2013 International Prison Justice Day Activities
14 Aug, 2013
The 2013 International Prison Justice Day activities included a presentation under a blue sky in Lafontaine Park by Jean-Claude Bernheim, Lecturer at Laval University and recipient of the 2012 Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award. Mr. Bernheim made some interesting points:
- Regarding fear and safety in Canada today, most Canadians are not afraid of being victims of crime, but rather are afraid of losing their jobs, falling ill etc.
- The crime rate in Canada peaked in 1997. By 2012, it had dropped to the same level as in 1962.
- When Canadians get their crime information from the media, 80% think that punishments are not severe enough. However, when Canadians are able to read the statements of the prosecution, the defense and the judge, 70% of Canadians find that the punishments given are too severe. This is especially true regarding crimes committed against property.
- How the taxpayers’ money is spent (2007 figures): $11 billion for Canada’s police force; $1 billion for the courts; $1 billion for the provincial prison systems; $2 – $3 billion for the federal penitentiary system. The federal penitentiary system has 18,600 employees and 13,500 inmates.
- Why do cars have speedometers that go up to 200 – 250 km/hour when the speed limit is 100?
- Most crime in Canada is committed by people aged 15-18. After that age, people commit relatively few crimes.
- 20% of Canadian males and 6% of females have criminal records, about 4.2 million adults.
- A person’s criminal record is automatically erased on one’s 80th birthday
- The majority of Canadians believe in rehabilitation!