Eastern Region Corrections Committee (ERCC) of Alcoholics Anonymous

Who wants to have a new experience in Alcoholics Anonymous?

Carrying the AA Message into a Correctional Facility can provide just that!


Excerpt from a letter that our co-founder Bill W. wrote 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. Reprinted from (Corrections Workbook p.7) with permission of AA World Services Inc.


How fortunate we are to have AA meetings to attend around the clock.  These days it is so simple to go to meetings in person or online.  Think of the convenience of attending online meetings, modem to modem in the comfort of our own home.

Just go to AA Meetings up next hit join meeting and you’re in. This is not the case for alcoholics who suffer from alcoholism who are currently incarcerated in a Correctional Facility in NSW or the ACT.


When I was drunk my behaviour was often disgustingly and dangerously anti-social.

I could have easily ended up incarcerated, but I did not, I found my way into AA via a Treatment Facility not a Correctional Facility. 


Recovery in AA has awakened my spirit, many opportunities to serve have come my way.  Carrying the AA message into a Correctional Facility can provide a unique experience and the possibilities for spiritual growth abound.


Recently while taking an AA Meeting into the South Coast Correctional Facility in Nowra via an online platform provided such an experience for another dedicated member and myself.  AA Meetings restarted in the facility (after lots of interruptions due to COVID) online for the inmates there in March 2022.  For several weeks no inmates showed up.  Undeterred we persisted and a trickle of alcoholics began to attend.  Over a period of many months the little meeting grew.  We are now regularly getting about 10 alcoholics attending each Friday with two AA members joining the meeting online. We currently have a roster of only four AA members. Lots of AA literature has been provided, Big Books, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, Daily Reflections and specific AA literature for prison inmates.


In our meetings we have been reading short passages from the Big Book and also referencing the 12 Traditions and the various liberties and freedoms they provide for our great Fellowship.


Recently at the end of a meeting the inmates announced they have started their own meeting on a Monday with the help of Corrective Services staff. As we closed with the Serenity Prayer at the end of that meeting and the dedicated inmates folded up their meeting banners and waved farewell until next Friday, one of the inmates held up his copy of the big book Alcoholics Anonymous to the camera in their meeting room, and with a broad smile announced his freedom. What started off as a small meeting on Friday has now become an AA Group.  The inmates held their own Group Conscience and have decided to call their group the jAAil Group of Alcoholics Anonymous.


I realised in that moment that patience achieves all things and that indeed God always shows up when we carry the AA message from the heart, and here was his love flowing out from the broad smile of a grateful alcoholic who had just found freedom. I could feel the tears welling up from deep down within.


When carrying the AA message into a Correctional Facility we share experience, strength and hope with other alcoholics as we do at any A.A. meeting on the “outside.” Having prison experience is not a prerequisite – sobriety in A.A. is. Inmates are more interested in learning how we got and stayed sober through A.A.’s Twelve Steps, rather than hearing about time we may have spent in prison. Reprinted from (Corrections Workbook p.7) with permission of AA World Services Inc.


If you are looking for a new experience in AA, and are willing to make a commitment to this work, maybe carrying the AA message into a Correctional Facility may provide just that! You can discuss your suitability with your Area Correctional Facility Coordinator.

Area Correctional Facility Coordinators in Eastern Region (NSW and ACT) currently attend monthly online meetings of the Eastern Region Corrections Committee (ERCC). In 2023 ERCC Online Meetings will be held at 8.00pm on the first Tuesday of each month. All interested AA members are welcome. The ERCC provides access to a raft of AA resources specific to Corrections work and supports Areas and individual AA Members to navigate through the Corrective Services authorisation process in NSW and the ACT so AA members can be granted clearance to visit Correctional Centres across Eastern Region. Many AA Corrections resources, information, current clearance paperwork and relevant AA Conference approved literature can be found on our web page: https://members.aa.org.au/eastern-regional-nsw-corrections-kit/


You will need to have an account and be logged in to view the resources.

There are also several Community Corrections Offices found across Eastern Region which provide other possibilities to carry the AA message through AA information sessions for alcoholics on probation or parole, AA presentations to Corrective Services Staff or providing AA literature, contact information and local meetings lists.


Let’s Be Friendly with Our Friends in Corrective Services.

Any questions please contact:

Mark S ERCC Secretary