Volume 93, Issue x

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


OPINIONS

Fun facts about U.S. fraternities

Let the cons eat cake... and party

Let the cons eat cake... and party



Re: "New Year's prison party raises concern" Jan. 14

To the Editor:

I am writing in regards to the article "New Year's prison party raises concern." No, I am not concerned that a party has actually occurred in a Corrections Canada prison, but rather at the opinion that Reform MP Randy White expressed about the events.

It is interesting that Mr. White said that "[Correction Canada's] idea for rehabilitation is off track... Real rehabilitation will come, not by having parties, but by focusing on addiction programs, anger management sessions and developing skills through meaningful work programs."

While I do agree that inmates should be exposed to programs that rehabilitate them, we must also agree that, for better or worse, those inmates are human beings.

Thus, as long as they engage in an activity that does not harbour any criminal elements and does not harm someone else, either inside or outside of the prison, then there shouldn't be a problem.

Furthermore, according to the article, the inmates paid for most of this party, so it did not cost Canadian taxpayers. Allowing such human activities in prisons would not impede the rehabilitation process – in fact, it may enhance it, since it is the corruption of that human aspect that induces criminal activities in most people.

Don't get me wrong, I do agree with Mr. White's comments, but I do not agree with ignoring the human aspect of criminals that seems to be implicit. I agree that society should be tough with criminals, but I also believe that being unnecessarily tough will ultimately backfire, especially if it's taken into account that a lot of these inmates will be released back into society.

I agree that the issue of rehabilitation and justice is a big and complex one, but I do believe that, like everything else in life, a balance in this issue is always the most desired outcome.

Asser Hassanain
Honours Bachelor of Science '99



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