--> Getting It Right: Why is "doing the time" so wrong?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why is "doing the time" so wrong?

Canada’s opposition parties just don’t get it.

Ordinary law-abiding people are tired of hearing about sex offenders released from prison just in time to target another child. We hate reading in the news about a guy arrested for stealing a car who sits in jail for a couple of hours and then gets back on the street to steal another one.

And we are really, really sick of convicted criminals of serious crimes who, instead of receiving hard jail time, get an ankle bracelet and house arrest.

I know that we aren’t supposed to think like this in kinder, gentler Canada but if bad guys do the crime, frankly, they should do the time.

And if they are whining the jails are too crowded, too bad.

Criminals and their pals should get used to sharing a bed if they insist on breaking the rules that the rest of us manage to follow.

Just this week, NDP, Liberal and Bloc Quebecois Members of Parliament from the House of Commons Justice Committee decided to gut the new Conservative crime bill.

This new law included such controversial elements as minimum mandatory sentences for gun crimes, limits on house arrest for serious crimes and automatic dangerous offender classification for criminals on their third spin through the justice system.

Hmm, I don’t know about you, but these seem pretty common sense to me.

The NDP and Liberals have decided that house arrest is appropriate for serious crimes and want to allow judges the right to impose it when they feel that the criminal shouldn’t face the music because of whatever pathetic justification his or her lawyers trot out.

Hurt someone else, destroy a child, ruin property and do it over and over again, or with a gun - hard jail time sounds pretty good to me. I don’t care how drug addicted you are or how awful your childhood was – sit in jail until you figure out that hurting others won’t fix your own pain.

Academics and others admit that the new crime bill will protect people and our property but they are afraid it will make it harder to bring the bad guys to the good side of the force.

They would rather follow them around after the crime spree and sugar coat the damage done to their victims.

The guy that broke into our house and stole my grandmother’s jewelry – nothing expensive, but oh so valuable to me – was a pro. He did it all the time. And guess what, after his next court appearance, I’m sure your house or apartment could be next.

Let’s give judges the tools to lock these guys up – four to a cell if necessary. It might hurt their precious feelings, but at least the rest of us will be safe for another night.

As seen today in 24 hours


At 11:40 a.m., Blogger BC Tory said...

You took the words right out of my mouth. Bravo.

At 12:44 p.m., Blogger Bernie said...

Banned from Internet:

The Garbage Generation
by Dan Amneus



"Women," wrote Ramsey Clark in l970, in his celebrated book Crime in America, "are not a threat to the public." But he also wrote, in discussing the male juvenile criminals who are a threat to the public, that "three-fourths came from broken homes." That means mostly female-headed homes. That means that while the single mothers of these criminals do not themselves commit crimes and go to prison, the socialization they give their children has an extraordinarily high correlation with the male crime of the next generation. This socialization, in fact, is the "root cause of crime" which Clark wrote his book to explore. He had found the explanation he sought and he didn't know it. It was concealed by the generation-long time-lag between cause and effect and by the sex-switch between generations: like hemophilia, crime is manifested in males but carried and transmitted by females--or rather by single females. Instead of seeing the true connection, Clark gave his readers this:
If we are to deal meaningfully with crime, what must be seen is the dehumanizing effect on the individual of slums, racism, ignorance and violence, of corruption and impotence to fulfill rights, of poverty and unemployment and idleness, of generations of malnutrition, of congenital brain damage and prenatal neglect, of sickness and disease, of pollution, of decrepit, dirty, ugly, unsafe, overcrowded housing, of alcoholism and narcotics addiction, of avarice, anxiety, fear, hatred, hopelessness and injustice. These are the fountainheads of crime.

Not so. If we are to deal meaningfully with crime, what must be seen is its relationship with the female-headed family. Most criminals come from female-headed families. Most gang members come from female-headed families. Most addicts come from female-headed families. Most rapists come from female-headed families. Most educational failures come from female-headed families. Every presidential assassin before Hinckley came from a female-headed family or one in which he had an impossibly bad relationship with his father. Most illegitimate births occur to females who themselves grew up in female-headed families.

Continued on later post

At 12:45 p.m., Blogger Bernie said...

If we are to deal meaningfully with crime, what we must do is reduce the number of female-headed families; what we must do is prevent the divorce courts from expelling half of society's fathers from their homes; what we must do is terminate a welfare system which displaces millions of men from the principal male role, that of family-provider. What we must do is make the father the head of the family.
The female role, says Margaret Mead, is a biological fact; the male role is a social creation. This is the primary reality concerning human society. Motherhood has been the dominant feature of mammalian life since its beginning some two hundred million years ago, most conspicuously since the great reptiles became extinct and the Age of Mammals began sixty-five million years ago. Fatherhood in the sense of major male participation in reproduction is only a few million years old. Fatherhood in the sense of male headship of families is only a few thousand years old.

What is happening to our society is that it is discarding patriarchal sexual regulation and reverting to the primeval mammalian pattern of a reproductive unit consisting of the mother and her offspring, the male putting in an appearance to perform his minuscule sexual function and then disappearing or being hauled away to the sausage factory or being reduced to the role of stud who can be discarded when his female tires of him. "Men and women," rejoices feminist-anthropologist Helen Fisher, "are moving toward the kind of roles they had on the grasslands of Africa millions of years ago....Human society is now discovering its ancient roots....The recent trend toward divorce and remarriage is another example of a throwback to earlier times....[T]he so-called new extended family [read: broken family] may actually have evolved millennia ago....At long last, society is moving in a direction that should be highly compatible with our ancient human spirit....The 'traditional' role of women is a recent invention."
Biologically speaking, it is indeed a recent invention, scarcely older than the civilization which it made possible and which emerged coevally with it and created the wealth which reconciled women to accepting it. But women's new economic independence is leading them to yearn for a return to the prehistoric mammalian arrangement. "[W]herever women are economically powerful," says Fisher, "divorce rates are high. You see it in the Kung and you see it in the United States." Let's say, wherever women are economically powerful and there are no social guarantees to ensure male headship of families, divorce rates are high--such being the case among the Kung and the Americans. The Kung have no social guarantees to ensure male headship of families because the Kung never emerged from the Stone Age. The Americans have no social guarantees to ensure male headship of families because there exists an elementary confusion in the heads of policy makers, lawmakers and judges, who imagine that the obvious strength of the biological tie between the mother and the infant (the "biological fact" Margaret Mead refers to) means that it requires their assistance. A biological fact does not require the services of the legal system. What does require these services is the weakest biological link in the family, the role of the father. It was the creation of this role--only a few thousand years ago--which made patriarchal civilization possible. Prior to that, mankind had to muddle through the million years of the Stone Age with the female-headed reproductive arrangements of the ghetto, the barnyard and the rain forest.

At 12:55 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny I thought the freaking liberals were tripping over themselves to copy the Conservative get tough on crime platform. What a bunch of douche bags and thank god they are such despicable scum. We can now look forward to many more Conservative governments. The Canadian public agrees with us on the following :

reducing taxes, getting tough on crime, accountable government and the environment. Gee just so happens that these things were in the Conservative election platform. What did the Liberals focus on? The usual garbage no one gives a crap about that's what. Do you know any married gay people? Even if you did do you care if they can be married or not? I don't give a flying crap.

At 11:26 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your articles quite regularly, and find you have some rather interesting points of view. I especially appreciated your colum on "doing the time" echoing my own sentiments egactly! We finally have a P.M. in OTTAWA looking out for our interests here in the west; we haven't had that since before TRUEDEAU.Look forward to future articles.

At 5:55 p.m., Blogger YVRpilot said...

For starters, lets make our jails look like ***REAL*** jails. Jail should be a deterrent... not a Club Med-like place where criminals can hang out, share information and plot what they're going to do when they get out.

How about locking these guys up four-TY to a cell??? I believe that at least a certain percentage of criminals should lose some of their rights in order to make the system a little more **effective**...

At 11:03 p.m., Blogger Dylan said...

First: Larger print, please.

Secondly: Harsher jail times does nothing to stop criminals from reoffending. It's a fact. Science.


From the Canada Saftey Council,

"If stricter punishment is the most effective deterrent, offenders who go to jail should be less likely to re-offend when released than those sentenced to the milder penalty of probation. Yet the two groups tend to re-offend at about the same rates. There is evidence that long prison sentences without other remedial programs may actually increase the chances of re-offending after release. Very brief incarceration does appear to reduce recidivism with first-time offenders.

Canada’s growing prison population, mounting evidence that jail time does not reduce the chances of re-offending, and other factors have led to increasing use of conditional sentences."

As for imposing harher jail sentences on those who break the law,

"In 1998, the Australian state of New South Wales doubled the maximum penalties for most drink-driving offences. An analysis of the impact of these harsher penalties was released in June 2004. It found that after the tougher penalties went into effect, there was a slight reduction in recidivism rates for drinking drivers. However, the changes were not substantial, and no reductions were seen in Sydney, the largest urban area in the state."

Hmmm... that's interesting.

Why are 'conservatives' hell bent on spending my taxes on something that is not going to work in the long term to keep me safe? If AdScam is something to be alarmed about, increasing the amount of our tax dollars going to a system that is ultimately futile is just as much concern for outrage.

You'd be surprised with how well education works, and alternative forms of sentencing. What we need to do is help criminals become better citizens. Otherwise, jail is just a place to stick them for a while before they come out the same person, or worse. Is that safety?

I think not.

At 6:18 p.m., Anonymous Marisa said...

This is the first time I have read one of your articles in 24 hours. How I came to find it is an even funnier story...

I am a student of criminology in a class about communituy corrections (Or "ankle bracelets and house arrest" as you refer to them). Imagine to my shock and horror when our guest speaker for the day, a parole officer, brought in your article. She passed the newspaper around to each of us for a quick read and let's just say there wasn't a single student who had nothing to say in response.

So here's my response. I think your article is completely unfounded, offensive and just plain ridiculous. I think you should have spent a little more time and care researching community corrections, and the way our criminal justice system works in general, because your article shows a clear lack of knowledge regarding the topic. Not only has prison (or "hard time") been proven ineffective and detrimental, it has been found that offenders who serve time actually learn how to commit other crimes, and how to commit crimes better from other inmates!

Probation and electronic monitering are hardly an easy sentence, especially for young offenders commiting a first time offence. Imagine having your freedom completely limited... it's not as if these people are just free to roam the streets and continue their life as they were before. In fact, a lot of offenders would prefer going to jail because it is often an easier route than dealing with community corrections.

For those who think our prisons are "Club Feds," I went on a tour of a local prison for the first time last week. Let me tell you, it is no resort. There seems to be this popular notion among our society that these inmates lifes are anything but relaxing. Now I am not disagreeing that some of these people deserve to serve jail time for their offences, but you have to imagine being confined to a tiny room (not even 4 of us could fit into it) and being told when to eat, sleep, go outside, etc. It's hardly a holiday.

I also think it's important to remember that those incarcerated won't be in there for forever (despite your wishes!). Isn't it better to teach these people a productive lesson rather than a destructive one? I know I'd rather help these people figure out there problems then teach them to be better criminals! Not to mention the fact that we keeep forgetting: these people are HUMAN! They are just like you and me, except they made a mistake and got caught for it. I don't know about you, but I make mistakes all the time. And I can't think of a single person I know who is perfect. Why should we ruin the rest of their lives because they made one mistake?

Regarding parole, you implied that these offenders are released from prison and automatically reoffend. If you had done your research, you would see that recidivism is suprisingly low. This is probably because parole doesn't simply entitle the offender to roam the streets... instead they are placed in numerous programs, jobs and under immense supervision and control of parole officers. This is not to mention the process they have to go through to receive parole (much to their dismay they are not simply let out after asking the National Parole Board).

In conclusion, I used to feel the exact same way as you regarding 'criminals;' that is until I informed myself about the way our criminal justice system works, and how community corrections aid in making our society a safer place. I'm going to go ahead and assume that is your wish as well as most others.

So perhaps you will think twice before writing an article while upset about your Nana's jewels being theived... You shouldn't throw around accusations regarding such an intricate and important topic.

At 11:04 p.m., Anonymous Sandy said...

I can’t believe this article was actually published... what a shame. I am so losing my faith in media presentation.

You have made several comments and provided NO EVIDENCE to back your claim. I really would like to know of a single case where a convicted offender of a serious offence has received “an ankle bracelet and house arrest,” instead of “hard jail time”. For your information, all serious crimes have a mandatory minimum sentence; therefore, making it impossible for a sex offender, a murder, or an offender of any other serious offence to receive a slap on the hand.

Now, you refer to these offenders as “bad guys,” who can’t follow the rules like everyone else, but really does everyone else follow the rules? If you believe so, then you are very naïve. Just think about how many times you have driven above the speed limit – what if, on one of those occasions you got into an accident causing the death of a female pedestrian and her four month old child. Now all the sudden you belong to the group of “bad guys.” Many outraged citizen will be pushing for a harsh sentence and will hold the same ideals as you: “you have done the crime, so pay the time.” Now, does a life sentence with no chance for parole at club-med sound appealing?

Harsher sentence and longer jail time is not the answer. If you had done a little research and looked at the statistics you would know that most offenders that are processed by the criminal justice system are ONE time offenders. The thought that all offenders get out of jail and commit another crime is a myth. Less then 15 percent of all convicted offenders repeat a crime. These offenders typically commit less serious crimes, like theft under 5,000.

Honestly, people need to think before they spread their ignorance; otherwise, our criminal justice system will change for the worse. Thanks to people like you, we will be providing a doctorates degree in criminal activity to our long-term prisoners.


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