Harper’s tough on crime sweep of the country has caused a huge problem. Prisons are becoming overcrowded. Workers at existing prisons are fearful for their safety and their lives. How long before the sharks in the Conservative party start bringing up private megaprisons again?
Although the national crime rate has been dropping since 1992 and is now at levels not seen since 1972, policies of the federal Conservative government have put more people behind bars.
In August, there was an average of 15,101 inmates housed in Canada’s federal penitentiaries, an all-time high. Double-bunking – the practice of putting two inmates in a cell built for one – increased by more than 27 per cent in federal prisons in Canada between 2011 and 2012.
Because there are more prisoners and a limited amount of resources, large numbers of the inmates have no job and all must compete for access to programs and education, Mr. Mallette said. Most will eventually be released but, he said, “without programs, without jobs, without school, he [the prisoner] is going back to society and he will be your neighbour.”
The reaction of the government to this story? As you’d expect, deflection and blame the whisteblower, dismissing claims of overcrowding a cunning ‘stunt’. Of course, the de rigeur kick-the-union rhetoric is there in all its neoCon glory.
Julie Carmichael, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, said Mr. Mallette’s cross-country tour was nothing more than a political stunt by a big union boss. Nevertheless, Ms. Carmichael said, Mr. Toews has agreed to invite Mr. Mallette to Ottawa to discuss Correctional Service’s plan for the closure of the two prisons and transition o
X-posted at Let Freedom Rain.