Crawl Across the Ocean

Monday, May 08, 2006

Movin' On Up?

As Canadians, we sometimes take it for granted that on most 'quality of life' international comparisons, Canada ranks near the top.

But here (pdf - via Andrew Sullivan) is a ranking where we are mediocre at best. But don't worry, the Conservatives are on the case.

First we'll catch the former Communist states, then the repressive Central American & Caribbean regimes, then the Russians, and finally we will take on the king of jailers, the land of the free itself.


  • Would you prefer if we continued to allow criminals to go free after ridiculously light sentences (and even then serving only a tiny fraction of their time)? Do you find the number of re-offenders Canada sports to be acceptable?

    Every crime committed by someout out of jail early was a crime that was 100% avoidable.

    By Blogger Andrew, at 4:21 AM  

  • "Every crime committed by someout out of jail early was a crime that was 100% avoidable."

    And every year spent in jail by someone who could be peacefully living their life and contributing to society is 100% avoidable as well.

    It's a question of balance and resource allocation. I'm not sure emulating the coutries I listed in my post, as opposed to say, Western Europe, is the best route.

    By Blogger Declan, at 9:48 AM  

  • Did you read the introduction?
    May not be a very reliable tool.
    Also in some countries execution will tend to keep the prison population from growing too high. I didn't see this statistic mentioned.

    By Anonymous Doug, at 10:01 AM  

  • "Did you read the introduction?

    Sure. Technically it just suggests that the numbers may not be perfectly comparable, not that they aren't reliable. But I didn't see anything which would make a large difference in the results or impact the point of my post.

    As for executions, I suspect (and hope) that there are very few countries where enough people are executed to make an impact on the numbers.

    By Blogger Declan, at 10:45 AM  

  • Hello Declan

    I suggest you read, say, Julian V. Roberts The Virtual Prison (which I haven't) or more Juristats on probation etc. before feeling too good about the present situation in Canada. But then, I suppose they have similar things in some high-prisoner-count countries too.

    Best Wishes

    By Anonymous Alan E. Dunne, at 2:59 PM  

  • Thanks for the book reference Alan.

    To be clear, I'm not saying that everything is great in Canada. Indeed, I don't know much about our judicial system.

    I'm just noting that, comparing countries with more prisoners to those with less, for the most part I'd rather live in the countries with less, although certainly there is ambiguity about cause and effect there.

    By Blogger Declan, at 4:32 PM  

  • Andrew,

    Crime has been dropping in all areas for 15+ years. That means there are less criminals and less crime.

    You are arguing for a solution to a problem that doens't exist.

    Now, it you would care to come up with some stats to prove that recidivism is high and criminals out on parole are committing crime,show it.

    BTW, what crime has the lowest recidivism rate? Murder. Its a crime that is nearly never repeated, even when offenders are not jails.

    Something to consider.

    By Blogger Mike, at 5:28 PM  

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