Critics of so-called tough-on-crime political agendas have long argued that they succeed with voters not because of actual crime, but because of our fear of the other. Falling crime rates seem to have no effect on the politicians pushing tough-on-crime reforms. In the wake of this week's denunciation of the federal government's tough-on-crime legislation by the Canadian Bar Association, we ask how much impact does our criminal justice system actually have on crime?
Today's guest host was Jim Brown.
Part One of The Current
It's Tuesday August 16th.
Libya's Interior Minister arrived in Egypt Monday along with his family and told officials at the airport in Cairo that he is on holiday.
Currently, next stop on the family's holiday itinerary: hot, sunny Damascus.
This is The Current.
Crime and Public - Panel
You don't have to convince a lot of people in Winnipeg that Canada needs tougher laws, more police, longer prison sentences. The city was once Canada's murder capital.
But the Canadian Bar Association is critical of the Conservative government's tough-on-crime agenda. The lawyers believe it will lead to prison overcrowding, jailing the mentally ill - and may drain cash from other important programs.
The Association urges the government to give judges more discretion when it comes to mandatory minimum sentences. But the justice minister isn't impressed with their arguments. And neither are many Canadians.
Is being tough on crime is a political no-brainer? For his thoughts on this we were joined by Anthony Doob. He's a criminologist at the University of Toronto. He was in Toronto.
We also brought Tim Powers into the conversation. He's a conservative strategist and Vice President of Summa Communications. He was in Ottawa.
Other segment from today's show: