Tough on Crime Continues

It looks like the Conservative government is getting tough on crime again which is not surprising since we are approaching an important election. They now want a life sentence to mean life behind bars, forever.

It’s very expensive to incarcerate someone so this is unlikely to be popular with the experts in criminal justice. There is also the matter of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There is also the issue of rehabilitation which is what the criminal justice system is really supposed to be about. Life behind bars would obviously do away with that lofty goal. The Tories think about nothing but punishment.

This will, of course, be a great idea to the Conservative base. After all, if you do extremely terrible things you should pay an extremely heavy price. Not many people would disagree with that.

The problem is that life without parole fails to accomplish the things that incarceration is supposed to accomplish, other than punishment. And study after study has shown that harsher penalties are not a deterrent. So this is unlikely to reduce crime rates at all. Don’t be fooled when the Conservative’s claim to be all about the victims. They do little to stop crime from happening in the first place.

There are a lot of reasons that life without parole won’t work in terms of criminal justice. But there are just as many reasons it will work very well as a wedge issue in the upcoming election. I suspect that’s what this bill is really meant to accomplish.

You be the judge.

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