Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) announced an update on its Penitentiary Farm Program, which runs at Joyceville and Collins Bay Institutions at Kingston, Ontario.
Offenders involved in the program have had the opportunity to learn technical, transferable and soft skills through their involvement in on-the-job and vocational training associated with the farming operations.
Since 2019, CSC has been gradually implementing the Penitentiary Farm Program, where offenders have been involved in various employment program assignments related to the agricultural operations.
Anne Kelly, CSC Commissioner says the Penitentiary Farm Program helps federal inmates find meaningful employment, which is an important contributing factor to their successful reintegration.
“Offenders who find jobs in the community are three times less likely to return to CSC’s custody for a new offence,” Kelly says. “We will continue working with our partners and stakeholders to strengthen our programs to meet the needs of inmates and the community.”
Following consultations with community members and stakeholders, CSC has been building the dairy cow herd since 2019, which is currently housed in renovated barns at Collins Bay Institution, while plans are finalized for building new dairy barns at Joyceville Institution.
Due to the unplanned financial challenges to address the global COVID-19 pandemic across the organization, CSC has decided to focus its dairy operations on the dairy cow program and temporarily pause the implementation of the dairy goat operation.
The dairy goat program will resume once the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic can be fully assessed.
CSC began planning for the reopening of its farm operations after receiving $4.3M over five years in Budget 2018 to support the initiative.