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March 28, 2011

For a better approach to community safety

Something to think about when it comes to community safety. 

The federal government has estimated an expense of allegedly $6 billion to build more prisons and to house for longer periods more both convicted and un-convicted prisoners (57% of people in jail at any time have not been convicted of anything!).  If the majority of prisoners are non-violent (31% of federal’s 13,300 per year and 78% of provincial’s 23,901 per year), why is prison and longer imprisonment the solution?

The Church Council says that $6 billion would cover the cost of supervising in the community 240,000 prisoners at a cost of $25,000 per year, likely with far more effective rehabilitation.  Given that there were about 40,000 total imprisoned in 2008/2009, the proposed spending increases alone would allow for community treatment for a number equivalent to the entire current prison population for almost 6 years! 

This makes no sense, particularly when crimes rates have been going down for the last decade.

Go to http://ccjc.ca/2011/01/12/prison-facts-the-costs for the poster and more info.

From the ISARC newsletter.