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Canada: B.C. rights group says mandatory minimums cost billions but don’t reduce crime

VANCOUVER – Ottawa’s push to implement mandatory minimum sentences is potentially adding billions of dollars in costs to the criminal justice system without reducing crime or making the public safer, says a report released Monday by a British Columbia-based rights group.

Instead, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association’s report says longer prison sentences can actually make inmates more likely to re-offend while disproportionately affecting marginalized groups.

The report adds to criticism that has followed the shift to mandatory minimums. The Conservative government has doubled the number of offences that carry compulsory sentences in less than a decade as part of its tough-on-crime agenda. Full Article

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Well, I feel that mandatory minimums are not at all about reducing crime or making the public safer. Mandatory minimums are a form of emotional expressiveness through law; the sentences are a way of shouting, “we hate you”—-all the while pretending to be engaged in a rational activity such as making laws.
Those who have a need for emotional expressiveness should look for jobs in the Opera. Lawmaking should be left to rational people who actually want to solve problems.

“For certain offences, our government firmly believes that a minimum period of incarceration is justified. Canadians lose faith in the criminal justice system when they feel that the punishment does not fit the crime.” Notice how the proponents of harsher punishment use the words “believed” and “faith” instead of “evidence” or “studies”. I go back to an article posted on this site about the persistent use of polygraphs even though evidence shows they are not reliable. At the end of that article, the author suggests that the use of such instruments comes down to a religious belief. Modern popular crime… Read more »

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