Lumby doesn’t need a prison. It needs a mental health facility. Here is the reason why: it is estimated that one-third of the prison population has mental illnesses that do not get appropriate treatment in prisons.
These people have been marginalized by our society. Through ignorance or desperation they have broken a law and are now being punished for their condition.
So, do the math. If one-third of the prison population was put into appropriate care, there would be one-third more space in jails for dangerous offenders.
Some countries have implemented successful programs where those with mental illness and addictions are put in treatment centres instead of prisons. These programs have a higher success rate than prisons, cost taxpayers less then prisons, and are more humane.
We would like to see the government funds allocated for more prisons going to build mental health facilities, addiction treatment centres and life skills training centres. We believe these and other preventive programs would make our communities safer and healthier then more prisons.
Reg Kienast and Dianne Wells