Texans Smarter than Canadians?

What do gun-toting, execution happy, conservative Texans know that Canadians don’t? Texans understand that putting people in jail doesn’t work.

What do gun-toting, execution happy, conservative Texans know that Canadians don’t? Texans understand that putting people in jail doesn’t work. Newspapers have reported that, faced with a system of justice that over-incarcerated and suddenly demanded billions in tax payer dollars, Texas adapted its thinking and spent a fraction of this money on rehabilitation services, rather than on jails and prisons. The result? Crime rates went down faster than they had in years, and the government saved millions.

Why does Canada care? Because these same Texans got wind of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s plan to build more jails and prisons, increase mandatory minimum sentences and make certain offences have minimum sentences. The response? This plan was doomed to be a resounding failure.

Our current government is trying to fix a system that isn’t broken. Crime rates are down, through decades of focus on rehabilitation rather than incarceration. It’s tough on crime stance is meant to pander to citizens who think that this is a good idea, but the solution is short term. Wait until people have to pay for it, until we are facing the largest deficits in history and social services for the poor and unfortunate are slashed away (which is already happening). Prime Minister Harper’s plan is a short term solution for re-election, but is not in the best interests of Canadian citizens.

Our Supreme Court debated and discussed these issue years ago, concluding that incarceration does not benefit those convicted, or those having to pay to incarcerate them. Rehabilitation allows people to become constructive members of society, and costs much less. It costs more money in a month to incarcerate a person than the average Canadian makes in that same month, and yet our Conservative government wants to build more jails, and incarcerate more people, attempting to fix a system that isn’t broken.

Texans understand this doesn’t work…why can’t we?

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