Correctional Service Canada provides update on the Penitentiary Farm Program

News release

March 5, 2021 – Ottawa – Correctional Service Canada

Today, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) announced an update on its Penitentiary Farm Program, which runs at Joyceville and Collins Bay Institutions in 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. To date, there have been 247 vocational certifications issued to offenders directly related to agriculture, with additional certifications issued for work associated with the implementation of the penitentiary farm operations, such as construction for required renovations.

CSC began planning for the reopening of its farm operations after receiving $4.3M over five years in Budget 2018 to support the initiative. 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.

CSC has been working diligently to plan and finalize designs for the dairy barns, while implementing other employment program activities such as crop production, bee keeping and some dairy cow operations. 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. In the meantime, CSC will continue to engage with community members and stakeholders, and proceed with continuing to implement the dairy cow operations, including construction of a new barn at Joyceville Institution. Inmates will also be involved in various other farm related activities including crop production, horticulture, beekeeping, maple syrup production, fence repair, green zone/environmental activities, forestry management and livestock care/operations.



“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. We will continue working with our partners and stakeholders to strengthen our programs to meet the needs of inmates and the community.”

Anne Kelly, CSC Commissioner

Quick facts

  • CSC agricultural operations are operated by CORCAN, CSC’s Special Operating Agency, and provide federal inmates with the opportunity to gain important skills and on-the-job training in preparation for their eventual safe release into the community. 

  • The Penitentiary Farm program, which is part of the offender employment and employability program, commenced implementation in 2018. Full implementation will be over five years.

  • All offenders involved in the program gain valuable employment experience, learn and practice essential skills, while engaging in meaningful activities during their incarceration, which all contribute to helping them find meaningful employment once they return to the community.

  • Offenders involved in crop production grow vegetables for their own consumption, as well as for donation to the local food bank. This includes growing a row in these gardens to contribute to Loving Spoonful, a charitable organization in the Kingston community. 


Media Relations
Correctional Service Canada

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