Thursday, June 19, 2008

Prison Costs Booming… Imagine!

Here’s something else that’s completely obvious:

Mandatory sentences blamed for boom in cost of prisons

Imposing mandatory minimum prison terms on criminal offenders is adding approximately $80-million per year to the price of justice, says an Ontario judge privy to correctional statistics and projections.

“We have been told that federal correctional officials estimate they will increase the sentenced population by 1,000 prisoners per year,” the judge said in an interview.

It costs about $80,000 a year to keep a penitentiary inmate, so the additional burden of those on mandatory minimum sentences multiplies out to $80-million.

Yeah, but mandatory minimum sentences are necessary to stem the tidal wave of crime that’s engulfing us, right?

Prof. Doob said that studies have repeatedly shown that mandatory minimum sentences have no deterrent effect on prospective criminals and crime rates.

Very few criminals have any idea what sentencing ranges pertain to particular offences, he said, let alone being deterred by the prospect of drawing a certain sentence.


Note: Video isn’t “work-safe” due to course language.