Photostory #323: Canada's Penitentiaries Help Pay Their Way: Industry in Prison -- Two Million Dollar Business
National Film Board of Canada
October 30, 1962
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
A smooth-running truck for a survey engineer on the rough roads of Yukon Territory, prize-winning dairy cattle at a country fair, a professionally-printed newspaper for an army camp -- these are some of the products of inmates in Canada's federal prisons. The clean breeze of technical, academic and vocational training programs recently introduced to fit inmates for a better chance in later life has its foundations in another, older, aspect of prison activity. This is actual production work which keeps inmates busy, lets them earn 25 to 55 cents a day, teaches them a useful occupation and, in addition, cuts $2,000,000 from the annual prison bill. Dairy and farm produce, clothing and shoes, utensils, automotive repairs, carpentry, printing, furniture making -- all these and more are going concerns in prison industry. Federal instititutions, government departments, outside interests, all benefit from skilled labour behind the loosening locks of Canada's prison doors.