Re: Tory blasts senators for `gutting’ crime
The Harper government’s proposed crime legislation, including mandatory sentences for some drug offences, is ideologically and politically driven, not evidenced-based, and smacks of everything that is wrong with our criminal justice system. A classic case of crime as politics. This legislation, if it ever sees the light of day, will prey on the socially, culturally and economically disadvantaged, especially aboriginals and the mentally ill.
For the record, excluding the provincial system, there are approximately 13,000 federal offenders in custody and about 8,000 in the community on some form of conditional release.
Correctional Services of Canada manages more than 50 facilities, employs more than 16,000 people, and has an annual budget exceeding $2 billion. And this government wants to blindly and wilfully add to this disinvestment in society and to these dismal statistics.
Tougher sentences, however defined, and more and bigger jails simply do not prevent crime. A case in point: California’s prisons are so overcrowded that it has had to turn thousands of criminals loose. It now spends about 2 1/2 times as much per prison inmate as it does per student in its renowned University of California system. Do we want to emulate this in Canada?
Emile Therien, Volunteer, John Howard Society, Ottawa
Note-1: The Harper Conservatives, being the retrogrades that they are, once again haven’t a clue on this issue. Willing to throw vast amounts of money towards ‘making criminals’ rather than putting that same money to real use in addressing our nation’s growing deficit in societal needs, that cause much of the criminality in the first place.
Not surprising (coming from the conservatives) that there is nothing here addressing white-collar crime. Once again, we see that the Big crooks hang the little crooks but don’t hang each other, do they?
Note-2: For a very good provincial synopsis of our two-tiered justice system, check out Darryl Raymaker’s recent post:
“The Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”