Was Ottawa right to cut the Lifeline prison rehab program?
The program, which was created in 1991, provides support for those serving life sentences ("lifers") and helps them re-integrate into society after being released on parole.
Critics argue that it's the only program Correctional Service Canada offers that meets the needs of long-term offenders.
"It's the most practical, humane program that has proven itself, and it's the one they've decided to eliminate, so it's just politics," said Skip Graham, who works with the St. Leonard's Society, which oversees Lifeline.
The program sets up mentorship relationships between current inmates and those who have successfully reintegrated, provides resources and peer support to the newly-paroled, and raises public awareness of rehabilitation and prevention work.
Officials from Colorado are developing a similar program based on Lifeline, even as Ottawa cuts the program.
Officials with CSC declined to be interviewed, but in a statement they said the program was not proven to be cost-effective.
Julie Carmichael, a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, told CBC News in an email Monday that evaluation and research findings did not reveal significant results being achieved by the program.
"It wasn't producing any results that improved public safety. We will not spend a dollar on corrections that is not necessary to keep Canadians safe," Carmichael wrote.
Read more: Prison rehab program axed due to budget cuts.
Do you support this kind of rehabilitation program for long-term offenders? Why or why not? Do you think Lifeline is worth its $2 million price tag?
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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