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Prison Conditions

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by

Chloe Yin

on 3 June 2015

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Transcript of Prison Conditions

Survey Question
General Question
Perspectives (other side)

- sentences are too lenient

- corrections system is not doing a good job rehabilitating offenders, offering it is useless

-in 2004 survey, more than 3/4 respondents believe inmates who committed violent crimes/sexual offences CANNOT be rehabilitated

- more than 50% believe prison life is too comfortable

- low confidence in justice system
Securities
Minimum:
The perimeter will be clearly defined but not normally directly controlled. Firearms will not be retained in the institution.

Medium:
The perimeter will be well defined, secure and controlled. Inmate movement and association will be regulated and supervised. Firearms are retained in the institution but not normally be deployed inside the perimeter.

Maximum
: The perimeter will be well defined, secure and controlled. Inmate movement and association will be strictly regulated and directly supervised. Firearms are retained in the institution and may be deployed inside the perimeter.
On one side...

- criminals
- family of criminals
- police officers
- judges
Additional Questions
- harsher conditions will make inmates more aggressive

- public does not know enough about prison conditions, therefore they are quick to assume from only mere mentions of colour TVs, pools, etc.

- since offenders are partially shaped by society, rehabilitation MUST be offered in prisons

- nationwide poll in 2004: most of the respondents have positive attitudes--> "most offenders can be rehabilitated into law-abiding citizens"



Perspectives (one side)
Prison
Conditions

Article 1 (Criminal escapes from prison)
Survey Question
Source 2: Prison for mother & children
Survey Question
Article 3 (Prison tour)
Survey Question
Thesis
http://globalnews.ca/news/1920209/concerns-raised-after-second-escape-from-mission-prison-in-two-years/

Credible?
Yes, Global News is a very credible news source.
Local?
Yes, this happened in Mission, which isn’t too far from Richmond.
Recent?
This happened on April 2nd, 2015.

Summary:
Shawn William Merrick, a convicted murderer, escaped a second time from the Mission Institution, which is a minimum-security prison in the Fraser Valley. Mission mayor Randy Hawes notes that “there are no big gates, no bars, and so guys for a variety of reasons will walk away”, addressing the prison conditions that exist there. So far, there haven’t been news of him being found, raising further concerns.

Perspectives:
Some wish for tighter regulations in the prison environment because they feel unsafe on having convicts roam around freely. NDP justice critic Mike Farnworth said, "One would think they’d be behind bars and wouldn’t be in a position to escape.”. Meanwhile, some, like the mayor in the video, believe that inmates may come out “really angry and institutionalized” and that there are positive reasons for having less restriction.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/correctional-service-canada-offers-virtual-tour-of-federal-prisons-1.3038371

http://www.cbc.ca/news/multimedia/government-offers-virtual-tour-of-federal-prison-1.3038025

Credible?
Yes, CBC is a very trustworthy website.
Local?
Not really, this is a virtual tour taken in Collins Bay and Bath Institution near Kingston, Ontario. However, it's still in Canada.
Recent?
This was uploaded on Apr. 17th, 2015.

Summary:
The Government of Canada posts a panoramic, virtual tour of a federal prison where examples of minimum/medium/maximum living conditions, offered programs, and more are shown. This institution is responsible for managing adult offenders serving sentences of 2 years or more.

Perspectives:
Although this was praised for being clear and transparent, it’s also questioned for being the “sanitized picture of prison life” because it only contains a few polished examples, which doesn’t truly reflect an accurate representation of prison life. One critic says "the majority of prison cells in Canada are 30 or more years old, so the tour pictures do not show a typical environment" and "offers viewers a glimpse into what an ideal institution would look like while paving over many of the disturbing realities of incarceration today". One critic even asked if it was "filmed at Disneyland".

Survey Question
Survey Question
The Criminal Code Section 718:
The fundamental purpose of sentencing is to contribute...by imposing just sanctions that have...the following objectives:

c) to separate offenders from society, where necessary

d) to assist in rehabilitating offenders
Criminal Laws & Rights
- How educated are the public about prison?
- Is the prison system fair?
- Is rehabilitation effective in helping inmates? Should prisons continue offering these programs?
- Do prisons have conditions and privileges that are too comfortable/luxurious for inmates? Should it be restricted?
- What is prison life like?
- What's the difference between minimum/medium/maximum securities in prisons?
Do criminals deserve to be treated the same as an average citizen?
Quotes
On the other side...

- victims
- family of victims
- general public
http://globalnews.ca/news/1191486/canadas-women-prison-expansion-includes-rooms-for-mothers-and-children/
Credible? Yes, global news is a credible source.
Local? yes, British Columbia is included in this program.
Current? This news was published on March 6th 2014.

Summary:
The Correctional Service of Canada added 114 beds to four minimum security women’s institutions in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. The new units have been built outside the prison barbed wire and are designed to accommodate the “mother-child program.” This program allows children under 6 to stay with their inmate mothers inside the prison.

Perspectives:
Advocates argue such programs keep babies out of the child welfare system and help preserve the mother-child bond that is important for healthy development. Sarah Rauch, a director of the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic at UBC said: “This is a judge saying that it’s actually a Charter right."
However, victims have argued it’s an unfair privilege, and the union representing prison guards says it’s dangerous.
On the other side:

"In the prisons around the world with the harshest living conditions, there is close to no improvement or rehabilitation in the inmates' behaviour. In fact, the inmates' behaviours worsen, become more violent and more aggressive due to the need to survive harsh living conditions."

"I agree the conditions may be a little overly warm, but to worsen conditions is unreasonable. If you want to lessen crime rates, you can't treat criminals like criminals or they will never change. If they're treated with scorn and cruelty they harden and vow for revenge, making the citizens, government, and law enforcement their enemies. Treat them with kindness and compassion and many will improve for the better."
On one side:

"Prisoners should be in a livable place with enough resources to help them rehabilitate, but not be overly comfortable."

"They committed the crime so they should be punished with terrible conditions and less options."

"Criminals don't need entertainment while serving time in jail because it doesn't help them rehabilitate and makes prison more enjoyable than it should be."
Survey Question
Rank your knowledge on prison conditions in Canada.
Prisons should consider placing inmates under stricter living conditions and be given less options for entertainment because pleasure and recreation won't help prisoners rehabilitate. The conditions should be comfortable enough to support their basic needs only.
Who's on what side?
Survey Question
Thanks for listening!
Do you think prison conditions are too comfortable? Discuss!
Similarities:

- All articles address certain living conditions and/or living privileges.
- All articles are credible and recent.
- All articles presented the topic clearly.
- All articles showed opposing perspectives on each issue.
- None of the issues has quotes or opinions from current prisoners.

Differences:

- There was no comment section in the CBC articles for the general public to give their opinions.
- The article about the mother-child program didn’t have any photos that show what it looks like, etc.
- The prison tour that the Canadian government posted is not as local as the other two sources.

Articles Analysis
Full transcript