Are there any statistics available on what/who makes up the prison farm population in Canada, both recent and historically? I have found some publications on the Correctional Services website but not statistics.
I had an extremely similar question two years ago! I'll dig around for what I found, and share with you that info.
Depending on the province -and the actual stats you are after, - the Annual Reports from each ministry or department of Corrections or Prisons or Attornies General, can give you some neat info, too!
Interesting question! I admit I had to look up what a prison farm was. After some searching, I came across the following reference on the statcan website:
Statistics On Penal Institutions, Pardons, and Parole (Series Z173-226)
There have been several distinct types of penal and detentive institutions in Canada: penitentiaries; provincial prisons; other provincial institutions such as reformatories, industrial farms, and training schools for juveniles; and municipal jails. With the evolution of penal and correctional philosophy, nearly all reformatories and industrial farms and training schools have gradually been phased out in recent years. Since municipal jails serve mainly as temporary detention centres rather than as places where convicted persons serve their sentences, the principal penal institutions are penitentiaries and prisons.
Under the BNA Act, the federal Government of Canada has exclusive responsibility for establishing, maintaining, and managing penitentiaries. Penitentiaries are the penal institutions where convicted persons sentenced to two years' imprisonment or more serve their terms. Provincial prisons are under the jurisdiction of their provincial governments; persons sentenced to less than two years' imprisonment serve their terms in these institutions. (Since 1972, however, there have been federal-provincial transfer agreements under which persons with sentences of less than two years may in certain circumstances serve their term in a penitentiary and some persons with sentences of two years or more may serve their terms in provincial prisons.)
Statistics on provincial prisons (or jails) and other penal institutions have been published since 1918 by Statistics Canada in the annual reports, Statistics of Criminal and Other Offences until 1955, and in Correctional Statistics thereafter. A program for uniform reporting of statistical data specifically on training schools was inaugurated in 1963, with 1964 being the first complete year for which data were available. Publication of statistics continued until 1974; data were accumulated for several years following without being published, and the program was ultimately terminated.
That being said, it would seem that perhaps the ministries collect this information.