Inadequate system is the real crime

Why is Stephen Harrper fast tracking, even cutting debate, in order to pass his anti-crime bill?

Dear Editor:

Why is Stephen Harrper fast tracking, even cutting debate, in order to pass his anti-crime bill?

Statistics show a continuing decrease in criminal activity across Canada, so why the blind determination to build more jails, to have longer mandatory sentences and to lessen judicial judgment regarding extenuating circumstances?

It smacks of single-minded ideology.

Don’t look at facts. Don’t look at root causes. Don’t look for alternative ways of dealing with various crimes. Just build the most expensive sheltered housing possible.

This unwarranted expense ($2.9 billion and counting) echoes the $1 billion security expense for those worthy gentlemen who have had much to do with the international financial crises people suffer from today.

Now that’s a crime worth fighting — perhaps by jail.

Yes, be hard on repeat offenders, on vicious assaults (including drivers), on crimes against children and serious white-collar crimes.

Those are crimes worth fighting, using jails.

Many present inmates really require medical treatment for mental disorders, not jail time. Many others, especially First Nations people, suffer from harsh housing conditions, poor education and poor health. Those are crimes society, not jails, must fight.

In B.C., where the legal system is in dangerous disarray, a complete review and quick restoration of services is needed immediately. The system today is so inadequate that it is, in effect, anti-justice.

Now that’s a crime worth fighting, politically.

Sheila White



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