Prisonless Society

IFPS - International Foundation for a Prisonless Society

The International Foundation for a Prisonless Society was established in 1991 by Ruth and Ray Morris, for the following purposes:
To support and sustain the International Conferences for Penal Abolition
To make it possible for more people with limited incomes, consumers of the system, and third world country persons to attend ICOPA (International Conferences on Penal Abolition)

If possible beyond that, to fund projects which build a climate for healing, transformative alternatives in other ways.


by Ruth Morris, founder. April 1997
(Editor's note: The late Ruth Morris was a founding member of ICOPA; who's unceasing contribution of energy over eighteen years sustained a strong vision for a prisonless society and enabled ICOPA to survive and, with your help, to thrive.)

The Fund is structured much like a trust or endowment that generates interest income for ICOPA support each year. In order to build the conferences through financial support, the principal must grow.

At this date, April 1997, the fund stands at $50,000, and is barely enough to help maintain ICOPA Conferences and assist a few low income individuals to participate. Nevertheless, to date its tiny resources (currently about $3500 per year) have enabled organizers to get started, and to give participation to a few of the many low income people who see in ICOPA a new vision for a justice system that heals us all.

Running an ICOPA costs a minimum of $40,000, when one calculates facilities, food, staff time, materials, and needed travel subsidies to make it inclusive. All this is without calculating lodgings, billeting or hotels. Much of it can be covered by donations in kind: free university or church facilities given, use of staff time from some organizations, volunteer time from many, materials donated, and some registration fees. But without the tiny base of IFPS, it becomes an almost impossible task. The Morrises know, because they were involved in organizing the first, and they have not forgotten.

Costs of travel from Third and Fourth World countries vary depending of course on where the Conference is, but to keep it truly INTERNATIONAL, we have to expect roundtrip air fares of $2000-$4000 from distant lands. We have not yet succeeded in getting an African person to ICOPA although increasingly we get inquiries, and we try.

Applicants for subsidies
ICOPA are most likely to receive one if:
They are from a developing country or a consumer group of the system
They have been active in the issue in their country
They are able and willing to make some contribution toward their costs, so we can more or less double the people we bring
They have not received a subsidy from ICOPA recently, to spread the opportunity They are giving some kind of presentation or offering at ICOPA
A larger IFPS fund would make a critical difference for Penal Abolition.
Unfortunately, there is no tax deduction for donations to IFPS.

They would not apply outside Canada even if Revenue Canada accepted IFPS as a registered charitable cause, and the restrictions are such that it would limit who could donate and how we could pass the funds on to sponsors more than the benefits that would accrue. We regret the loss to donors but increasingly in this divided world we need to put our dollars to causes which our governments will not subsidize in any way, even this. IFPS is an incorporated Foundation, with a Board of four Canadian abolitionists.

Can You Help?
• Contribute any financial resources to build the IFPS fund into an effective abolition resource.
• Offer creative fund-raising suggestions.
• Offer in-kind resources and services.
• Volunteer assistance to the IFPS fund as a regional fundraising coordinator.

Please contact:
International Fund for a Prisonless Society
198 Grandview Drive, Downsview Ontario Canada M3J 187
Phone: (416) 538 6900. Fax: (416) 538 2655.


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