Prime Time Crime


Letter to Prime Time Crime  March 21, 2005

 Incarceration - The forgotten crime prevention program

By C.J.

I was reading the Liberals' idea of reducing youth crime the other day and repeatedly shook my head at the nonsense they call the Youth Criminal Justice Act.  If there ever was any doubt that this current government had abdicated total responsibility for providing safe communities, it likely went out the window as quickly as a Young offender's written warning. 

You scoff at written warnings ?  This harsh penalty is only warranted after the police confirm that the crime is severe enough that a verbal warning is not warranted.  Enough to make any crack dealing, purse snatching thug shake in his two hundred dollar pair of sneakers.

Surely the author exagerates you say.  This could only happen to a first time offender, right ?  Unfortunately it's all very true.  Even Y.O. with several arrests to their credit can benefit from verbal, written or the dreaded "stern written warning".   This type of warped legislation will surely protect us all from group swarmings and robberies !   

The Liberals will tell you that my kind of thinking is outdated, that incarceration doesn't work and is too expensive.  They'll try to make you believe that we have more youth in custody than any other country in the world except the U.S.  They'll never explain their definition of just what "custody" is as it's so broad that you might end up thinking your child's music class is "custody".  They hope you're not smart enough to know that today's shoplifter is tomorrow's car thief, robber or murderer.  Today, If a 17 yr old Paul Bernardo were to grab a girl from behind and try to throw her to the ground, he would face nothing more than a written warning.  If a 15 yr old James Roszko pointed a gun at his neighbour, he would get nothing more than probation and it would take much "articulable cause" to get him in front of a judge.

Morally challenged academics will provide the government with taxpayer funded studies quicker than you can get a cheeseburger at your local drive through window.  "Flavour of the day" concepts and flowery words such as "extra-judicial measures" replace common sense and proven crime prevention methods.  You are made to think that you have no say in public policy because your PhD in common sense will never quite be up to snuff with the credentials of the great minds from the make believe world. Guys like Irwin Cotler make blanket statements like "minimum sentencing has been shown to be innefective", this from the people who would tell you that we got our money's worth from the Sponsorship program in Quebec.

If a 14 year old commits an armed robbery, the public shouldn't have to worry about this person until he/she becomes an adult.  That's right!  Forget probation, forget restorative justice, forget house arrest.  Send the right message.  Disrespect the rights of people in your community and you'll go to jail for a long time.  The only way to prevent youth from robbing a second, third or fourth time is to not give them the opportunity to do it.  Anything but removal from society is gambling with the safety of Canadians and the stakes are too high to refuse to incarcerate kids who would slit your throat without even blinking.

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