Release of Results of CSC Penitentiary Farms Public Consultation

On June 2nd, 2016, CSC launched a feasibility study to review the decision to cease its penitentiary farm operations in the Kingston area. The feasibility study included two consultations – an online forum that took place from June 2nd to Aug. 2nd, 2016 and a town hall in Kingston on Aug. 16th, 2016. The online consultations garnered nearly 6,000 responses and about 300 participants attended the town hall. Participants were asked to provide their input into the possibility of renewing penitentiary farms at Collins Bay and Joyceville institutions.

We are pleased to release results of the online and town hall consultations into penitentiary farms.

Feedback from these consultations will be incorporated into the feasibility study, which will be used to inform future decisions related to rehabilitation and employment training programs offered at institutions.CSC is currently reviewing these reports and is exploring viable options to renew its involvement in farming. Once a decision is made as to next steps, it will be publicly announced in keeping with our commitment to informing the public about this initiative.

Why was this feasibility study conducted?

In 2008, the Government of Canada's Strategic Review process required that CSC review its existing programs to ensure that they continued to operate in an effective and efficient manner, while continuing to meet its Public Safety mandate. As a result of this process, CSC closed its six penitentiary farms and ended its agriculture and agri-food employment initiatives.

CSC continues to offer other agriculture and horticulture initiatives including community gardens, institutional gardens, and greenhouses that produce food for internal use, as well as for donation to food banks and other community food programs. However, these activities are not typically part of employment training programs offered at the institutions.

At the time of the closures, many members of the public including, community farming groups, advocacy groups, citizens, and public figures expressed concern and opposition to the cessation of the farm operations.

In light of ongoing public concerns about the farm closures, particularly in the Kingston area, the Minister of Public Safety requested that a feasibility study be undertaken to engage stakeholders on the prospect of renewing farm operations in the federal corrections environment.

 

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