Ontario should stop treating people on welfare like criminals and forcing them to complete useless tasks that don’t lead to meaningful, long-term jobs, says a new report.

So-called “participation agreements” that require people on social assistance to conduct job searches and other activities, along with mandatory monthly reporting “have more in common with the corrections system than they do with the tax system or other social programs,” says the report by a University of Toronto think tank.

“The system has consistently prioritized punitive rules and mechanisms in the name of accountability and limiting beneficiaries, rather than lowering barriers to employment,” says the report by Ontario 360, an initiative of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.