Federal prison-overhaul plan dismissed as amateur, alarming
Oct 08, 2009
Canada's blueprint for overhauling federal prisons is an amateur and "alarming" document that ignores human rights, gives the false impression that crime is rising, and provides no costs for flawed policies that would flood penitentiaries with more inmates, says a new report.
The study attacks the Harper government for its speedy, wholesale adoption of the 2007 Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety that made more than 100 recommendations, based largely on the premise that prisoners don't have automatic rights; they earn them.
....The 2007 panel said that repealing statutory release, which is currently followed by a period of mandatory supervision in the community, would enhance public safety because it would reduce the number of prisoners who reoffend after release.
Stewart and Jackson counter that one of the justifications for adopting statutory release in the first place was to better protect the public by ensuring prisoners would be supervised in the community for a period of time rather than leaving penitentiaries with no strings attached.
"While cost should not outweigh community safety, proposing huge expenditures of this nature without any evidence of increased community safety is irresponsible public policy, especially in the context of the lost opportunities that spending in this way represents," said their report, released Thursday.
Note: The Canadian government has also announced that it will not fund the internationally-acclaimed programme Circles of Support and Accountability. This programme is used for sex offenders who need strict accountability as well as assistance when they are released from prison. It was created in response to the difficulty the government had in placing pedophiles in local communities when the offenders had not responded to in-prison treatment and therefore were held in prison until the entire sentence was completed.