Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Canada's approach to rehabilitation needs rehabilitating

A heartwarming story of rehabilitation out of Harrow, Ontario yesterday:

Rapist Robert Joseph VanBraeckel reconnected with a former victim:
VanBraeckel was released from prison May 28 and settled in Listowel. He returned to his hometown of Harrow to attend a court date in regard to the custody of his two children. On June 5 he saw his sexual assault victim outside a restaurant on Main Street smoking a cigarette. He stared at her and then crossed the road and came within a few feet of her. She was frozen in place, terrified, said Gary Nikota, assistant Crown attorney. VanBraeckel grabbed his crotch and smiled at the woman.
For this demonstration of how well rehabilitated he was, Mr. VanBraeckel was sentenced to a further 18 months in prison.

But the hand-wringers were gratified to learn that he received 8 months credit for "time served", so he'll only spend 10 months in prison.

Since 1971, the goal of the Canadian justice system has been rehabilitation of offenders; to be a personality spa for criminals.

"Punishment" is viewed as barbaric.

"Justice" is apparently an outmoded notion.

Protecting society is not part of the equation.

Harm done to victims is somebody else's problem.

This is the point where one of the bleeding heart hand-wringers would accuse me -- eyes bulging with self-righteous adrenalin rush, voice quavering with righteous indignation -- of wanting offenders in Canada horsewhipped in the public square.

No, I don't.

And this is the point where the advocates of criminals would accuse me of championing "mandatory minimums."

That would be an incorrect assumption. I do not support mandatory minimums.

I do, however, support sentencing violent criminals to long stretches of prison time.

I'm not the only person who thinks the Canadian justice system is a joke.

Ask Windsor, Ontario drug dealer Adam Peltier how well the system has rehabilitated him; how well it's dissuaded him from a life of crime.

A newspaper article detailing Peltier's latest arrest for drug possession (this, while he's currently on trial for another drug charge, after having been arrested and convicted in the past on drug charges) describes him as a "drug dealer known for taunting police".

I'm sure the Matlock federal drug prosecutor, Richard Pollock, involved in the trial has contributed to Peltier's sense that he's in the custody of clowns. Pollock delved deep into his law training to make the following public statement about Peltier's latest arrest: "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get."

So, the public interest is in capable hands!

Clearly, Pollock got his knowledge from the streets!

So, our Cosby-sweatered, hand-wringing rehabilitation advocates continue to have their way -- slaps on the wrist and to bed with no dinner for our rapists and drug dealers.

In the words of one I've had contact with: "If someone like that ever murdered me I would want them to be helped and rehabilitated and not locked in a jail cell for the rest of their life."

Give that man a Cosby sweater!

Maybe these rapists and drug dealers will "see the light" while in prison and return to society to compose concertos that will cure cancer and banish despair from our collective experience.

I'm sure the rehabilitationists are satisfied if some of these miscreants merely return to their hovels, to lead lives of quiet dignity, masturbating to the child models in the kids clothing section of the Sears catalogue.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that it is great that you have such a strong opinion on the state of our criminal justice system. I do think you are sadly mistaken that rehabilitation is a "personality spa for criminals." There is no such thing as rehabilitation in the criminal justice system. Programs are not implemented and offered to criminals, and in order to be eligible for correctional programs you have to meet certain criteria, which the majority of inmates don't. The criminal justice system in Canada is based on a crime control model that claims to focus on restorative justice models but it doesn't, it focuses on punishment. I also think that you need to get your facts straight when it comes to the Peltier case. He was given a completely unreasonable sentence for the crime that he committed. Majority of offenders facing the same charges of him only receive 3-4 years not 6-7 years. Also there are many external factors that contribute to why someone would commit a crime or crimes. Many crimes are crimes of economic survival. Many of us are fortunate enough to have parents who supported us and helped us obtain our secondary educations so we can pursue legitimate careers. Not everyone is given that opportunity; many people struggle to survive and don't have a choice but to commit crimes to secure their financial well beings. These people also are unable to get their educations because they are too busy working to afford the basic necessities. I think that it is easier to judge criminals then to understand why they do or did what they did. It is not our job to judge them; it is a judge and a jury's job. As for you with your opinion of harsher and longer sentences it's a joke our criminal justice system isn't adversarial or unbiased, we violate offenders rights every day and send them to inhumane jails that are overpopulated and unable to help them. All we are doing is wasting tax payers’ dollars. The funniest part is we have the lowest crime rates Canada has seen in decades.

Whetam Gnauckweirst said...

Well, I needed only to wait a few hours for the Canadian Justice System to provide yet another example of how woefully it handles serious criminals.

Graham James was given two years in prison for the years he spent molesting two hockey players he coached in the early 1990s.

That is an incredibly lenient sentence. It's a fact that pedophiles cannot be cured, so there's not even an opportunity for a Canadian judge to engage in his favorite pass-time of clarvoyance: "The odds of this defendant committing this crime again . . ." yeah, is about 100%.

Two years.

Anyone who considers that justice does not understand the concept of justice.

This being Canada, unfortunately, we'll never run short of myopic hand-wringing bleeding hearts who never run out of pseudo sympathy for those among us who perpetrate heinous acts. Victims of crime be damned. That's a sorry state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

Me and my mother are both victims of this scum bag Robert van braeckel he has been a lost soul for 15 years that I can think of. He was my neighbor and when his ex and kids lived with him I played with the girls for a brief period of time right before he moved to the next block over he's a repeat sexual offender how the hell is he on the streets!