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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The forestry camp for prison workers : a review of the British Columbia (Probation Branch) programme, 1951-1953. Dewey, Fredrick Hartly


The subject-matter of this study is a descriptive account of the prison forestry camp programme which was operative in the Kettle River district in British Columbia during the years 1951 to 1953. Perspective is given by examination of the origin and progress of the use of prison labour in general, and of prison labour projects in contemporary forestry camps. The British Columbia project is evaluated with particular emphasis on the programme as part of a rehabilitation process. The methods used in arriving at the conclusions found in the study have been those of comparison and analysis, by reference to (a) administration; (b) selection of inmates; (c) types of inmate, and (d) components of the programme. The positive and negative aspects of the programme have been evaluated as far as possible. The benefits which may be derived by inmates assigned to these camps include (a) improvement in physical and mental health from outdoor work and living, (b) experience in the camps which more closely resembles that of normal society. These help terminate a prisoner's sentence with a more acceptable re-introduction to community life. On the other hand, it is evident that there are many problems which can impede the operation of a programme of this nature, including a divided administration, untrained personnel and inadequate facilities and finances. The study suggests that these difficulties are not insurmountable, and recommendations are made which would further the success and value of such programmes.

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