May 11, 2017 Ottawa, Ontario Correctional Service Canada
The Correctional Service Canada (CSC) is pleased to announce that it has established an advisory panel to provide advice about the potential reopening of penitentiary farms at Collins Bay and Joyceville Institutions in Kingston, Ontario.
The following seven volunteer panel members will lend their expertise in the areas of business, agriculture and employment opportunities for offenders:
Ms. Bridget Doherty, Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent De Paul
Ms. Dianne Dowling, Organic Dairy Farmer
Ms. Catherine Latimer, Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Canada
Mr. Jeff Peters, Beef Farmer
Mr. Alec Ross, Limestone District School Board Trustee for Kingscourt-Rideau and King’s Town District
Mr. Tony Straathof, Livestock Farmer
Mr. Bruce Vandenberg, Dairy Farmer
Please see the attached backgrounder for their biographies.
The farms would be run by CORCAN, a key rehabilitation program of CSC, providing offenders with employment and employability skills training. The panel will engage with community stakeholders to assist CORCAN to better understand farm industry operations, explore new business ideas, and promote partnerships to provide employment opportunities for released offenders. The first panel meeting is scheduled to take place in June 2017.
In June 2016, CSC launched a feasibility study which included an online and in-person consultation process to review the decision to cease its agribusiness operations. The study included two consultations – an online forum and a town hall in Kingston in July and August 2016. Participants were asked to provide their input into the possibility of renewing penitentiary farms at Collins Bay and Joyceville institutions. The consultations garnered nearly 6,000 responses and almost 300 participants attended the town hall.
CSC Penitentiary Farms Public Consultation results were released in November 2016, and will continue to influence CSC’s future decisions related to employment and employability programs offered at institutions.
“I am very pleased that we have established this advisory panel to help us determine the best way ahead for re-establishing penitentiary farms. Thank you to all who participated in the consultations. I am committed to implementing evidence-based practices and policies that promote public safety and the safe reintegration of offenders.”
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“On behalf of the Correctional Service Canada, I am very interested in hearing the advice provided by this panel. The decision on the future of penitentiary farms is an important one, and their feedback will be critical in guiding us on how to move forward.”
Don Head, Commissioner, Correctional Service Canada