From Wednesday's Globe and Mail Published on Tuesday, Mar. 30, 2010 11:38PM EDT
ttawa needs to explain why, at a time of deficit and cost controls, Canada needs to expand its budget for federal prisons by 36 per cent between now and fiscal 2012-13. Today's yearly corrections budget is $2.267-billion, and it will grow to $3.128-billion, a hike of $861-million. That is the price tag of its tough-on-crime agenda.
The crime agenda is in direct conflict with the government's stated goal of bringing the deficit under control. In frugal times there is an extra onus on government to justify a big boost to any budget, let alone to the prison budget during an era when crime is dropping. While nearly every other department, including the military and the Public Health Agency of Canada, faces cuts, 5,300 new corrections employees will be hired.
Taking back the justice system from 13 years of Liberal government control, as the Conservative government has vowed to do, turns out to be an expensive proposition. That should probably come as no surprise because Canada's neighbour to the south has spent obscene amounts on a vast and socially destructive campaign against illegal drugs, making it the most incarcerating society in the world.
California, for instance, spends 10 per cent of its budget on prisons, about the same as it spends on education. That is a crime perpetrated against taxpayers.
Although defence lawyers, academics and the Liberal opposition have thrown the all-purpose epithet “U.S.-style” at the Conservative government over its changes to the justice system, the changes here are mostly fairly moderate. But it would be useful to know which changes will produce the biggest increases in the prison population. Will it be the end to the standard judicial practice of counting pre-sentence jail time on a two-for-one basis? Removing that rather rich bonus, and allowing judges to give 1.5-times credit – with an explanation – makes sense. It may be worth the cost, which is almost $8,000 a person for each extra month of incarceration. Or is it the addition of many new mandatory minimum sentences, for which there is little evidence of a crime-reduction effect? That would probably not be worth the cost.
Ottawa has never said how many extra prisoners it expects the federal prisons to hold as a result of its changes. A cabinet confidence, the government says, bizarrely. Being tough on crime is a government centrepiece; the Conservatives should have the courage of their convictions and tell Canadians how the prison population will grow, what policies will produce the growth, and why the changes are so important they justify prison expansion at a time of restraint.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Mr. Harper has failed to show any evidence of how and why
we need a 36% increase in prison spending.
It begs the question, with decreasing crime, why are we suddenly going to have 36% more prisoners?
If this keeps happening every year, on the cartel at the top will be not in prison or involved in that same business in one form or another.
Its just another signal that the Harper government is out of control and that legal rights and the rule of law are in a spiral dive.
Mr. Harper, our Republican Governor, like a mother parrot is regurgitating
its brainless extreme right wing propaganda and feeding to Canadians who are
addicted to providing a knee jerk yes, to any suggest that follows the doctrine
of "get tough on crime".
Mr. Harper's government has as its dogma, an attitude that because he is the government, he can tell us what he thinks is good for us, without disclosing any of the essential facts.
Our quasi-republican government, has the same brainless approach as their southern siblings, they act out of a religious dogma that avoids any use of science or logic that might contradict their ideals which are handed down as if they heard voices from their republican heaven.
Our jails are full of people who should not be in jail and for whom, there is no purpose in society for their incarceration. Most prisoners in Canada are they for reasons of poverty and mental illness and both are caused by a failure of government to address the root cause of social dysfunction.
The PRIMARY cause of social dysfunction, is a lack of parental guidance, which comes primarily as a result of fatherless homes for which we can than our societies Male Gender Apartheid , Male Sharia Law that deprives children of an equal right to parenting by both a mother and a father after separation.
Male Sharia Law is practiced by our Judiciary, men have no legal rights, any man who asks for even joint custody is treated as a heretic.
When men, have the smallest success in Family Court they are hit with massive cost penalties , orders for support that is impossible to pay and for which, the Underbelly of the Judiciary make "Power orders" and "Sheffield orders" that are guaranteed to cause the father's eventual incarceration, without ever a trial, without ever a hearing of the evidence.
Its that fundamental destruction of law and order, the failure of our Judiciary that is creating fatherless homes and filling our jails.
The Harper government is also motivated by the money, the
donations from the Cartels that profit from the misery of incarceration and the
social destruction it causes.
Its one think to incarcerate people who are a danger to society, thats what jails are for.
The Harper government did not ask any of the Criminal Judges who hear cases, it did not ask the social workers, it did not seek or obtain any input from any appropriately qualified and experienced expert who would have told them to let the Judiciary , the criminal judiciary have the discretion to make appropriate sentences.
The Harper government has total disrespect for Judicial discretion, fails to comply with Judicial orders and instead, tells the Judiciary how to do their job!
This is the prime minister of Canada, steadily eroding judicial discretion, judicial authority and replacing it with a crazy system of minimum sentences and legislation that makes many people automatically destined for a jail sentence simply because an abuse of power.
Our present and prior governments have done their best to make political judicial appointments, those who can be counted on to "see it their way".
Only problem is, those who are so ethically challenged, have severe personality disorders and who are guaranteed to be chronic flagrant abusers of Judicial Power, not corrupt financially but corrupt in the sense that they will make decisions that conform to a political doctrine.
In Family court, its a "tough on men" approach.
It creates a sick environment that gives women all the power to dictate to men what they want and if does not provide it then he too will end up on the scrap heap of Canadian Jails for no other crime than having by accident of birth been born with testicles.
If Mr. Harper wishes to get tough on real criminals he should wander over to 161 Elgin Street where real crime starts, thanks to underbelly of the judiciary, (the saints of the judiciary excluded of course).