Mr. Speaker, there is a lot to unpack there, but I will start by saying that the only reason why correctional institutions do not supply regular dairy fresh milk to inmates is because Stephen Harper's government actually completely removed that and substituted it with powdered milk several years into its mandate. That is the reason why inmates are no longer drinking fresh milk, but that is beside the point of why we are here today.
I want to take the opportunity to address some of the things that I heard today from the member, and indeed, leading into today's question and to the various different ones. I will start by reiterating that Corrections Canada does not currently possess any goats for use in a penitentiary agricultural program. It also does not have any contracts or agreements with any third parties, either domestic or international, for the sale of goat milk.
I will remind the member opposite that the operations at the Joyceville and Collins Bay institutions, at this time, are currently focused on full implementation of dairy cow operations. I am very proud to note that the construction of the dairy cattle barn at the Joyceville institution, which the member referenced, commenced in April. Once completed, the barn will facilitate Correctional Services Canada fully implementing its dairy cattle operation.
When it comes to operations and programming, Correctional Services Canada has engaged, and will continue to engage, with community members and stakeholders. I would also encourage interested parliamentarians to visit these sites, if they have not already done so, to see for themselves first-hand what correctional interventions are offered to promote rehabilitation.
On that note, I am proud to speak to the successes associated with the offender employability program, which includes the penitentiary agricultural program. Through this CORCAN program, offenders can participate in various types of interventions and services, including on-the-job vocational and essential skills training.
While this allows them to acquire skills related to a specific industry, what they learn is also transferable to a variety of types of employment. This is something that the former Conservative government completely neglected to acknowledge when it decided to close those programs.
Finding and maintaining employment in the community is key to recidivism. CSC has research documents dating back even earlier than 2014 that note a connection between employment and positive reintegration results. I will note that the reports cited by the hon. member, which have subsequently been supported in other research since that time, noted the following: that inmates who participated in CORCAN employment programs while incarcerated were more likely to be granted parole, that they were more likely to get a job in the community, and that they were more likely to have a reduced rate of returning to prison.
These points note that the earlier release on day parole and increased likelihood to obtain employment leads to a reduction in offenders repeating and re-entering into correctional programs.
Finally, despite the claims that have been made, I would like to emphasize that when it comes to the operations of these farms, private industry does not benefit financially from the involvement of inmates. Revenues generated from these operations are reinvested directly into the offender employment and employability program.