The Firewall…….

…..how special interests within Correctional Service of Canada silences dissent and voices that need to be heard.

The October 21st posting ended by suggesting fairy tales can be brought to life.

In last year’s March 26th, “Cells for sale or rent,” the Netherlands had accomplished the enviable feat of emptying about a third of its prison cells through crime-reducing measures, and an emphasis on rehabilitation over incarceration. But, 2600 surplus prison guards became a political headache, and eclipsed the benefits of repurposing underused prisons and the more important achievement for progressive prison reform.

Why?

Job security is important for us all. And, just as in Holland, a thriving prison industry in Canada keeps many thousands of men and women employed, and not only with Correctional Service of Canada.

It’s been pointed out before that any other enterprise that had a failure rate as high as it is almost everywhere in the western world’s prisons would be dismantled and begun again from scratch.

If the success of a “correctional” system was measured more by the efficacy of its mandate to rehabilitate and less on only assessing risks to the community, input from the men and women who would benefit most from a “correctional” system is essential.

That doesn’t happen. That doesn’t happen because that is a risk to the status quo. It doesn’t happen because that is a risk to job security.

Prison staff, prison guards and the unions that so ably represent them have a mantra, a maxim that has multiple articulations but basically boils down to, “Inmates always lie. Guards are always truthful.” It’s become an ingrained watchword, a firewall against including the “governed” in decisions that affect their future.

What’s more, what’s worse, that won’t change under current CSC culture.

Too bad for it. Too bad for us.

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