CASW Asking for Balance on Crime and Punishment Legislation
November 7, 2011.
The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) is joining the growing chorus of Canadians asking for the majority Conservative government to balance crime and punishment with a rehabilitation agenda.
“It is not too late for the Prime Minister to demonstrate that he is listening to the knowledge and experience of social workers and other professionals whose front line experience with poverty, crime, and victimization contradicts the direction C-10 is taking” stated CASW President, Morel Caissie.
The omnibus bill (C-10) combines nine pieces of legislation that were not passed in previous sessions of Parliament and it makes major changes to several laws, including those that apply to young offenders, and creates new offences in the Criminal Code.
“The evidence and lived experience from jurisdictions, whose good intentions was also to curb crime, clearly demonstrate that the results expected from C-10 are drastically different than intended” noted Caissie.
For instance, the proposed mandatory minimum sentences for a number of new offences, which will mean more convicted criminals in jail and many evidenced based concerns, have been raised about the costs of higher prison populations as well as the cost to society in lost opportunities for rehabilitation.
“Social workers are respecfully appealing to Prime Minister Harper to lift the 100 day self-imposed timetable for passing C-10, retract the bill, and to reintroduce its component parts next session so that each can be debated on their own merits” pleaded Caissie. “Victims justly require protection, support and justice; let us honour them by not creating a system that, as an unintended consequence, creates more victims that it supports.”
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