The Archambault Report was an influential study of the penitentiary system in Canada, published in 1938. The report, the full title of which was the Royal Commission Report on Penal Reform in Canada, was the product of four years of study by the Royal Commission, chaired by Justice Joseph Archambault. It is widely recognized as Canada’s pre-eminent document on prison reform in that it changed the focus in Canadian prisons from retributive justice to rehabilitation.
The report presented the findings of the Royal Commission to Investigate the Penal System of Canada (the Archambault Commission) which had been formed in response to a series of riots and strikes in Canadian prisons in the 1930s. The report proposed sweeping changes for Canadian penitentiaries, emphasizing crime prevention and the rehabilitation of prisoners. Recommendations included a complete revision of penitentiary regulations to provide "strict but humane discipline and the reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners." While the commission's recommendations were not immediately implemented due to the advent of World War II, much of the report's philosophy remains influential.