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31/01/2011 Churches to Harper: more incarceration …

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Churches to Harper: more incarceration won't solve crime

Ali Symons, Anglican Church of Canada
January 28, 2011 - The Anglican Church of Canada's long-time partner, the Church Council on
Justice and Corrections (CCJC), has criticized a federal plan that would increase prison capacity
and rates of incarceration. CCJC has prepared an information packet for churches and is
encouraging all Canadians to consider the implications of this plan.

"Proposed new federal laws will ensure that more Canadians are sent to prison for longer
periods, a strategy that has been repeatedly proven neither to reduce crime nor to assist
victims," wrote CCJC president Laurent Champagne in a recent letter to Prime Minister
Stephen Harper.

"Increasing levels of incarceration by marginalized people is counter-productive and undermines

human dignity in our society," he wrote. He encouraged the government to consider other
methods of dealing with offenders, including well-supervised probation or release, bail options,
reporting centres, and supportive housing programs.

CCJC also argues that incarceration is a more expensive option. They have produced an info
graphic titled "Prison Facts: The Co$ts," which notes, among other facts, that it costs $101,666
to keep an inmate incarcerated, compared to $24,825 when an offender is maintained in the

A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews responded to the CCJC letter in the Jan. 27
Globe and Mail. "Under the previous system, criminals—including convicted terrorists—were
sometimes released the day after their sentencing," said Christopher McCluskey. "This is
unacceptable to Canadians." He also noted that the government has extended financial support
to victims.

CCJC was founded in 1972 by 11 church organizations, including the Anglican Church of Canada.
Their work includes helping to organize Restorative Justice Week, which considers the human
impacts of crime. For more information about their work, visit their website.

Download CCJC's information packet for use in your church:

Bulletin insert—Graphic of prison facts: The Co$ts"

Bulletin insert—CCJC's letter to the Prime Minister
Graphic—"Prison Facts: the Co$ts"

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