The Conservatives were wicked smart in implementing their crime agenda. Major legislative changes were buried in massive omnibus bills. Small but problematic amendments were hurried through Parliament and shielded from constitutional scrutiny in private members bills, and the parliamentary review process was gamed to suppress evidence that contradicted the government’s agenda.
We are living with the sad results: overcrowded jails, massive costs, reduced public safety, and law after law ruled to be unconstitutional.
And there is no better example of the Conservatives’ disdain for evidence-based criminal justice policy than mandatory minimum sentences.
Proponents of mandatory sentences say minimum sentences deter crime and make communities safer.
Let’s look at what the evidence does tell us: Minimum sentences and harsh incarceration aren’t effective at reducing crime, and they do little to assist with rehabilitation.