, our missionaries made 181 visits to the jail, held 274 gospel services, and had personal conversation with 735 prisoners.  To the Central Prison, eight visits were made and seven services were held, and in the Mercer Reformatory, six visits, with an equal number of services.