Yukon judge offers 'incorrigible offender' chance to straighten out

Judge Mike Cozens said Wayne Jackson deserves a chance to turn his life around, even after 136 criminal convictions.

Judge said he can't ignore faint hope of rehabilitation

A Whitehorse man, in jail on his 136th criminal conviction, should be given another chance to turn his life around, a Yukon judge has ruled.

Wayne Jackson, 49, was arrested last September after he was caught stealing from the Canadian Tire store in Whitehorse. He had a DVD player and some socks under his coat, valued at $154.

It was his 75th conviction for theft. He had recently been released from a federal penitentiary and was still on parole at the time.

At his sentencing on Wednesday, Territorial Court Judge Mike Cozens called Jackson a "complex individual" and an "incorrigible offender."

Cozens said Jackson had shown himself to be a model prisoner in jail and an attentive student of treatment programs, but "then he throws it all away on release" and reoffends. 

But Cozens also said that as judge, he can't ignore the faint hope of rehabilitation for Jackson. He noted Jackson's traumatic and dysfunctional childhood, and his stated desire to straighten out.

Cozens ruled that Jackson's probation terms will include a period of time at the Kwanlin Dün First Nation's Jackson Lake healing camp, this spring.

Jackson must first serve another 85 days in jail.

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