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Would it be surprising our government is focused on building prisons for non-reported crimes, rather than helping the mentally ill who currently reside within the prison population and really should not be there?

“The needs of mentally ill offenders in custody exceed the current capacity of the Correctional Service of Canada, according to the report released Thursday.

“Canadian penitentiaries are becoming the largest psychiatric facilities in the country,” said Howard Saper, correctional investigator of Canada.”

We are warehousing the mentally ill  instead of treating them.  Quelle suprise!

“In reviewing offender access to mental health services, the report found that the intermediate care component of the correctional service’s mental health strategy has not yet been implemented due to a lack of funding. Offenders requiring intermediate care fall between those needing primary care and acute inpatient care.”
Of course, this issue falls nowhere near the getting ‘tough on crime’ and ‘law and order’ agenda our current conservative government is addicted to.  When ideological concerns trump reality and fact we get the kinds of irrational stands that Harper’s government is (in)famous for (Climate Change, Environment and the Oilsands etc).
Currently, these offenders are often managed in segregation units where they can be isolated for prolonged periods of time, a practice that is “unsafe and inhumane,” Saper said.

Ah, let us get back to the good ‘ole days:

An excellent environment for rehabilitation...

Stay tuned for the Harper government to ignore the following:

Among the recommendations Saper made based on the report are that the correctional service should:

  • Fund implementation of its mental health strategy, with a particular focus on intermediate care.
  • Develop mental health service delivery partnerships with the provinces and territories.
  • Enhance its support of the development of a national strategy for corrections and mental health, with a focus on care guidelines.
Needs more cowbell punishment!  Being soft on these criminals is out of the question!

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