Ashley Smith comparison
1. Increased mandatory minimum sentences.
2. Eliminated credit for time served in preliminary detention facilities.
3. Made it more difficult to obtain a pardon.
4. Eliminated O.A.S. payments for inmates over 65 years of age.
5. Increased punishment for young offenders.
The measures outlined above are short-sighted and will have the following consequences:
More offenders will be spending more time in incarceration, diligently aquiring the tools of the trade to become a hardened criminal, thus become a future burden to society.
Those unable to obtain a pardon will have limited travel and employment opportunies, thus more likely to go on welfare or unemployment, again a future burden to society.
O.A.S. payments to seniors in prison is such a minuscule issue that it's hardly worth mentioning, except for the revenge freaks out there.
Increasing punishment for youth offenders goes against every study ever conducted and once again serves to increase potential harm to society in the future as youthful indiscretion is transformed in to ever increasing incarceration instead of rehabilitation and reintegration.
Apparently, the Harper Conservatives are only copying the failed US system instead of studying the successes in civilized, developed countries.
Yes, there are young people who require incarceration, and some who must be dealt with as adults, but current laws allow for this. What society should be demanding is early intervention to reduce the number of youth who become adult criminals. That is not the outcome of a lock-em-up, tough-on-crime approach. Money would be far more effectively spent providing activities in schools and communities so that all kids--regardless of family income or interest--can have ready and free access to alternatives to drugs and crime. And I don't mean funding for elitist sports that spit out the unworthy; I mean activites that are open, welcoming and relavent to any kid.
As for young offenders doing the time for their crimes, unlike adults, young offenders aren't released after completing 30% or 50% of their sentences. A six-month sentence for a youth means six months, and so is the equivalent of a year's adult sentence.
When our government stops focusing on the citizen and only focuses on the crime, you can rest assured that we will have more of the latter.
This "hateful", irresponsible group of Harper cons KNOW their policies are regressive and harmful but I believe Harper covets the US for profit prison industry and wants to use our legislature to pass laws that will fill prisons with the poor, minorities, and addicts. There is HUGE amounts of money in it. Harper will have our police militarized and bashing down the doors of peaceful, non violent people while at the same time confiscating their property. Harper wants to appoint "Czars" accountable ONLY TO HIM so as to undermine the autonomy of our bureaucracy. He would like to see as an example a drug Czar like in the US to implement things like "cannabis has no medical value" even though science proves it shrinks tumors and safely treats a plethora of illness, just as they have done in the US.
When one steps back and summarizes his whole agenda it appears that Harper wants Canada to become the US. A corrupt regime fronting the interests of huge multinational corporations at the expense of the Canadian people.
HARPER THE HORRIFIC!
These right wing, bible punching SOBs are intent on criminalizing the everyday activities of normal Canadians.
And they're intent on putting more and more decent people in newly built jails. All this justified on the FABRICATION that crime is rampant in Canada.
Using SCARE TACTICS and MISINFORMATION, the Conservatives are trying hard to shape public opinion based on hogwash, yet statistically Canada's crime rate has been FALLING since early 1990s (according to Stats Can). Canada's population is aging, and as it does our crime rate will continue to fall.
HARPER and Rob NICHOLSON, they're evil men.
Canadians are not all born with original sin, and we don't need to have a Canadian Version of original sin bestowed upon ourselves and our children courtesy of the Conservative Party of Canada.
I don't want Canada's justice system to be run according to someone's bible.
Laws such as these new amendments depend on them being rational to provide protection, i.e. 'If i do this I'm in big trouble'. How many teens do you know that think that way?
Parents have very little power over these wizened, internet savvy tweens who quickly find out about 'child abuse' and how they can use that threat to keep their parents at bay.
Bottom line: A bigger stick to beat these kids with is NOT what's needed, better tools, support and education for parents and families IS!!!
We have a moral duty to help them where we can as long as it does not involve placing ourselves at risk.
Many of these youth did not have the opportunities, guidance and love that many of us had and it is no mystery that this would breed resentment and in some violent behavior.
However when any youth or adult has proven themselves dangerous to society they must be physically isolated from he rest of us after a fair trial.
Option 2: Rehabilitate young criminals to become productive members of society, without heavy criminal records that haunt them for life and keep them from integrating into society. In the process, a certain number of them will fall back into a criminal life and go to prison anyways, but a certain number of them will become productive and contribute to society.
He is not interested in facts, experts, or peer reviewed data when implementing policy- he goes with his gut. His gut feeling says that we should copy the USA style of justice system. Look how well that is working out for them!
This is the same guy that is STILL trying to force through mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offences. In 2010 this is probably the dumbest thing you can do. I'm suprised Harper is letting him do it.
Any reversion in the YCJA is absolutely irresponsible and ignorant of how to treat youth crime.
Drug dealers (prostitutes, etc) are in it for the money. Take the money away from them and then they won't want to continue... or, if the said offenses could be decriminalized and legalized, and regulated by the government, then the government rather than the offenders would make the money (and an awful lot of it too... just look at what legalizing gambling has done for them!) and let these "criminals" do things the right way, rather than the "wrong" way.
Much of youth crime starts out as dares and hazing and is not really serious stuff until they get away with it for a while. I understand that this is not always the case, but most of the stuff kids do, is just that: kids stuff. But if they get involved with more serious offenses, they need a place where they can be, yes punished, but also where they can continue to go to school, where they can get counselling, and where their parents can also get counselling on how to deal with their problem child. In this way, you try to prevent future crimes.
Prison while being a useful deterrent is also a school that teaches many things.
Prison teaches inmates that society is more evil than they are; thus when they leave prison full of revenge it is much easier to do crime.
Prison teaches that police, prison guards and basically all authority are the bad guys and they must be fooled, opposed and defied at every step.
Prison teaches that the only rules that are real are the laws of the jungle. In other words victimize so that you are not the victim. In prison the inmates practice being violent and abusive for their own protection. In time one gets very good at it.
Prison teaches one how to fight (fight really well I might add). With an atmosphere of constant violence and fighting over time the inmates get very skilled. Pracitce makes perfect.
In prison one learns a career. In prison one forms special bonds with members of the criminal world in order to keep safe. These bonds often last a life time and are very valuable when one gets out and needs "employment".
Prison while having value in being a deterent to crime is also a university where inmates learn to hate society and become criminals. People who think that thowing a young person in jail will somehow make him good are very mistaken. Throwing troubled youth in prison trains them to be monsters that all of society will have to deal with for the rest of their lives.
The Conservative party's crime solutions are a major step backwards for Canada and reducing crime.
Nobody wants crime but it can only be reduced with proper steps. Stephen Harper's polices will increase crime in Canada for generations to come.
We need only look to the American experience with "boot camps", a philosophy that's been completely discredited. Why? Because there is no support system outside the prison walls to help them STAY disciplined, and that is the fault of visionless leadership (like that of the Conservatives), who want to axe social programs. How LOW is the crime rate in the States thanks to their extreme--well, extremely profitable--prison system?
Blind-faith Con supporters should open their eyes. Harper and his ilk make this country a little more red, white and blue every day.
If you actually want to lessen or stop youth crime, you actually have to do something about the root causes of crime - alienation, powerlessness, poverty, poor education, a lack of connection to society, and so forth. Throwing people in jail doesn't actually fix anything. The proof can be found in our clink-happy neighbours to the south, where 10% of their population is either in jail or on parole, and crime numbers aren't going down.
The result is (per capita):
-higher crime rate than us
-more gun crimes than us
-higher violent crime rate than us
-higher murder rate than us
Biblical style justice is moronic and it doesnt' work.
1) They won't apply it to their own people (for example Jaffir and Mulroney)
2) They don't support the police (who are ALL calling for the maintenance of the gun registry - which they use constantly to save lives.)
We don't need the justice system of the stone age. We don't need to criminalize young people.
Punishment does = revenge!
The way to reduce crime is to look at the causes not the symptoms. At no time has harsher punishments resulted in reduction in crime rates. The only time crimes go down is when detection and convictions go up. Most 'criminals' do not expect to be caught, period. If they think there is a good chance of being caught they will be hesitant to commit the crime.
The social cost of keeping people of all ages in jail is insanity. We need fewer people in jail and better alternatives. The safety of all of us can be better served by looking for and addressing the reason crime is committed.
This so-called reform simply sounds good to those who actually have no knowledge of the empirical reality.
Youth crime rates are going down. Why the need for reform?
This is another waste of money by the conservative government.
Do we really want to spend so much on prisons (that don't indeed make us safer) that we can't afford health care?
All the reforms that the conservatives have introduced all cost tonnes of money - I think they want to bankrupt our country so that we have no choice but to privatize everything.
If you want proof, look to the United States. They struggle with major crime rates, they have the highest prison population in the world and the New York Times reported in 2008 approximately 7% of State budgets were devoted to corrections.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act may have its problems, but at least this isn't one of them. It is time the Harper Government read and comprehended available research and literature in order to come up with a more practical solution.
Youth crime is declining, so the current approach arguably *is* working but they all just "know" that it isn't working, because they heard about some case in a mangled chain email they got and never even checked if it was remotely accurate. And it doesn't matter what the flaws are with the current system, the solution is always to crank up the harshness of the system.
Oh, and all the people who spend years learning about these issues, conducting research, examining evidence and knowing what they are talking about who oppose a simplistic stiffer penalty approach, well they're just "ivory tower eggheads" or some such and we should all just ignore them since they know what they're talking about.
Damn the statistics, full steam ahead with a regressive and vengeful criminal law system! Like I said, this is why we can't have nice things when conservatives have say over the government.
Hot flash from the news room cons, crime has been dropping steady each year steadily since 1990. In 2003 it jumps up from the year before because of a 300% increase in fraud, because of ONE criminal. Yes, that is how low our crime rate is in some areas that a single criminal can affect the national numbers.
Crime over all has been dropping even youth crime.
So this entire bill is useless. It will do nothing about crime in general or youth crime in particular. It is not about justice or prevention of crime, but about revenge from angry, mean spirited, unthinking Cons who believe the myth of youth crime rather than the reality.
Well you are wrong and this government is wrong. These measures will do nothing. Except for cost us taxpayers more and more money to house the greater numbers of jailed youth at a time when the Cons have already put us deep into debt with their spending.
Ironic eh? All the Cons screaming that 14 year old is mature enough to know right from wrong and go to jail for life for a crime, but NOT mature enough to drive, drink, vote or consent to have sexual relations.
You are all damned hypocrites, and vengeful ones at that. And on the facts of criminal justice and youth justice, you are plain wrong. Period.