Mr. Speaker, one of the things we often fail to recognize when we go into our federal facilities is that many of the men and women who are there do not even have the most basic life skills. I am not just talking about literacy. When we put somebody into a literacy program, we do not necessarily hope that he or she becomes an author, but we understand that literacy has a direct ability for employment.
The prison farm program was so important because it taught the skills of the structure of work, the dignity of putting in a full day's job. There was no other program in corrections that allowed somebody to go in and put in a full day like that.
I agree with the hon. member that rehabilitation is essential, but we have to understand that providing skills is more than just taking a class on how to do some specific trade. For many of these men and women, it is much more fundamental than that. They do not understand how to structure their day. They have never had the opportunity to go in and put in a full day's work. They have never known the dignity that comes from work. They should have experiences like working with animals. We have seen in cutting edge research how that builds empathy. These are things we should not turn our backs on.
What concerns me is that we are cutting from programs like that at the same time that we are ratcheting up prison spending. The two are moving in opposite directions and it is going to lead to a disastrous impact.
I encourage the hon. member to read what Steve Sullivan had to say. Unfortunately he was fired because he stood up to the government. Like anybody else who stands up to the government, they are fired or misplaced in some dark corner where they are never heard from again. Mr. Sullivan said that the government's approach to crime was unbalanced, it would not work and it was wrong for victims. The government should look at the types of things he was saying about the cuts to the victims of crime initiative of 41%, or the cuts that have taken place to prevention.