Pardons in 2013 cont…
There was an interesting article today about the plummeting rate at which pardons are being granted by the Parole Board of Canada, or rather the rate at which pardons are NOT being granted.
This is all the result of course of the notoriously misguided tough on crime legislation the Conservative’s introduced after gaining its majority status.
One of the interesting points is that the rate at which applications are submitted incorrectly has gone from %25 up to %40 so it is very important to hire a competent pardon services provider. Keep in mind that the industry is unregulated so there are several organizations operating that have next to zero knowledge of how to properly prepare pardons.
The number of submissions has dropped as well as the number of pardons being granted. Certainly the policy changes have meant that far fewer people are eligible than there were before but I think part of the drop may have to do with the rush of applicants the Board saw prior to the law change taking place. With so many scrambling to have their pardon submitted before the laws change it is only normal that once the change did happen there would be fewer people thinking about applying.
Of course tripling the fee from $50 to $150 and then quadrupling it $631 was just insult to injury. What the Tories did was essentially eliminate the possibility of pardons for the ones who need it most for financial reasons. Considering how much money is spent on criminal justice making a pardon unaffordable doesn’t make any sense at all. From a financial perspective alone the taxes a person will pay after finding a decent job will more than offset whatever the government happens to spend processing a pardon application.
It’s sad that pardons had to be used for political posturing by the right. This government will most certainly go down in history as a failure in terms of criminal justice policy. They are likely to be viewed as a group of leaders with no interest in developing a strong social policy in the best interest of Canadians. That we would automatically jail a person for growing six plants on their own lands is a clear indicator of how far out of touch these crime policies really are.
I’ve been critical of the pardons legislation for quite some time and I’ve been critical of the Conservative party of Canada for even longer. But after seeing how many lives were put back on the right track as a direct result of a pardon and the opportunity to find a decent job I am even more disappointed with the powers in Ottawa than ever. I cannot for my life see why it makes sense to prevent someone from getting a decent job and contributing to society.
Let’s remember that the pardons program (now called a record suspension for rather silly reasons) had a 96% percent success rate prior to the Tories getting involved. With numbers like that it is very hard to understand just what it was they were trying to achieve indeed.