Prison Farm Plans at Joyceville Raise Eyebrows and Red Flags

The local group, Evolve our Prison Farms says the newly announced rehabilitation program at Joyceville Institution exploits prisoners and animals.

Since 2016, the group has campaigned for a prison farm model that promotes health and environmental sustainability through plant-based agriculture, and offers human-animal therapy through farmed animal sanctuary.

The idea was one of three recommendations issued by the Correctional Service of Canada to Minister Ralph Goodale in 2017.

While Collins Bay Institution will introduce crops and horticulture, Joyceville was selected for animal agriculture because of its on-site slaughterhouse.

In addition to inseminating goats, removing newborn kids and machine-milking their mothers, prisoners will be trained in slaughtering and butchering the goats and other animals from approximately 350 local farms.

The group believes the government has blatantly ignored the voices of prisoners and the public, as well as testimonies from experts in law, criminology, and climate change.

In a recent survey, Joyceville inmates voted 70 per-cent in favour of plant-based agriculture and/or sanctuary over a dairy model.

"I personally could not be present in any area where animals are being killed," writes one prisoner.

"I have suffered a trauma so profound because of the offense I committed that just the thought of seeing any living thing die is unthinkable to me."

The group believes the government has blatantly ignored the voices of prisoners and the public, as well as testimonies from experts in law, criminology, and climate change.