Getting tough on crime has proven to be a stupid response as it does not prevent, deter or reduce crime. If we truly care about preventing and reducing crime and about creating safer communities, we need to address the root causes of crime. Getting tough and imprisoning more people for longer periods, increases recidivism rates and creates less safe and more dangerous communities. Rehabilitation and restoration have been proven to be the most effective approaches, as opposed to overreliance on prisons. I believe that with intensive help and rehabilitation, people do and can change. You have to be optimistic about human nature and have compassion for these socially marginalized and disadvantaged groups of people who are oppressed and criminalized by society. The tough on crime approach is an expensive failure. Read some research papers about the ineffectiveness of imprisonment and the negative effects and then read some about the effectiveness of rehabilitation, community options and restorative justice and you will see. We need to get smart on crime and that means addressing the root causes. Clearly, it you support the tough on crime approach, you are not interested in reducing or preventing crime, because getting tough only creates less safe and more dangerous communities.
I enjoyed this comment on the Winnipeg Sun's website: