Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No Vacancy

Perhaps if our prisons weren't so full with drug offenders, they would have room to hold armed robber, child rapist, messianic apocalypse believer, bad neighbor, and now cop killer Maurice Clemmons.

Just a thought.


  1. I agree its dumb to fill up our prisons with non violent drug offenders I believe your statement about clemmons is reaching. Clemmons is an example of how broken the system is. However the prisons being full wasnt why he was released he was released because our politicians and judges belive young people dont realize what they are doing when they commit a crime. Personaly I believe anyone over 13 knows whats right and wrong and should be held accountable. If he got sentenced to 108 years then he should serve them no matter what. This is where our justice system fails criminals know that if they do a crime they wont have to do all the time. If there was an acutal fear that he would rot in a cell for 108 years im sure he would have thought harder before commiting the crimes he did at 17 years old. Youth should not be a factor in wether someone gets released they should be released once you have served all your time.

    It may increase the prison population but if we stopped locking up drug offenders then only violent offenders would reside in our prisions and i would not feel bad about them serving all of their sentence. I am however more flexible to nonviolent offenders they should not even have to go to jail and if the law states they should they should be up for early release.

  2. I agree with bobbreaze that an "over-populated prison system" excuse for Clemmons' early release is a stretch, while fully believing there is injustice and futility in incarcerating non-violent drug offenders.

    I stop short of believing ALL non-violent offenders should be given a pass from prison, however. Thieves, burglars, scammers and con artists, and anyone else demonstrating incorrigible sociopathy should be removed from society if lesser punishments do not suffice.

    There are plenty of non-violent criminals well-deserving of prison. Make room for them, too, by reforming the system and eliminating those who harm no one else from the prison rolls.

  3. yeh i guess i should have used a better definition of non violent. What i meant by it was people who do something that causes no harm to others IE drug use/ possesion theives should go to jail and other cam artist and people who cause harm to others.

  4. Over population of prisons is a chronic problem that I think arises from the perception that jail time is the only sentencing option that "hits home" for the offender, and that longer terms are more effective as a deterrent. I would say both of these are simply false.

    There are a wide variety of sentencing options avaliable in Canada, many of which can be quite effective without exposing the convicted to the prison environment, which often exacerbates mental illness, addiction, and other anti-social tendancies.

  5. The overpopulation of our prisons is a chronic problem resulting from a perception that incarceration is the only sentencing option that "hits home" with offenders and that longer sentences are more effective as a deterrent. I would say both are false.

    There is actually a wide variety of options avaliable which are often quite affective for many offenders. They have the added bonus of being far less expensive and not exposing the offender the prison environent, which, if the goal is encourage socially acceptable behaviour, is extremely counter-productive.

  6. @Mel, re: the "wide variety of sentencing options avaliable in Canada", can you point us to some of these? Although there were no doubt many factors that helped free Clemmons, the underlying resources burden of drug offenses surely play a part in every decision to avoid/reduce prison sentences.


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