The ripple effects of crime and punishment on criminals and their families

When a crime is committed, family members of those convicted have nowhere to turn. We explore crime and justice through the isolation these families face and track the ripple effects of tough-on-crime policies on the perpetrator and prison system.
One of the starkest shifts in the prison population, is that it's getting older. The shifting demographics inside Canada's jails have consequences for policy makers, prisoners and society. (Sean Hobson/Flickr/Creative Commons)
When a crime is committed, family members of those convicted have nowhere to turn. We explore crime and justice through the isolation these families face and track the ripple effects of tough-on-crime policies on the perpetrator and prison system. 27:29

 

During its almost decade in power, Stephen Harper's Conservative government introduced one tough-on-crime bill after another. Many of those bills became law — despite objections at the time. 

In certain parts of the country — Ontario and Quebec especially — one of the starkest shifts in the prison population, is that it's getting older.  The shifting demographics inside the country's jails have consequences for policy makers, prisoners and society.

And while women only make up a small percentage of the federal prisoner population, there's been a huge spike in part of the female population. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of Indigenous women in the prison system grew by 97 per cent. In fact, today, more than one in three women in federal institutions, is an Indigenous woman. 
Shannon Moroney's own story of being married to a man who committed a violent crime lead her to discover a group of women in Windsor, Ont., who gather weekly for support because they too have family members who committed crimes. (Anka Czudec, Studio Anka)

Ripple Effect host Anna Maria Tremonti explores the demographic shifts in prisons.

Also in this episode, we meet, Shannon Moroney, who examines how crime hurts families of perpetrators. When Moroney's husband was charged with a violent sexual assault and kidnapping of two women, she became a pariah... blamed and shunned.

In her documentary, In Harms Way, we hear the stories of those thrust into a world of victimization and judgement, and look at the consequences faced by families of perpetrators.