The idea of forming the Group of Friends of Corrections in Peace Operations (GoF) was initiated during the first United Nations International Conference on the Role of Corrections in Peace Operations in 2009, which was co-organized by the Criminal Law and Judicial Advisory Service (CLJAS) and the Swedish Prison and Probation Service. During the Conference, Members States identified a need to continue developing high calibre corrections personnel to be deployed as experts on UN missions and support to other critical programmatic activities with the intention of strengthening corrections sectors. The event signalled the initiation of a Member States-driven support system to United Nations corrections reform programmes in peace operations contexts when participants agreed to consider the establishment of a Group of Friends of Corrections in Peace Operations.

The first formal meeting of the GoF was held during the 3rd United Nations International Corrections Conference in Singapore in September 2011 at which time the terms of reference were agreed. The GoF was introduced to the countries that contribute corrections officers during a meeting in New York in November 2011.

The GoF is supported by a Chair, which rotates every two years.  Member States, represented by their Permanent Missions, with support of national corrections services are eligible to become the Chair.  The following list outlines previous and current GoF Chairs:
• Sweden 2011-2013
• Rwanda 2013-2015
• Canada 2015-2017