location: news

June 11, 2007


The case of Paul Callow, who was released from a federal penitentiary in February 2007, after serving every day of his 20 year sentence imposed for a series of sexual assaults, to be met by an unprecedented wave of public hostility and rejection, raises once again the difficult issues of balancing justice and security, punishment and rehabilitation, and the role and responsibility of the correctional and law enforcement authorities and the media to ensure that their portrayal of offenders does not unfairly fan the flames of public fear.

Professor Jackson, concerned about the unfair portrayal of Mr. Callow as an untreated dangerous sexual offender with little or no remorse for his crimes, has reviewed his extensive correctional files and has prepared a detailed report, which has been released to the media and the public. The report documents that Mr. Callow willingly accepted and indeed sought out treatment, benefited from treatment, and does not represent the same danger to public safety as he did when he started his sentence 20 years ago. In the course of his documentary report Professor Jackson provides insights into the nature of sex offender treatment in federal penitentiaries, the importance of the Aboriginal healing journey -"The Red Road", the dangers and unintended consequences of the " detention" provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, (which empower the National Parole Board to order that a prisoner not be released at the normal two thirds point in their sentence on statutory release but remain imprisoned until warranty expiry)and how a prisoner's legitimate protests against unfairness can be distorted by correctional officials into allegations of "manipulation" and "power and control" to support the case that the prisoner remains a risk to re-offend and requires further imprisonment. Professor Jackson's report has received extensive media coverage in Canada and hopefully will help change the tide of public opinion so that Mr. Callow can take his rightful place within the community.

To read Professor Jackson's report click here.

Michael Jackson