A leap…to prison

From: Rick Pali <rpali@alienshore.com>
To: Stockwell Day <Day.S@parl.gc.ca>
Subject: New prisons.
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 20:17:01 -0400

Sir,

I read with great interest the CBC article describing the news conference in which you announced the government’s intention to spend billions of dollars to build new prisons.

The article says that the government has “received indications” that an increasing number of crime victims do not report the crimes committed against them. Of particular interest was a quote of something you said:

It shows we can’t take a Liberal view to crime which is, some would suggest, that it is barely happening at all.

Ignoring your dig at the Liberals, they claim crime is declining because they have police statistics that say so. It’s not a mere ‘view’ if they’ve got numbers to prove their point. Of course this doesn’t mean they’re necessarily correct. If you wish to correct an error in their reasoning, you need to have proof that they’re wrong. The reporters questioned you on where you’re getting this information, and you blew them off, saying you’d provide figures later. Canadians expect and deserve better.

The CBC did their homework and contacted Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, and he cited a 2004 Statistics Canada report which estimated that 34% of Canadian crime victims aren’t reporting crimes against them. I hope the information backing your claim is more substantial than a six-year-old estimate that sheds no light on whether unreported crimes are increasing, decreasing, or unchanging. You know that if the percentage of crimes that aren’t reported is constant, and the reported crimes are declining, the crime rate is indeed declining, right?

So okay, lets imagine that you have these amazing statistics proving your point (and all we can do is imagine because you expect us to take your word over the people with numbers backing them) that crime rates are not declining. I’m still waiting to hear how building more prisons will help bring people to justice when the crimes aren’t being reported. It will be difficult to get the perpetrators into those new prisons if the justice system knows nothing about their crimes.

Rick.

cc: http://www.alienshore.com/2010/08/a-leap-to-prison/

3 thoughts to “A leap…to prison”

  1. Yes, I completely agree and furthermore would add that the billions spent on building prisons would be better served to keep people from winding up in them. There is very good evidenced based research into the reasons why people commit crimes. We can all agree that people who commit crimes should be punished; but it’s the front end, i.e. social spending, that prevents crime. Teach Johnny to read good and better yet, root out the problems that cause a disproportionate number of First Nations (mostly) men to wind up in prison.

  2. You are right, that is what runs through my head every time they talk about the new prisons.

    Also I don’t know why they are building them since they just decriminalized taking a pass on the long form census. Untold hundreds of people won’t be going to jail now. Speaking of the census, I wonder where they will get the data to back up the rising crime numbers when they have no way to accurately collect said data!

    They are all doolally!

Leave a Reply