Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Bewildering" The World, Again

People might remember there was a RECENT time, when Canada would host international delegations who wanted to come and see our enviable prison system and policies. The statistics didn't lie, Canada had a progressive system in place that other countries wanted to emulate. With that now former backdrop in mind, quite instructive to read the latest headlines, "Canada's Youth Crime Plans Bewilder International Observers" which demonstrate how far we've fallen under these ideological zealots who have thrown empirical evidence out the window in favour of fear mongering:
If Canada follows through on plans to crack down on miscreant youth, it’ll be one of the few jurisdictions in the world heading in that direction.

And the tough-on-crime approach in the face of contrary evidence is bemusing international observers.

Judges, criminologists and policy-makers in the United States, Britain and Australia – countries whose systems, for the most part, closely resemble Canada’s – can’t figure out why this country is planning to shift toward a jail-intensive approach. Everyone else seems to be doing the opposite, not for ideological reasons, but because evidence shows it works.

Truly embarrassing, a country that once relied on "evidence" has now abandoned any semblance of an advanced society in favour of almost religious zeal, based on nothing but empty philosophical assertion. Also worth nothing, the prior sentence is applicable on a host of files, giving an overall picture of a country heading on a regressive path.

The Conservative crime agenda has never substantiated itself with evidence. When confronted with clear statistics, we here nonsensical things like "non reported crime" or fabrications, or one off stories that are used to solicit fear. As well, there seems no transparency on the costs of this reckless crime agenda, even though we already have evidence of ballooning expenditures, PRIOR to many of these laws manifesting themselves.

For years, Canadians have looked south and largely shaken their heads at the almost primal system of justice, the levels of imprisonment. And yet, we are now in a situation where Americans are looking north wondering what we are doing, moving in the opposition direction. Just as other jurisdictions are waking up to the folly of past policy, we are adopting that failed model. It is truly ASININE and disturbing, and yet saleable because the Conservatives have used electoral ignorance to advantage, sensationalized the real issues to create superficial support. Rather than "good government" we get "good strategy", so there is no political consequence here for what amounts to a completely irresponsible crime agenda.

Canadians will pay a very high price, both literally and figuratively in the coming years, as we truly digest the seismic changes these ideological amateurs have brought. Evidence based policy has been replaced by "we know best" laymen mentalities, and that is a very dangerous development.

13 comments:

Marc Bernard said...

Maybe we'll follow other countries who have a term of compulsory military service for young people, except we'll make it compulsory prison time.

You know, so these punks learn early to keep in line.

We're getting close to "reeducation camp" territory, aren't we?

Steve V said...

What I find striking is how prominent this crime agenda is for the Conservatives. There is no factual basis, experts scoff, the costs are astronimical and yet, rather than try to slide these measures in quietly, these Cons trumpet them on every occasion. This circumstance speaks volumes about how they have successfully used crime as a wedge issue, how they've preyed on irrational fears to actually score points on an agenda which is insulting for anyone who takes the time to review the true facts. Amazing and scary.

Marc Bernard said...

Even worse is that anyone who questions them is "soft on crime" or "doesn't support the police".

CathiefromCanada said...

I hope someone is following the money -- who owns the property new prisons are being built on, who gets the construction contracts, whose community benefits from the prison employment, who owns the private security companies who are going to get contracts to run these prisons, etc.

Greg said...

You are missing the big picture. These policies are designed to create more hardened criminals. More hardened criminals means more money for police and for more prisons. That means less money for health care and pensions. For Conservatives that is know as a virtuous circle. For the rest of us it means years of hell.

Paul said...

"ideological amateurs"

This coming from the Party that brought us Gun Registration.

Either way(prisions or no prisons) all political parties are to soft on criminals and conpletely miss the point as to the "why".

Marc Bernard said...

It gets better:
http://sixthestate.net/?p=2421

Steve V said...

Paul

Silly retort.

Omar said...

I'd love to here your thoughts as to the "why", Paul. Please stimulate us with your learned knowledge on the subject of corrections.

sharonapple88 said...

Soft on crime.... There are programs like Ceasefire developed by David Kennedy that cuts youth crime dramatically, but which don't involve tossing kids in jail.

JimmE said...

The assholes who elected this so-called government should have been forced to read both Collapse & The March of Folly.

sharonapple88 said...

Harsher penalties because there's a crime wave out there.... sorry, because the crime rate is at its lowest in years.

rockfish said...

I suggest the press look into who exactly will benefit financially from the 'jails, jails and more jails' program and we may know who funded Harper's original leadership run.