24

Fresh meat


 

Gilles Duceppe, on Harper’s plan to put 14-year olds in adult prisons if they’re convicted of serious crimes:

“We all know what happens in prison,” Mr. Duceppe told reporters after meeting with union leaders.

“They will be fresh meat, let’s not kid ourselves.”

If that’s the case, how come the logical conclusion is to keep kids out of prison rather than to reform the prison system?


 

Fresh meat

  1. If that’s the case, how come the logical conclusion is to keep kids out of prison rather than to reform the prison system?

    Why does it have to be either/or?

  2. When I read things like this it just reinforces how different Quebec and ROC politics/society are. I have a hard time imagining any mainstream pol in ROC saying that we should keep teens out of jail because they will basically become rent boys.

    Is Mr Duceppe even trying anymore? C Hebert wrote today he will be quiting soon, is that informed opinion or just a hunch.

  3. “If that’s the case, how come the logical conclusion is to keep kids out of prison rather than to reform the prison system?”

    The point is to keep kids out of ADULT prison. That in no way suggests keeping them out of youth facilities.

    No wonder folks are finding the Green Shift too complicated, if a single sentence is taxing our comprehension.

    Yeesh.

  4. I can’t believe no one in the media has picked up on this but, correct me if I’m wrong, but im pretty sure there is a provision in the YCJA to allow for adult sentences to be imposed in certain cases. So… what’s the point?

  5. Dr.

    Just another wedge issue by the master stragetist? Considering that it could be “constitutionally problematic” as pointed out by Queen’s University law professor, Nick Bala. Well said, Monsieur Duceppe.

  6. A better question is why there is a double standard: one set of laws for Quebec, and another for the rest of Canada?

  7. So, according to Duceppe, the adult prison population is a collection of sexual deviants, while the youth prison population is a bunch of choir boys. Spare me.

  8. sf,

    Let’s not put words in his mouth. It’s hardly an outlandish position to assert that a 14 year old boy will receive far rougher treatment in adult prison than in youth prison.

    But for those of you who are buying into Harper’s idea, I appeal to the fiscal zone of your vengeful brains: it will cost a lot more to house kids in adult jails, because additional segregation procedures and staff will need to be set up to protect them.

    You know what would be easiest? Maybe we should just have public stonings of the little f**kers and be done with it. Stones are free, and we can bury them cheap.

    I can’t believe folks are so irrationally fearful, and short sighted, that they’re willing to ensure 14 year olds get turned into embittered sociopaths in adult prisons.

    Take a look at the objective evidence – in countries like the USA that disproportionately use jails, crime rates are no lower than our’s, per capita. What makes you think Harper’s plan will yield different results?

  9. This is why convicted youth go to…wait for it…YOUTH PRISONS!

    You’d think that after receiveing a federal paycheque for 18 years as an MP, Duceppe would have realized this by now.

  10. Cool Blue,

    Harper wants to change that and send kids as young as 14 to adult prisons.

  11. “If that’s the case, how come the logical conclusion is to keep kids out of prison rather than to reform the prison system?”

    Because the aim SHOULD be to keep kids out of prison. What kind of society that calls itself civilized would seek to get 14 year olds to co-habitate with hardened adult criminals in jail for the rest of their lives?

  12. Throwing people (adults and young people) in jail has been shown over and over again to have no positive impact on crime rates, but it seems that is lost on politicians. This is one of Harper’s more disagreeable blind spots.

  13. Bill S

    Putting criminals in jail keeps them from committing more crime, which I would describe as a ‘positive impact’.

  14. jwl… it only keeps them from committing more crime as long as they’re in jail.

    So, if you’re suggesting that we imprision everyone for life sentences, that makes sense.

    Otherwise, you have to assume they get out of jail. And it *has* been shown over and over again that putting people in jail has no positive impact on crime rates. It has also been shown that the longer a person is in jail, the more likely that they will come out and commit more serious crimes.

  15. jwl,

    Jails do little or nothing to deter the behaviour of individuals, for starters.

    Secondly, jails do little or nothing to reform the behaviours of individuals who spend time there. In fact, the overwhelming evidence is that jail time serves to solidify the sociopathic tendencies of inmates. It basically ensures future criminal behaviour in many.

    They may prevent that individual from committing crime (while in jail), but they do nothing to address the social underpinnings of deviant behaviour. It`s not a matter of some folks being `èvil`, crime patterns follow very predictable social and economic patterns (witness the dramatic over-representation of aboriginal Canadians in our jails, as one example – poverty and broken communities need to be addressed in that case).

  16. jwl – this is true, but it is not the only way to prevent them from committing more crime.

    But it is important not to muddle up the handling of individual cases (deciding who in particular should be put in jail) with public policy goals intended to ameliorate a perceived issue with crime.

    Harper thinks that because the justice system goofs up in releasing the wrong people, or gives parole where it shouldn’t, that the overall response should be to put more people in jail. This has shown to be a false response.

  17. I am all for trying to educate some inmates if they are illiterate or they can’t do simple math but rehabilitation programs don’t work either.

    I would argue many criminals brains are hardwired to commit crime so deterrence and/or rehabilitation are irrelevant. Putting them in jail, to stop them from committing even more crime, is about all we can do.

  18. “Putting criminals in jail keeps them from committing more crime, which I would describe as a ‘positive impact’.”

    Here’s the rightwing logic at play. JWL, think about what you are saying, will ya?

    When one speaks of a deterrent effect, it refers to stopping OTHERS from perpetrating the same crime. You can put all the drug dealers currently on the streets in jail for the rest of their natural life but a whole crop of other aspiring Scarface wannabes will quickly take their place.

    This is what is happening in the US and they can’t build new jails to accomodate the new criminals fast enough.

  19. So are you suggesting that everyone convicted of every crime should be put in jail for life?

    Some of the US states have tried that, and are backing off of that idea when they found that it wasn’t reducing crime rates and it costs a fortune. Yes, that means those individuals weren’t committing more crime, but others filled their place. That doesn’t mean that if you release them the crime rate would be even higher though.

    Don’t the statistics and science matter in this regard? Should we really be throwing tons of money on something that’s been proven incorrect?

    Your money?

  20. jwl – it is also instructive to see what offenses are resulting in jail time. We seem to throw too many people in jail for trivial crimes (not to mention holding them for months before trial), at the same as paroling a lot of violent and dangerous individuals.

    The issue is management incompetence in the justice system.

  21. I don’t think people realise how small the deterrent effect of jail is for the kinds of youth that typically commit violent offenses. Those crimes tend to be driven by poverty and gangs, and addressing those issues is the way to reduce that form of crime.

  22. “The issue is management incompetence in the justice system.”

    Bill S

    I agree with that 100%. I think society is becoming more hedonistic, lots of less significant laws are being broken and people are ending up in jail for crimes that are not all that significant.

    And I won’t get started on how we treat the hardened criminals because I could be here for days ranting and raving about ‘country clubs’ and the like.

    Scott M

    “So are you suggesting that everyone convicted of every crime should be put in jail for life?”

    No, I am not suggesting that. Only murderers and paedophiles should be locked away for life and everyone else should serve a sentence of whatever duration.

    I don’t think criminals are born evil, a few are but not all, but most are hardwired at an early age. I don’t believe rehabilitation or deterrence work. All we can do is put criminals in jail to keep them from committing more crime.

    I have no solutions on how to ‘fix’ criminals brains to keep them from committing more crime and neither does anyone else.

  23. “Harper wants to change that and send kids as young as 14 to adult prisons.”

    No, they’d be sentenced as an adult but still go to youth prisons until the age of 18.

  24. jwl: Any stats on those rehabilitation programs not working? Or is that just your gut “truthiness” talking?

    Here’s a study, “Rehabilitation – Does Correctional Rehabilitation Work?” that suggests when properly applied, recidivism occurs 25 percentage points lower than it does in the control group. So if about half of the control group reoffended, properly applied rehabilitation techniques could cut that in half again.

    Ain’t perfect, but early days.

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