Thursday, May 10, 2012

Prod the Bear - Poke the Bear - Stick it to the Bear - Make him even more miserable -- That is progress!

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Today’s Blog Post
Prod the Bear - Poke the Bear - Stick it to the Bear - Make him even more miserable -- That is progress!
Yesterday Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews, of the Conservative Party of Canada, made an announcement that things are changing in the Canadian Prison system again.

It was a just a few weeks ago that major changes began to happen within the CSC (Correctional Service Canada) after his other announcements.

The announcement that Kingston Penitentiary (KP) would be closing took a lot of people off guard. That was especially true for the guards and staff at KP when reports of the closure were announced(leaked) to the press before the staff heard about it. The CBC Media released the news before anyone heard.  Planned that way??? Hmmmm?

Now yesterday another announcement was made related to the way that Inmates inside of the prison system are to be paid and have to pay back the prison system – with their salaries made inside of the prison system. 

This announcement also included the increase in the rent that prisoners have to pay CSC for the use of their cell.  That’s right – they will pay more for their housing while they are in prison now – and they will pay for that out of the money that they are making for doing jobs inside of the prison – for the prison – to keep the prison running.

Now Minister Toews prefaces what he is about to announce with these words… quote…
“Our Government is committed to keeping our streets and communities safe. All too often, victims have told us they feel the criminals have all the rights. We’ve listened. And since taking office our Government has been working hard to restore balance to our criminal justice system,” end quote.

And as he continues in his announcements of the changes that are going to take place he states they will do that by raising the rent that men will pay inside of prison.

Now any thinking person has to ask some serious questions here…
  1. What does that do for community safety? Our streets?  Our cities?
  1. What does that do for a Victim of the Crime that the man or woman hurt in our society? 
  1. How will that help our communities now or when the man gets out of prison?
  1. What will it do for the man that is serving his time in prison to get him ready for his eventual release from prison?
When you prod a Bear with a sick to make it more miserable in the cage – do you think the bear will cooperate better and that the public watching the Zoo Keepers actions will feel more safe when the Bear is released?

Up to this point in time virtually nothing has been done for the Victim of Crime.

Even with the protesting and public being made aware of the problems the Victims of Crime faced with Parole Hearings and the potential release of the criminal – the Government made no changes at all.  For years the Victim was never given any help at all.

Now they get their way paid to attend a hearing and are allowed to read their statements at the parole hearing. That happens if they have registered as a Victim of Crime. (I admit that I am not up to date on every detail of how a Victim is treated now – but this is close to what is happening.)

Minister Toews’ announcement suggests that this will help Victim’s of Crime in some way or other. By increasing the rent on an Inmates Cell will make his Victim feel better. By increasing the rent will make the public think that something good has helped to make the Victim move on past their victimization.

I cannot really explain how stupid I THINK THIS IS! It does not help the Victim one little bit!

What will Minister Toews announce next – maybe they will provide ongoing counseling for each Victim for as long as they need it. Maybe that would help.

Right now – after the Victim of Crime gives their testimony at the trial and is allowed to (maybe) read their Victim Impact Statement – they are never going to hear from their Government again! Never ever!!! Except if they are “registered” they will be able to receive information if he is getting parole – maybe in 25 years…?????? Or whatever?????

Yep, raising the rent on a cell and for his board and room will really help the Victim of Crime. Really!!!! Honestly???? Do you believe that one?!?

Now to the Bear in the cage… the Inmate..
They are evil men and women for sure. They have done bad things that they are in need of paying for what they did. Each one has a least one Victim of their Crime – one or maybe all of us.

They are paying for these rotten things they have done in our society by losing their freedom. Now they are losing their health and their right to any person-hood that normal Canadians are enjoying every day of their lives.

They are Big Bad Bears that have been caught in the camp ground of life. They have frightened the campers and need to be removed to a faraway valley where they can never harm any of us again.

So we capture them, cage them, and make them plain miserable with the hope that they will learn from their misery and come out better in the end.

So like the mean Zoo Keeper we take a big stick and prod and poke the Big Bad Bear to make it hurt. We torment and scream at it. We take away all the freedom and make it now pay dearly for its stupid actions.

In real life…
In real life if the conservation people catch a Big Bad Bear in the camp ground they take it to a nice valley far, far away so that it will never bother people in any way shape or form.

What if…
What if we could take that Big Bad Bear and harness him in some way to make him pay for the disruption of the lives of the Campers.  What if we make him pay for what he did… by making him really angry inside the cage?

Animal Rights People would explode in all directions if the Zoo Keeper did that!

But you can do that to human beings and just because you know best – you can stick it to them in every way you think it is best. You can make the Big Bad Bear miserable and into a monster… and then you can EXPECT it to be released as a healthy, happy, contributing citizen in our society… that might even vote for you!!!!

Does it seem to make sense to you now?

Prod the Bear. Poke the Bear. Stick it to the Bear. Make him even more miserable.  That is progress – real progress.

That is stupid – real stupid.

In reality…
When a man gets out of prison in 5 years, in 10 years or in 25 years – how will he live?  Who will pay for his rent then?  If he can work – what will he do?  How will he contribute to our society then?

In reality his health will be broken.  If he comes out of prison in Ontario he will be eligible to receive our ODSP – the Ontario Disability Support Program.  He can easily prove that a long term prison system has ruined his health.

His mental health issues will likely be so great that he will not be able to function in any way without great amounts of community help from people who care.

But will there be people that actually will care?

Would it not be easier to just commit another crime and return to prison again?  You betcha. I have “friends” that lived in our community that did just that… because out here you are not able to cope – once you have been in there for a long time.

Way to go Minister Vic Toews, that is real progress. You have saved us all $10 Million a year.  You have made away that my grandkids and their kids will really have to pay down the road.

That is progress and that is humane. Way to go Minister… way to go!

(BTW – Did you know that Russell Williams and Paul Barnardo will not have their rent increased?  They are in protective custody – forever!)
~ Murray Lincoln ~


Harper Government Takes Further Actions to Restore Balance in the Criminal Justice System

Ottawa, Ontario, May 9, 2012 – Today, the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Vic Toews, announced increased offender accountability measures to ensure the safety and security of victims and law-abiding Canadians come first, while criminals are held accountable for their actions.
 “Our Government is committed to keeping our streets and communities safe. All too often, victims have told us they feel the criminals have all the rights. We’ve listened. And since taking office our Government has been working hard to restore balance to our criminal justice system,” said Minister Toews.
Minister Toews announced five new measures relating to increasing offender accountability, including:
·                     Increases to the amount inmates are charged for their room and board;
·                     Eliminating ‘incentive’ pay for inmates working in CORCAN facilities;
·                     Streamlining and standardizing the purchase of inmate goods from outside suppliers;
·                     Transferring accountability for all institutional canteens to Inmate Committees; and
·                     Ensuring administrative costs associated with managing the inmate telephone system are charged to the inmate population.  You use it – you pay for it.
“These measures are tangible steps forward to hold criminals to account and will save taxpayers over $10 million each year going forward,” said Minister Toews.
Minister Toews also expressed support for Roxanne James’ Private Member’s Bill C-293 – An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (vexatious complainants).  The goal of the bill is to reduce vexatious complainants by preventing offenders from flooding Correctional Service of Canada’s fair complaint system with meritless grievances. 
To learn more about the Correctional Service of Canada, please visit
Follow Public Safety Canada (@Safety_Canada) on Twitter.
See also:
·                     Offender Accountability


Offender Accountability

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is the federal government agency responsible for administering sentences of a term of two years or more, as imposed by the courts. CSC is responsible for managing institutions of various security levels and supervising offenders under conditional release in the community.

Offender Accountability

Broader Application of Room and Board

CSC currently charges inmates at the top of the payscale up to $25 per week for room and board from their stipend, or inmate pay. 
Inmates who participate in programs, including employment, as identified in their correctional plan receive a stipend.  There are six stipend levels:
·                     Level 1 = $1.00 per day to a maximum of $10.00 every two weeks
·                     Level 2 = $2.50 per day to a maximum of $25.00 every two weeks
·                     Level 3 = $5.25 per day to a maximum of $52.50 every two weeks
·                     Level 4 = $5.80 per day to a maximum of $58.00 every two weeks
·                     Level 5 = $6.35 per day to a maximum of $63.50 every two weeks
·                     Level 6 = $6.90 per day to a maximum of $69.00 every two weeks
Starting next year (2013-14), all inmates at stipend levels 3 through 6 will automatically start contributing about 30% of their stipend towards room and board. 
In dollar figures, this means between $1.58 and $2.08 per day for the cost of accommodation, food, and utilities, for example.
This measure will more closely align offender contributions towards their room and board with costs that law-abiding Canadians incur for these types of expenses.
Cost savings: $4.025 million annually

Elimination of Incentive Pay

In addition to inmate pay, offenders working in CORCAN facilities have been eligible to receive additional "incentive pay" to meet production quotas. CORCAN operates in 31 institutions across Canada, in four business lines:  textiles, manufacturing, construction, and services (such as printing and laundry). CORCAN shops provide a realistic business environment, producing products and services to private sector norms and standards. Given the demand for participation in CORCAN shops, there is no need to provide “incentive pay.”
Cost savings: $1.747 million annually

Conversion to Inmate-Owned Canteens

In the past, CSC acquired canteen products such as personal hygiene items and snacks and sold them directly to inmates. Over recent years, the organization has transferred the ownership of 85% of institutional canteens to inmates. This initiative will see the remaining 15% converted to inmate ownership. CSC will retain supervision of transactions to ensure rigorous and thorough oversight.
Transferring all canteens to inmates will result in a cost-savings to CSC, and will also allow inmates to have greater influence in the administration of the canteen, which includes the creation of additional inmate jobs.
Cost savings: $1.555 million annually

Streamlining and standardizing the purchase of inmate goods from outside suppliers

Currently, if an inmate requires an item, such as those relating to personal hygiene, that is not in stock or available at the inmate canteen, they fill out a request, and a staff member goes to a store to buy it for them. There is no nationally consistent structure to the process of how and when purchase requests are received or fulfilled. 
Institutional staff are not personal shoppers.  They deserve the opportunity to focus on the very important jobs we have entrusted them to do inside the walls of the institution.
Moving forward, CSC will standardize the way inmates can purchase goods.  CSC will implement a uniform approach to procuring inmate effects by establishing a set schedule, where staff would seek products at a predetermined frequency from an established list of suppliers. Further efficiencies can also be realized where clustered institutions exist.  There will also be the option of ordering from a catalogue.
Cost savings: $1.048 million annually

Changes to the Inmate Telephone System

Managing the inmate telephone system is costly.  CSC staff are required to breakdown the costs associated with each inmate’s phone usage when the monthly invoice arrives and recoup those costs.  This requires substantial time and effort on behalf of CSC staff.
We intend to ensure that these administrative costs are charged to the inmate population. You use it – you pay for it.
Cost Saving: $1.649 million annually

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