Brian Lee Crowley

Brian Crowley discusses Canada’s prison reforms after the latest comments by Conrad Black in the Toronto Star

In the September 5th, 2011 issue of the Toronto Star, Brian discusses the latest comments by Conrad Black against the government’s tougher sentencing bills, prison expansion plans, and prisoner control programs. In the article, Crowley said Black is unlikely to sway the debate in Canada “partly because…he’s in kind of a conflict of interest in talking about how people are treated in the prison system because he’s now in it.” He said that several of Black’s criticisms of the American system are correct, but that Black is not correct to suggest that Canada is going down the same path. For example, he said that individual states embarked on costly prison construction projects, and punitive “three-strikes-you’re out” laws increased prison populations, with people who are “a pretty marginal danger to society.” Alternatively, he argued, Canada is embarking on reforms to deal with the small number of repeat offenders who commit the largest number of crimes in Canada. He concluded, “To the extent that he’s saying to Canada ‘don’t make those mistakes,’ I think his observations are perfectly in order.” However, Black is “allowing his feelings about the American system to influence his view about Canada, not looking at what’s happening in Canada on its merits.”

To read the full article in the Toronto Star, click here

Brian Lee Crowley
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