Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Man's drug addictions lead him down a criminal path

Lloyd Jansen thought he could dig himself out of a massive drug debt by selling cocaine for the Hells Angels.
But the 26-year-old Winnipeg man only added to his growing list of problems when he got caught up in an undercover police sting operation.
Jansen pleaded guilty Tuesday to his role in "Project Divide", which saw 31 people arrested last December after police used a secret agent to capture dozens of drug deals on video and audio surveillance. He was sentenced to three years in prison, in addition to time served, under a joint-recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers.
Jansen was caught on camera last July delivering 10 ounces of cocaine to the agent, Michael Satsatin, in the parking lot of the Safeway store on Henderson Highway in North Kildonan.
Defence lawyer Darren Sawchuk said his client fell on hard times when he became hooked on crack cocaine and ran up more than $50,000 debt to several local dealers who had ties to the notorious outlaw motorcycle gang.
Jansen quit his job as a diesel mechanic and became a street-level dealer. Crown attorney Chris Mainella said he was "trying to work his way up" the criminal ladder.
Court documents obtained last week revealed how many of Winnipeg's most popular suburban restaurants, stores, shopping malls and entertainment outlets were used as the backdrop for the Hells Angels to conduct their transactions.
Investigators seized 165 ounces of cocaine, 12 ounces of methamphetamine, 12,000 ecstasy tablets, one ounce of heroin and seven pounds of marijuana during their investigation, along with cash, firearms and gang paraphernalia. More than 300 Mounties and police from Winnipeg, Brandon, Ste. Anne and B.C. were involved. Satsatin was paid $450,000 plus expenses and put in the witness protection plan.
Blair Alford, 55, was sentenced April 1 to 40 months behind bars after admitting to selling 12 ounces of cocaine to Satsatin in the parking lot of a Rona store on Kenaston Boulevard. The other 29 accused remain before the courts.

I would like to have known more of this man's background life such as how long he's been addicted and if he has attempted to go through any programs. 

I think this is a case where a drug treatment court might be successful. This man plead guilty and in order to be eligible for a drug treatment court, the individual must take responsibility for their actions. This man has done that. I definitely don't agree with the 3 year sentence as I feel that we need to consider alternatives to imprisonment in more cases. This man could participate in a drug treatment program and regular drug testing. If he completed it successfully, he would likely to given probation. If he failed to abide by the conditions , he would be processed through the regular courts and possibly given incarceration then. 

I think he needs help for his drug problem and it he agreed to a program, I think this could be a successful alternative. I also think that he needs employment assistance. 

Drug offenders, in my opinion, should not be in prison. They are the individuals that can best be helped through rehabilitation. Drug offenders pose a very small threat to the safety of society and I feel that prison should only be reserved for violent murderers and psychopaths, for people who actually do harm to another person. 

Most criminals who serve extended periods of incarceration, become institutionalized and are incapable of proper decision making and of reintegration. This is NOT in society's best interests. These people are often then released back into the same social and economic conditions which contributed to their criminal behaviour initially. We need to help offenders uncover the root causes of their behaviour and the factors contributing to crime and then address those, if our goal is really to prevent and reduce crime. Prison has been proven to NOT reduce or deter crime. So why are we still using it for small time offenders??  

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