OUR VIEW: No easy answers on repeat offenders

Surely there is enough room in the federal budget to hire more corrections employees

While we as a species are capable of lofty achievement and wondrous acts of love and charity, there are obviously those among us who bring only grief, horror and chaos to society.

In that group are recidivist violent criminals who benefit from mandatory release into society after serving two-thirds of their prison sentence simply because lawmakers have not come up with an alternative to the worst case, which is to dump them back into the community without supervision after they’ve done their full time.

We’ll probably be hearing more about public safety and getting tough on crime as the next federal election, set for Oct. 21, approaches.

In a nutshell, the two political ideologies – conservative and liberal – approach matters of crime and punishment quite differently.

The conservative focus is on public protection and accountability, while the liberals hold that people, generally speaking, are inherently good and those who turn bad can be rehabilitated.

Of course, there are various shades in between these two poles.

READ ALSO FOCUS: ‘They should not be out on the street,’ Surrey crimefighter says of violent offenders

READ ALSO FOCUS: Surrey SkyTrain station shooting suspect was released from prison on reduced sentence

The survivors of victims who’ve been killed by a repeat violent offender who was released back into Surrey from prison likely have little patience for armchair philosophy.

People want change, but will the politicians provide it? The answer to that question can no doubt be found in past performance.

Government might not have the fix for evil, here’s something they can fix. Simon Fraser University criminology professor Robert Gordon notes there are not enough eyes in the correction system to properly keep a watch on violent high-risk criminals who are benefiting from mandatory release.

This is a problem the government could easily fix that does not reside in the realm of simplistic rhetoric. In a country where our prime minister sends a tweet announcing we are sending $50 million to help other countries – and this past week earmarked $53 million for Venezuela – surely there is enough room in the federal budget to hire more corrections employees.

This, to ensure repeat offenders are kept in check.

Surely, this would be a start.



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