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Thu Mar 5, 2015, 10:18 AM

Ottawa to introduce life sentences without parole under new legislation

Life without parole, if approved by Parliament, would cap eight years of tougher crime laws that have contributed to record levels of federal prisoners, even as the murder rate has fallen to levels not seen since 1966.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/new-law-will-take-away-parole-for-some-life-sentences-harper-says/article23281657/


Yet another page from the US Republican manifesto. Will the “need” for private prisons follow? I’ve heard the industry in the US is lobbying to move their business into Canada. In searching for more information about this, I came across this 2013 article from the National Post:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/11/28/kelly-mcparland-tories-tough-on-crime-agenda-means-jammed-jails-stuffed-with-minority-canadians/


A few of the more interesting passages:

Despite billions spent on a massive expansion of prisons, Canadians are being tossed in jail in such growing numbers that jails are becoming more crowded, more violent and less successful at rehabilitation.

Since the Conservatives came to power in 2006, the overall prison population has grown by 7%, to its highest level ever. (Canada's prison watchdog Howard) Sapers reports the entire increase can be accounted for by rising numbers of Aboriginal, black, Asian and other visible minorities. On any given day, Sapers reports, 40% of Canada’s inmates come from non-white communities. Almost 10% are black, up 80% in the past decade, although just 3% of Canadians are black. Even more noteworthy, an astonishing 23% of prisoners are Aboriginals, from a community that makes up just 4.3% of Canada’s population. One in three female prisoners is from Canada’s First Nations.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay treated the report with similar disdain, insisting he would not apologize for “standing up for victims rights.” But victims rights advocate Steve Sullivan — a former prisoner ombudsman — says incarcerating people has little to do with helping victims. “Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty will spend three times as much punishing offenders over five years as they have on victims’ rights in seven years,” he wrote this week.

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