No one is born a criminal. But some are born into poverty and situations which may lead to criminal behaviour.
There is no evidence that more jails means less crime, as assumed by the omnibus crime bill.
In the U.S., where incarceration is many times greater than in Canada, the opposite is true. European countries with the lowest incarceration have the lowest crime.
Tossing troubled teens into jail turns them into tougher criminals, according to the vice-president of the Canadian Pediatric Society.
“Prevention and rehabilitation are most likely to improve public safety” says the Canadian Bar Association.
“The (omnibus) initiative moves Canada along a road that has clearly failed in other countries.”
The CBA and judiciary denounce mandatory sentences that provide no cure for mental illness, addictions, poverty, or over-representation of aboriginals in the justice system.
It’s better to invest in education, employment, treatment, and housing, at much less cost, according to the Church Council on Justice and Corrections.
Jail does not stop recruitment by organized crime, as long as there are at-risk individuals and profits.
The crime bill does nothing to help potential gang recruits succeed in the straight world, with training or skills.
It does nothing to address profitability in illicit trades, through appropriate social regulation. The crime bill will require billions of dollars to construct and operate more jails.
It offers nothing to expand rehabilitative or restorative justice programs that have proven successful diverting offenders from existing jails.
The best way to get tough on crime is to get smart on prevention.
Greig Crockett, Vernon