Tori Stafford's Dad on tv. His pain is palpable. I feel so much for him and his family. And yet... The CPC have exploited this family's grief for partisan gain. Like many Canadians, he doesn't understand how our system works. #cdnpoli #ToriStafford 1/25
We do not have a system where the injured party can get "5 minutes alone" with the perpetrator. We do not have a system where politicians can hand-pick cases for special treatment or special punishment. 2/25
We have a rule of law, based on laws that have been developed and evolved over time, according to social mores and values, as these evolve over time. We used to have capital punishment. We used to hang people. And then, we were no longer comfortable with that solution. 3/25
Far too many people have been found wrongfully convicted. You can't bring someone back from the gallows when science progresses to the point where DNA or some other forensic tool proves the convicted did not do it. Was innocent. 4/25
So we stopped hanging people. Because the moral imperative swung to greater fairness, greater responsibility on the part of society to be humane. We no longer commit state-sanctioned murder. We collectively recognised that was wrong. 5/25
We have a framework for dealing with offenders. It is imperfect. It is subject to the whims of governments. But we do have principles of rehabilitation that are intended to form a core of our correctional system. 6/25
Since we no longer put people to death, we must accept that most people convicted of a crime will, eventually, be released into the community. Because it is reasonable and smart to want released inmates to be able to integrate and become contributing members of society... 7/25
we try to establish programs that will help them on that road. Education. Addictions treatment. Anger management. Counselling. We strive to address the reasons they offended & allow them an opportunity 2 return 2 society better equipped than when they committed their offense 8/25
Some governments have tried to use inmates to score political points. They look for approval from their base for being "tough on crime", by eliminating these "perks" that work towards making a person better able to live as a law-abiding citizen upon release. 9/25
Which seems wholly counter-intuitive. Either you want safer neighbourhoods, or you don't. You don't make communities safer by warehousing and brutalising people and turning them back out on the streets having learned only that getting caught is bad. 10/25
When someone is convicted of a crime, and sentenced to jail, they lose their liberty. They don't get to go to the movies, or hang out with friends. They don't get to date or go to restaurants, or walk in the crunchy leaves in the fall. 11/25
If they have young children, they miss all the big milestones: first words, first steps, watching them play sports or perform in the school play. They lose all those family moments; playing catch, watching movies, dinners, birthday parties... 12/25
They almost certainly lose their job, if they had one. They may lose relationships; with partners, family, friends... They don't get to sit by a loved one's deathbed with the rest of the family... 13/25
They don't get to be there for their kids, or their significant other, or their family or friends in times of heartbreak or need. 14/25
They lose their sense of self. They lose self-esteem. They lose agency. They lose the power to choose anything for themselves. 15/25
People don't understand that this is a lot, all on its own. Incarceration is a very real hardship on a personal level. Those who want to add beatings, starvation, isolation, and dehumanisation don't get it. 16/25
The goal is to improve society. To make our communities safer. You don't do that by destroying a person. You do that by building that person up, giving them the tools they need to function and contribute in society when they get out. 17/25
Revenge, retribution, a pound of flesh, may feel really good when an injustice has been committed against you or yours. But that kind of thinking does nothing to make our society better. 18/25
We have laws. We have consequences for breaking those laws. We have a highly educated judiciary who need to use both their knowledge of the law and their wisdom to determine appropriate penalties on a case by case basis. 19/25
We have highly trained psychologists, criminologists, social workers, correctional staff and administrators, and educators, whose job it is to guide inmates towards being productive citizens when they are released. 20/25
The system is imperfect. Solitary confinement remains a great shame of the Canadian judicial system. Amnesty International considers isolation as torture. People need human contact. 21/25
Back in the day, early 80s when I worked in corrections, inmates and visitors had visits in a big room with tables and chairs at Manitoba's medium security penitentiary at Stony Mountain. There were rules, but people could hug, hold hands, fathers could hold their babies 22/25
Human contact. It reminds us of our humanity. It reminds us of all the things we value, the things which, when rationed, become so much more precious. Human contact, however, fleeting, that reinforces the need to remake oneself. 23/25
Nowadays, visits in many jurisdictions are via CCTV. The visitor goes to a screen, the inmate goes to another screen. In different parts of the building, or different parts of the world. 24/25
No human contact. Being incarcerated is a LOT. Those sentenced to prison give up days, weeks, months, or years of having anything approaching a normal life. To be continued. I have reached a limit... 25/25

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More from @Norlaine

Sep 18, 2018
As many have probably guessed, my DNA does not allow any allegiance to conservative philosophy. There is a time to save & a time to spend and our greatest responsibility is to those among us who have the least. But, I seem to recall a time when the conservatives... 1/10 #cdnpoli
Were not wholly evil. When they seemed to have some vague concern for widows and orphans and those who were struggling. When they wanted good for Canadians and were just a bit off on how to get there... 2/10
I remember when Sterling Lyon was elected and my Dad said, "Just watch now. Manitoba is going to be punished for keeping him out of government for so long." And, sure enough, first thing he did was cancel Mincome. Just like Ford. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
Aug 28, 2018
If you earn enough to complain your taxes are too high, yet you enjoy paved roads, know the EMS will respond, send your children to school, get your illnesses/injuries treated by Canadian health care, trust the food supply, give your head a shake. #cdnpoli 1/
Taxes are the price we pay to live in a civil society. I am happy to pay so someone I have never met gets health care, so our society's children are educated, so our food and water are safe and the environment is protected. 2/
It is important to provide health care, and education to ALL Canadians. It is important to protect workers on the job and make sure our infrastructure is safe. These are things that give us the high quality of life we tend to take for granted. 3/
Read 10 tweets
Aug 13, 2018
I can't bring myself to retweet the most recent Bernier tweet thread. It doesn't deserve oxygen. But he has joined the chorus of CPC voices saying there are 2 kinds of Canadians. Those the CPC like: white, Christian, "old stock"/"pure laine"... And everyone else. #cdnpoli 1/
And I feel that this is not the way any party seeking to run our country should be thinking and speaking. They are making bolder and bolder anti-immigration statements. Well, ok, specifically anti-brown people immigration. Australians and Brits and so on are cool with them. 2/
It is no good for a party, especially one who thinks they should be making laws and stuff, to be hating people who live in that country. To be dismissing some Canadians because they look or sound or love or worship or dress differently than the CPC ideal. 3/
Read 28 tweets
Jun 24, 2018
Ranting ensues. 1/17
The role of Her Majesty's Official Opposition in the Westminster Parliamentary System we have in Canada is to hold the government to account, and to contribute to policy making by offering a different viewpoint on pressing matters of the day.
A well-functioning government and opposition can be a very positive thing because, working together, policy can be informed by a variety of viewpoints and thus be both strengthened and more responsive to a larger number of citizens. 2/17
That is not what is happening now. 3/17
Read 17 tweets

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