Posts Tagged ‘Mentally Incompetent’

Prime Minster HaperOur prime minister, Mr. Harper, has once again pretended to help victims by going after the mentally incompetent. Ignoring the fact that few of these people re-offend, Mr. Harper wants them kept in prison for three years no matter what the experts say.

As with other legislation, he plays to his arch-conservative base. The victims? Harper really doesn’t care. Does he pay them to come to hearings if they want to come? No. Does he offer them long-term counseling if they have been traumatized? No. Does he provide financial help, if they have suffered loss of income or loss of the ability to earn income? Does he help? NO.

Soon a new punishment will come down on inmates. Harper wants them to pay for their room and board. The maximum an inmate can make in a day is $6.90. I had a latte this morning on my way to teach in prison that almost cost that much, $6.10.

I asked one inmate if he plans to pay room and board. “Me? Pay room and board to be in jail? Come on, Ed. Get real. What will I say if they come after me? I’ll say, ‘Go ahead, throw me in prison. I ain’t payin.’”

It seems that Mr. Harper and his conservative government are all about punishment and nothing about rehabilitation. They pretend to help the victims, but they just play off of them. What concrete thing have they ever done for victims? What money have they offered them? Have they applied the principles of restorative justice? NO.

The media, of course, are just as guilty. They run around asking people if they are happy with a ten-year sentence or whatever it is. Naturally, there’s only one answer to that question – “No, I’m not satisfied.”

And the media do not seek alternative sources of news and opinion. They take Mr. Harper’s press releases and print them without doing any investigative journalism.

And the public – The public elected Mr. Harper and gave him a majority government. We should send him back to Texas or wherever he came from. (Actually the Americans are moving away from some of the prison ideas that Mr. Harper is implementing.)

And me? I would have never voted for him or his party, but I certainly didn’t work very hard to defeat him. I’m just as responsible as others for his policies.

What is your opinion? Do you think Harper cares about victims? Do you think he wants to punish inmates or rehabilitate them? Do you think punishment works?

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