News in Brief

Liberal government announces return of prison farms to Kingston

Announced as part of the Federal Budget on Feb. 27, the Liberal government has committed $4.3 million towards the revival of prison farms in Kingston. The aim is to have the farms reinstated by 2019 at the latest within the Joyceville and Collins Bay institutions. 

This follows the 2010 decision by the Conservative government to close numerous prison farms in Ontario and other provinces. In Kingston, that decision was met with significant protest from community members like the Kingston chapter of the Restore our Prison Farms lobby group. 

Prison farms are correctional facilities wherein inmates engage in various kinds of manual labour oriented around farm work. Typically, this includes maintenance, agriculture, logging, quarrying, mining or participation in dairy programs and cattle feeding. 

The farms will be run by a division of Correctional Services Canada named CORCAN. They focus primarily on providing inmates with job skills.

For Collins Bay Penitentiary, the first priority will concern building a new barn to replace older infrastructure that has existed on the property for 50 years now. 

Funds will be made available to CORCAN closer to the summer. With the intention to begin operations by the winter, the Kingston farms will retain 33 cows. Eventually, they will expand to other animals including chickens, pigs, and a possible bee colony. 

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