Craig Jones, executive director of the John Howard Society of Canada,
said the government's policies are meant to appeal to the "Tim Hortons
crowd" and rely on people's ignorance about crime in Canada and the
justice system. But he predicted the as-yet-unknown costs that will be
incurred through increased enforcement and incarceration would "shock
and awe" Canadians when the numbers are eventually released.
Canada's overall crime rate declined by 15 per cent between 1998 and
2007, and the Crime Severity Index, which tracks the relative severity
of a crime in comparison with other crimes, declined by 21 per cent.
Experts appearing before both the House of Commons and Senate Justice
committees testified that mandatory minimum sentences do not deter
crime, and in the U.S. have led to skyrocketing incarceration rates. A
2001 report by the federal Justice Department reached the same
Yet the government is forging ahead with its