People, not prisons

TheGlobeandMail.com – news/opinions/letters-to-the-editor
March 14, 2012.   David Simpson

Investing in people, not prisons, would be a good start in addressing the problems that so often contribute to society’s ills. Stephen Harper’s prison-promotion strategy, with its $19-billion price tag, will be disastrous for all Canadians (Harper’s Promise Fulfilled As House Passes Crime Bill – online, March 12).

Inmates return to Canadian streets without counselling, without rehabilitation, without mental health care, without addiction treatment and without the supports necessary to be successfully reintegrated into communities. Interest in rehabilitation has been lost in favour of punishment. This crime legislation will make us less safe as a country.

Instead of prisons, use the money to lift people out of poverty, improve health care, addictions and mental health care, end child poverty and homelessness, give our seniors a decent standard of living, address high unemployment rates, invest in postsecondary education, address the plight of our First Nations communities and enrich our social programs to narrow the gap between the rich, the poor and the vanishing middle class.

David Simpson, St. Thomas, Ont.

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