Why do we need to put more people behind bars?

Dear editor,

I am writing in opposition to Harper's Omnibus Crime Bill.

Dear editor,

I am writing in opposition to Harper’s Omnibus Crime Bill.

Harper is trying to rush this bill through Parliament in 100 days.

Canada’s crime rates are declining, why do we need to build more prisons and send more people to jail? The Canadian Bar Association, representing some 37,000 Canadian legal professionals, is opposed to this bill.

Our courts are already overwhelmed with the work, and this Crime Bill will add even more pressure, imposing mandatory sentences for minor offences.

Even though many Canadians are opposed to the crime bill, it would be the provinces which get stuck with the costs. Ontario and Quebec have already said no.

Many people in jails have mental health issues, addictions and are the unwitting victims of poverty. Our money would be better spent supporting these people rather than warehousing them in prisons.

A far better investment would be to work on reducing child poverty, providing services for the mentally ill and for people affected with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Prisoners should be rehabilitated so that they can become productive members of society.

Please let your MP and Steven Harper know that the Omnibus Crime Bill is a bad idea for Canada.

Lynne Wheeler,

Fanny Bay