Yahoo.ca: Pat Kincaid credits the dairy cows on a now-shuttered prison farm in Ontario with teaching him the skills he needed to break a life-long cycle of crime and incarceration.
The 65-year-old Kingston, Ont., resident, who has spent a total of 35 years behind bars for assaults, thefts and other property crimes, hopes other inmates get the chance to benefit from a program the federal Liberal government is now considering reopening.
“There’s not a program in jail, even today, that can teach those skills that the cows have taught me by working with them,” said Kincaid, who’s been out of prison for seven years.
“The cows taught me patience and how to control my anger, and how to deal with being upset…I know it helped other inmates too.”
The 2010 closure of the country’s prison farms by the then-Conservative government — six in total operating at institutions in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta — was highly controversial.
Opponents argued the decision was made without properly considering the essential skills the farms taught the participating inmates. There was also criticism that local community members had not been adequately consulted.
The Liberal government is now studying the possibility of reopening the farms — starting with two in the Kingston area, and is asking Canadians to weigh in on the issue through an online survey. MORE