June 10, 2010
TRACKING THE POLITICS
While the overall volume and severity in police-reported ‘crime’ has continued to decline since 2006, a trend which began well over a decade ago, the Conservatives have been busy drafting, advertising, tabling, and re-tabling punishment bills. In fact, of the 248 pieces of legislation tabled by the Government in the House of Commons and the Senate since 2006, 55 have focussed on making changes to the criminal justice system) – that is over 22 percent. As described in A Flawed Compass this tough on crime program is regressive, undermines Canada’s human rights record and reputation and is extremely costly, at a time when restraint is a litmus test for Government accountability. One piece of legislation alone -“The Truth in Sentencing Act” which limits the judicial practice of giving 2 for 1 credit for pre-trial custody- is projected by the Parliamentary Budget office to cost taxpayers $7-billion to $10-billion over five years.
To read more about the Government plans and the real costs to taxpayers of ratcheting the use and costs of imprisonment visit the blog posted by Justin Piche, a criminologist at Carleton University, “Tracking the Politics of Crime and Punishment in Canada” at http://tpcp-canada.blogspot.com/