Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Is There a Federal Prison in Your Future?

Contemplating any petty crime or vandalism in the near future? I would strongly suggest that you abandon such anti-social considerations, especially given the Globe and Mail's amplification of Treasure Board President Stockwell Day's comments during yesterday's puzzling press conference.

You may recall his assertion that statistics showing significant declines in crime rates are misleading, given the number of crimes that go unreported. While it is a little hard for me to get my head around the concept of statistics for unreported transgressions, (almost as difficult as understanding the justification for spending $9 billion for new prisons to contain this phantom explosion of crime), in today's paper Day explains that voluntary surveys establish these crimes as fact. There seem to be only two problems with his explanation: the last survey of this nature was done in 2004, and in comparing it to the previous one done in 1999, there was no increase of unreported violent crime, only a small rise in unreported vandalism and petty theft.

With the upcoming multi-billion dollar expenditure for new federal prisons, the Conservatives are sending a very clear and powerful message: steal your neighbour's hedgeclippers or take a spray can to a wall, and you'll feel the full weight of the law.

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