Tuesday 23 August 2011

'Soft on crime' and polls

You can tell when it is an election year... both federal and provincial in Ontario.

Polls, polls, polls. Shrill politicians shrieking their disgust with (choose one!)...

An 'uneasy alliance'
MPP Randy Hillier (suspenders), Michael Schmidt's (vest)
at the Newmarket courthouse in February of 2009
to show their support for Michael Schmidt
 in his court battle for legal raw milk.
Jack MacLaren 'This land is our land'
a) party in power, mistakes were made
b) opposition party candidates are rhetorical idiots
c) too much money spent
d) not enough money spent
e) scandalous behaviour [see b)]
f) promises to cut taxes AND improve services
g) too many in jail
h) too many not in jail

Tim Hudak is the Conservative opposition leader. As always, opposition gets press by presenting headlines...
Elections Ontario
The ruling party also seeks headlines...of course, new initiatives must make sense, add up, and be affordable.
When you slip the veil of rhetoric and anger off Tim Hudak, the numbers just don’t add up,” Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli said.

*Work Programs

Ontario could see chain gangs under Hudak's Conservatives

 TORONTO – Ontario could see chain gangs cleaning graffiti and raking leaves along highways and in public areas if the Progressive Conservatives form the next government.

Yet, they have those who work in the community, supervised and learning to work long and hard. There is boredom in prisons. I'm not talking about the ones we see on TV, or the ones where hardened criminals exist. Most of our inmates need help. Seldom do they get it. Take the young woman, Ashley Smith, who committed suicide in an Ontario prison. [Ashley Smith, 19, prison inmate commits suicide by hanging herself ...]

Bala Habitat building finished!
Ontario Conservatives would force prisoners to work if they form government. Nothing like forcing them; although some go to school in the prison, trying to achieve a high school equivalency. Many are uneducated, undereducated, or have mental health issues. Why force them to work? Would you want someone in your community who was forced to work while incarcerated. I prefer those with whom I worked on a voluntary creative writing program. They were eager to learn, write and share their lessons of greed, petty crime; mistakes were made.

Provincial prisons house offenders awaiting trial, as well as those serving less than two years for offences such as break and enter, assault and drug trafficking. There are currently 8,488 inmates in Ontario facilities. They are overcrowded, and having their own difficulties. But 

Why the crime rate is irrelevant

Ottawa Citizen - Paul Tuns - 31 Jul 2011
Statistics Canada reported recently that crime is down five per cent, and serious crime is down six per cent. ...

They have work programs on a voluntary basis: the site manager reported work crews from Beaver Creek that worked at the  Bala Habitat site. This is a rewarding and positive experience for all.

*We can blame the federal Conservatives for this attitude of mistrust and punishment 'tough on crime', rather than rehabilitation. Their ubiquitous flyers in the mail were ridiculous.

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