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Tough on Crime: Changes to Canada's Prison System

Since the Tories have made looking tough on crime one of their political priorities, there have been a lot of proposed changes to the criminal justice system. They have set up a panel to review the prison system and have been working on getting bills passed in parliament that would send more people to prison for longer.

Bill C-2, the tough on crime omnibus bill, includes mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes and three strikes/reverse onus for Dangerous Offender designation.

The prison review panel is said to be recommending ending statutory release (where prisons are released on parole for the last 1/3 of their sentence to help with reintegration.) [Since this interview, the panel has released their report.  More details.]

The Correctional Investigator's annual report released in Oct, gives us a picture of what some of the actual issues are in the prison system . This year's report focuses on the lack of programs and the implications for prisoners and the community.

Stark Raven interviews Kim Pate from the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies and Christine Lamont of Sisters in Action and Solidarity about some of these changes happening in the Canadian prison system. (The interview was done Nov 12, 2007)

More info on these issues: www.prisonjustice.ca

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