Crime bill will be too costly

Other than the tar sands and turning the penal system into a Canadian growth industry, what do the Conservatives have going for them?

The new Conservative crime bill is what you get when you mix Conservative and religious ideologies that are totally bankrupt of any other progressive ideas to grow the Canadian economy.

Other than the tar sands and turning the penal system into a Canadian growth industry, what do the Conservatives have going for them? At least the tar sands, in spite of the fact that it is environmentally costly, makes money. The crime bill will be a huge financial as well as humanitarian drain on the Canadian taxpayer.

Every person you put in prison has many costs. First, a direct monetary cost for incarceration, next comes all of the collateral costs: fathers, mothers and children can no longer provide for their families so they end up on welfare, and children can no longer go to school and learn so they can become a productive member of society.

Instead they are incarcerated into a school for crime and their future from that point is fairly predictable.

If you want to fix something you don’t  give a mandatory jail sentence for smoking or growing a few pot plants and then give people suspended sentences for violently beating someone to the point of incapacitating them for life.

It is not as though this hasn’t been tried before. The last 30 years in Texas they took tough-on-crime to the maximum and that includes capital punishment. Texas not only has had more than double the crime rates of other states but the costs literally bankrupted the state and resulted in the state having to put one out of 20 of its citizens in jail, executed, on parol or on probation.

The indisputable fact is that this draconian law accomplished quite the opposite of making Texans safe. Since Texas has changed course away from mandatory sentencing and incarceration to treatment, harm reduction and probation, it has seen a double-digit decline in not only incarceration rates but more importantly crime rates and this was all accomplished at one-tenth the previous cost.

Premier Christy Clark needs to tell Mr. Harper that B.C. shall not pay for this ridiculous return to the days of Charles Dickens and Texas’ failed costly travesty. Canadians want things to be better, not return to the bad old days.

Wayne Clark

Maple Ridge

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