Using his Conservative majority, Harper has passed Bill C10, a draconian crime bill that isn’t needed and no province can afford. The bill, designed to keep people in prison longer through mandatory minimum sentencing (which is proven not to work), will be a colossal waste of tax revenue and flies in the face of evidence showing declining crime rates. The only beneficiaries will be for-profit private sector prison corporations.
Two major US corporations lobbied hard for Harper’s crime bill:
Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO Group Inc. GEO is an active registered lobbyist that deals with the following branches of the Canadian Federal Government:
Correctional Service of Canada
Public Safety Canada
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)
Public-Private Partnerships Canada, Solicitor General
The omnibus crime bill is not about public safety. It is about privatizing prisons. Read more…
The trouble with mandatory minimum sentences: From the CBC:
Back in the 80s, Eric Sterling was instrumental in the drafting of US legislation for mandatory minimum sentences. Twenty-five years later, he feels responsible for a law that he believes lead to a great deal of injustice. He’s joined two dozen former judges, special agents, police, narcotics investigators and other criminal justice professionals who have signed a letter imploring the Harper government not to follow the same path. We’ll hear from him and from the Canadian who’s been pivotal in creating our pending mandatory minimum law.
Listen to Anna Maria Tremonte’s interview with Sterling and Robert Sampson, the Mike Harris-era imbecile Harper hired to draft the basis for Bill C10.
Corporations that profit from prisons also lobby for long sentences because it, naturally, pays. Gotta keep that tax revenue flowing from the government to the corporations. The US prison industry has also become an inexpensive source of labour for other US corporations. Finally figured out what that three strikes rule in some states was all about. Lock up a petty criminal for life and you’ve got a somewhat reliable wage slave stripped of all rights and benefits.
Ever since Harper got his majority, I feel like I’m walking Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Never has the future looked more bleak.