Letter: Recidivism rates and punishment for crimes

A Ponoka News reader discusses a recent prisoner transfer to a healing lodge

Dear Editor,

On Oct. 2 there was debate in the House of Commons about the transfer of Terri-Lynne McClintic to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan from a women’s correctional facility in Kitchener, Ont. McClintic is serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford of Woodstock, Ont., and is not eligible for parole until 2031.

There is no doubt that there should be consequences for crimes. The question is whether it is more beneficial to impose a restrictive and punitive regime or prioritize a re-education approach. By far the vast majority of inmates in correctional institutions will be released into communities.

Whatever the motivations of the Conservative Party in challenging the healing lodge transfer, important questions still remain: is it appropriate to prepare correctional facility inmates effectively for their re-entry to communities and what do recidivism rates suggest as an effective approach?

George Jason

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