Author Topic: Did you know????  (Read 7478 times)

Shwa

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2008, 09:23:22 AM »
"need to reflect punishment, not rehabilitation as the primary objective"

But where does one draw the line?  Is less than 50% recidivism a sign of success?  40% or 30%?  At which point do we decide that 'ok rehabilitation is working?'  Or not working.

The other side of the coin is at what point do we give up on the focus of rehabilitation and focus on punishment which may increase the rate of recidivism?

Like I said, there is a balance to be struck and each case needs to be weighed on its own merits even if the offence, at first glance, repulses us.  But do we take away, say, TV because someone is a sex offender?  Do we remove them as far away from society as possible and then what do we expect of them when they are released?

Hey, don't get me wrong - I advocate maximum prisons in the arctic where the prisoners do not get shoes or boots to wear indoors.  I advocate some punitive measures to convince the chronic offenders to toe the line or else.  I also believe that the threat of physical harm (the fear) can also be a deterrant.  But not at the expense of counselling, education and kid gloves - where those methods warrant.

haunted

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2008, 06:30:09 PM »
It is difficult to draw a line.  The thing about the system that bothers me, especially on sexual assault cases (especially those involving a minor), is that so many times charges are pled down to a lesser charge that does not show on record a sexual offence, or the charges are withdrawn in so many cases involving children because of the difficulty of making them stick (I am aware that not every charge of sexual assault is true and that not every child tells the truth), because of relying on testimony of a young child. Then, when the day comes that the offender is actually convicted of a sex offence, well, low and behold it is a 'first offence', so they're given a light sentence and everyone is sooooo optimistic this individual can be rehabilitated. A light sentence, usually of months, is served and they're released. Then, they re-offend and blame the system for not providing adequte rehabilitation. Tell me, at what time does it become an individual's responsibility to obtain their own 'rehabilitation'. IF, these people (and I am talking about pedophiles here) CAN be rehabilitated then one would think that they would seek some of their own treatment at their own cost and time upon release IF they weren't rehabilitated in prison. (Certainly they would know one way or another.) But, they don't want to be rehabilitated because in the end it all comes down to a choice, free will. They can choose to re-offend. They can choose to not re-offend. They can choose to seek treatment. They can choose not to. 

IF they can't be rehabiliated (and I am inclined to think this way), then DO NOT release them. EVER. There will be no re-offending. The cycle of abuse might finally slow down a bit. I know it likely will never stop completely because of the ones that are never caught.

I don't like the statistics because it does not show a true picture and furthermore the system is so lenient and many many times the crown drops cases, for whatever reason or the judge imposes a ridiculous sentence. I have had to spend some time as an observer in court due to my employment and I have seen the same individuals in court every time. The crown doesn't seem to want to push the charges to the fullest. They are ALWAYS pled down to a lesser charge, even for repeat offenders.

haunted

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2008, 10:18:06 PM »
Something like this? This is the guy who allegedly abducted Anastasia Whetton from Edmonton this past weekend. Now here is a great example of our success at rehabilitation.



 View the full story at: 

http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081007/EDM_gratton_081007/20081007/?hub=CalgaryHome

*********************
Another abduction victim comes forward: police
Updated: Tue Oct. 07 2008 16:27:30

Amanda Ferguson, ctvedmonton.ca


A troubling past

Meanwhile, CTV News has learned Gratton has a long history of sexual assaults against children.

Court documents reveal Gratton is a serial pedophile who was declared a long-term offender in 2002.

He sent to prison  after being sentenced to six-year sentence for molesting six children. Court documents reveal one of his victims was sexually assaulted 70 times in a six-month period.

Gratton was later released early in 2005 after being granted full parole to a secure custody treatment facility where he received help for his sexual tendencies.

In July 2006, the parole board released him into the community when he showed positive progress -- two years before his six-year sentence expired.

In March 2008, his 10 years of supervision began. Corrections Canada was in charge of his conditions which included no contact with children.

Bernard Pitre, regional director for the National Parole Board, said there was no reason to deny Gratton parole at the time because all reports submitted to the board were positive.

Gratton's parole period ended in March 2008.

"The risk was manageable in the sense that the offender did not re-offend while he was under treatment and while he was on full parole," he said. "It would be a successful parole and indeed it was."


*****************


Adrian

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2008, 02:53:04 AM »


Excellent posts, haunted. You should read the post I just put on the Anastasia thread. The police didn't know he was in NE Edmonton.

Laws sure have to be changed, so many lives would be saved, so very many...

Concerning prison voting, I am struggling with the guys, that are in and out for vagrancy,unpaid fines for jaywalking, drinking in public etc.., and they go in for a few days each year, and do community service work.

But you know what? I always thought you were not allowed to vote in prison!!

Chris

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2008, 03:19:25 AM »
Quote
But not at the expense of counselling, education and kid gloves - where those methods warrant

I'm not ready to give all those programs at the expense of real justice. I do feel the victim is entitled to more then just watching the person who stole there car and destroyed it get probation and some education.

But I do agree that it is better to work on getting most of these people moving in the right direction under court order then to do nothing but watch them go in and out of jail.

I do think prison has become to enjoyable now too. I'd like some work camps and where privlidges have to earned, none of this entitled stuff.

Shwa

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2008, 05:43:05 AM »
"none of this entitled stuff."

So take it away and what do you get?  Riots.  More prison violence and crime.  You get corrupt prison officials, corrupt guards. You get hush-hush torture and mayhem.  And eventually you slide right back to the middle ages and less of a prison and more of a dungeon from the middle ages.

It depends on what we, as a society, think that prisons and incarceration should be used for.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_reform

Here is a short wiki article on prison reform.  I am sure most of us are old enough to remember the days of all the prison riots even here in Canada.

Shwa

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2008, 05:50:50 AM »
Come to think of it haunted - maybe there should be specialized prisons instead of prisons where you have a general population and then a segregation unit.  Perhaps all the sex offenders could be housed in one prison, all the murdered in another and so on.  I can't see why not.

I also think that pedophiles and chronic sex offenders should be microchipped and tracked nationally and across the border.  With technology nowadays they could likely do this for a lot less than it costs for other methods and chips are made so innocuous than they wouldn't likely be the cause of health problems.  Kind of a 'minority report' scenario, but worth an honest look.

haunted

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2008, 08:29:35 AM »
The chronic sex offenders definitely should be tracked. Obviously our current system of keeping track of them is not working. I also feel as a citizen that we should be better informed about those released into our communities. And why is it so difficult to get 'dangerous offender' status tagged to those criminals who deserve it? I certainly feel that a chronic sex offender, preying on children is a dangerous offender. I actually believe they deserve that status after their first offence. It shouldn't take 200 victims before they are labled that.

Shwa, how about putting the pedophiles in with the murderers and let them sort it out? 

I know what you're saying though. Yes, a specialized prison that reflects the crime and the punishment. I don't think someone who rapes and murders a baby should spend their years watching cable television and smoking cigarettes. They should be giving something back to society via hard work. What is wrong with the way some of the prisons are being run in Arizona and other states, where it is back to chain gangs, and work camps? I know what you are saying about riots, but that is no different than when a parent changes the rules on a misbehaving child, the child reacts by escalating the behavior for a period of time until they realize that it is a serious change that will be enforced. I don't think a petty thief deserves the same punishment as a murderer. But I also think that since we don't have the DP and likely will never get it back, then murderers and violent crimes against children should honestly receive life without parole. Then we don't have to worry about them being re-integrated back into society. The work camps and chain gangs are all they should be entitled to. It would not be very enticing to those offending in this magnitude to know that the rest of their years would be consist of digging ditchs, solitary confinement and 3 meals per day. No internet, university degrees, no television, junk food, cigarettes, world class gym facilities.

Shwa

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2008, 09:16:55 AM »
The truly bad part about prison riots is that innocent people are harmed or killed - like guards, prison officials, police, etc.  In a riot scenario, how high a price shall we pay compared to letting prisoners smoke cigarettes and watch cable?

I don't believe a bank robber and child rapist have committed the same offences, so why house them together?  The only problem with specialized prisons is that we don't want to start a gulag system. 

lostlinganer

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2008, 10:03:17 AM »
Shwa, many of us out here do not know the procedures and lifestyle behind the prison walls - only remarks we hear!  You have some well thought out comments, as usual.
I think what bugs many, is the fact that the dangerous offenders get such care and comfort as compared to the many unfortunate people in society who fall through the cracks.  I believe there are tens of thousands of children and adults who don't get three sqaures a day - yet inmates are guaranteed them.  I believe there are thousands who don't have cable TV.  I have never, ever subscribed to it; although that is mostly by choice - I have other financial priorities.  I know there are thousands of people who can't affort prescribed medicine, yet inmates are assured necessary health care.  Most of us cannot affort to eat well, sit back and watch cable TV, then have a workout at the gym.  We have to work and pay rent and designate priorities (like, do I want cable TV or the internet) .... for a period of time, I couldn't afford either....both were a luxury.
I seem to recall stories years ago of prisoners all having duties that were required to house them.  They were assigned to cooking, laundry, carpentry or repairs, cleaning etc. in whatever facility they were in....and remember them making the license plates....that was the practice for years.  I realize it wouldn't be feasible for these people to be out on the highways, under guarded securtiy, digging out the ditches - not in this day - too risky and totally ineffective given the highways etc.  But there are very logical chores that could prove frugal if designated to prisons; for example, the production of clothes and some equipment used by the military and the Red Cross, the production of certain furniture (desks, cabinets, etc. used by government).... It seems logical that such industries can be incorporated into the prison system, and designated as work to be learned and done by inmates.  I'm sure these few examples would take millions of dollars away from the industrial friends of politicians; but just think of the saving to the tax payer when production doesn't entail labor cost. 
Guess I just think that not only do these repeat and dangerous offenders not care who they hurt or eliminate, but they do so without any terrible fear of reprocussions for their actions, because they know the worse thing that can happen, if they get caught, is that they will "have to go to their room for a long period or time out" but they won't have to worry about a job or having everything they need including, shelter, a warm bed, food, medicine, clothes, and activities.  That is often more than most of these people can provide for themselves.  I just don't see the system having any deterents for serious crime.
I also think there should be real serious labor related work camps for this type of criminal.    ....and most of all ........yeah I finally get to it .......I don't feel they should have a vote while they are in the process of serving time for crime.  I mean they are not layed up in hospital because of something beyond their control..... they are not going to miss the polls because they have to be out of town on election day.... they miss the polls because they did something that requires their incarceration.  I can see, however, inmates serving time for lesser offenses, being allowed the vote.  It is something that needs to be sorted out.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 10:11:38 AM by lostlinganer »

haunted

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2008, 11:39:53 AM »
IMO, even lesser offences that result in incarceration, those offenders should not be allowed to vote during their incarceration. They are being removed from society for a specific period of time. Society should not value their input into such an important matter as voting on the future of our country during the time of incarceration. Lesser offences receive lesser sentences, if they even are incarcerated. Once a prisoner is paroled or the person is on probation, so be it, they shoud have the right to vote. If someone receives a one day sentence and it happens to fall on election day, well, sorry about your luck. You did the crime, deal with  it. If your sentence is over the day before election day, then go vote.

In the same breath, because prisoners ARE allowed to vote, I doubt a huge percentage of them do. Secondly, even if they ALL voted in any given election, I doubt their influence would be significant enough to sway the outcome. Yes, I know it is possible, but when western canada often doesn't have the population to influence an election then I doubt the convicts do. Regardless, I do not value their input while incarcerated, regardless of their crime. I do not want society to value it either. I'm saying take away their right to vote, not take away one of their three basic needs: food, clothing and shelter.

Shwa

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2008, 07:32:40 PM »
First a couple of links about the Special Handling Unit near Montreal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Handling_Unit
http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/pblct/lt-en/2006/31-2/3-eng.shtml


An interesting article from the John Howard society on voting prisoners:

http://www.johnhoward.ca/document/prisoners-right-to-vote.pdf


lostlinganer, I do beleive there are work programs in prisons.  One of the programs is called CorCan and you can read a little more about it here:  http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/prgrm/corcan/home-eng.shtml

I think the forgotten folks in talking about prisoners rights versus victims rights and so on are the families of the incarcerated.  In a way, they are victims too.  Of course there is no way to equate the family member of a concivt with the victim of his/her crime, they are 'stakeholders' in the justice and incarceration process.

it must be awful to have a son or daughter in prison for a serious offence and have politicians battle over their children to score political points along with having to deal with the feelings of a whole community.  Very complex issue...


haunted

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2008, 09:17:18 PM »
Thanks Shwa, really interesting articles. I think the SHU is exactly what we need but it needs to house way more than 90 inmates. Anyone convicted of violent crimes I think should be handled in that way. It sounds a bit more like punishment and better security for the correctional officers.

While I fundamentally disagree with the John Howard Society, I know what they're trying to say and trying to do. As long as there are more of us out here than there are in there, I guess we should be go to come election time. Hopefully no one decides to hand out the right to those incarcerated to run for PM  :)

lostlinganer

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2008, 09:23:21 PM »
omg shwa - thought I'd never get through all that... thank you.
One can't help but think - if a person survives prison they come out reformed or really worse than they were before they went in.  It sure seems that the really bad ones come out worse and offend worse.

Chris

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Re: Did you know????
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2008, 01:24:45 AM »
Work programs? I am sure there are some that do a lot of good. But this fact is what bothers me. Criminals have no fear of prison, and even less fear of the justice system. Going to prison just means they lose the ability to exersize freedom and can't smoke for a period of time.

If they all had to perform tasks or had some of those goodies restricted, maybe prison would not be something they look forward too.

After reading the Truscott book, I realized how fun prison can be.