MSCM responds to Canada’s Ombudsman for Federal Inmates

08 Dec, 2013

A Globe and Mail article reporting on a speech by Howard Sapers, the Correctional Investigator for CSC, makes interesting reading spotlighting as it does, some effects of the Harper Government’s “tough-on-crime” agenda.

Read Article: Federal prisons more crowded, violent under Tories, ombudsman says

In the article, Peter McKay (the Minister of Justice) is cited as linking current “mass incarceration” and “arbitrary and abusive conditions of detention” to the issue of victim’s rights which is central to the Tories’ justice agenda: “We make no apologies for standing up for victims’ rights.”

Thanks to Howard Sapers for exposing this sophistry and helping us to be clear about the Restorative Justice we are asked to live: “He said the government is pitting victims against offenders in a way that sets up false choices. “To say that the rights of crime victims should somehow be ranked against the rights of others is to create a false dichotomy.”

We need to do all we can to foster the healing of victims, and to require our government to redress our collective neglect in that area but let’s be clear in rejecting the moral distortions and “spin” which reduces this responsibility to vengefulness towards perpetrators.

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