Jail sentences, and why I think they’re shit

It’s no secret that I am not at all a fan of law enforcement and related businesses.  I certainly acknowledge the necessity of order in society, but I’ve seen far too many abuses and my faith in the system has been eroded.  We have this supposed leader who wants longer, “harsher” jail sentences across the board, and even setting aside my anti-Harper bias for a moment, I still think it’s a load of crap.

My ass-sourced theory is that when conviction rates go up, law enforcement abuse also goes up, and thus non-criminals become criminalized.  What, do you think cops will just sit around doing nothing while all the bad guys are safely behind bars ?  No, they need to earn their pay, which means they need to broaden the definition of “crime” to create more work.

I don’t actually believe it is planned in such sinister fashion, rather it is the result of social and political pressures.  On one hand, departments have express or implied quotas to be met, to justify their budgets.  They need certain levels of income (fines).  On the other hand, you have many organizations that work closely with law enforcement (unions, support industries, law firms), who collectively wield quite a lot of bargaining and lobbying power.  If they are starving, guess which Calgary-born assclown is going to hear their sob story and sign their criminalization bill ?

I subscribe to the notion that there are 3 types of criminals:

  1. people who have a brief lapse in judgement (i.e. shoplifting or vandalism, manslaughter)
  2. people who commit a crime of passion (unpremeditated murder)
  3. incorrigible psychos (repeat offenders, serial rapists/murderers/armed robbers).

The first, you lock up for a brief period to scare some sense into them, the second need serious therapy and rehabilitation, the third I think should meet the business end of a wood chipper.

At no point have I ever felt that a longer jail term would help any of these people.  I already think current jail terms are far too long for most crimes.  We don’t want dangerous people on the streets, but there is no point in taking someone who had one screw-up and rendering them useless for 5, 10 or 25 years.  Shit happens, people make mistakes, sometimes very big ones; if anyone should know that it’s Stephen Fuck-up Harper.  The great majority of these people should be given a chance to right their wrongs and go back to being productive members of society , rather than letting them rot at club fed.  And if they’re the kind of person you never want to see released, do everyone a favor and kill them off.  Don’t have the balls ?  Then find someone who does.  Give them a fair period, say 5 years to appeal the sentence, and if the verdict is still “guilty” then terminate the sick fucks.  Society has to take responsibility for its own problems, cut its losses and move on.  Governments need to stop viewing law enforcement as a business and start running it as a public service – lean and mean.

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