Canada's prison ombudsman says "tough on crime" is just a meaningless slogan
The former government's tough-on-crime legislation has had a profound and negative effect on prison populations. On April 24, Carol Finlay, the founder and director of the charitable organization "Book Clubs for Inmates" told Michael that Canada's prisons have become places of anger, hopelessness and despair for Aboriginal women.
Howard Sapers, head of the Office of the Correctional Investigator of Canada, agrees with Reverend Finlay's assessment of conditions for the incarcerated. He has never been shy about criticizing government policies that adversely affect the prison population, but he was especially sharp in his criticisms of the policies of the recent Conservative government - so much so, that Prime Minister Stephen Harper planned to dump him. When the Liberals swept into power, Mr. Sapers was asked to continue in his role. He spoke to Michael in Toronto.