We believe that corrections reform is a crucial issue in our national best interests. That’s why, at the beginning of the federal election campaign, John Howard Society of Canada asked the parties to reflect on, and respond to, questions that reflect the most urgent areas of much needed prison reform.
John Howard Society of Canada is a non-partisan organization. All parties were invited to reply to our questions, all responses will be made public as we receive them. This week we received the Liberal Party of Canada’s response to our questions. Here, in both official languages, is that response.
by Catherine Latimer, former director general in the justice department and a Broadbent Institute fellow.
While “tough on crime” policies have a superficial, popular appeal, they erode principles of justice, fail to help those who have committed crimes to change their ways, and have been repeatedly proven not to deter others from committing crimes. Read More →
Troubled teenager Ashley Smith choked herself to death in 2007 with pieces of a bedsheet in a prison segregation cell, while her guards — ordered not to intervene so long as she was still breathing — watched and videotaped.
A coroner’s jury deemed the 19-year-old’s death a homicide. Originally locked away for minor offenses, the girl was moved from institution to institution, spending a total of two full years in solitary confinement leading up to her grisly death.
A year later, Canada’s Conservative-led government rejected the jury’s key recommendation that indefinite solitary confinement — a practice so destructive to the human psyche that almost half of prison suicides happen there — be banned.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Canada’s prison problems.Read More →