Being tough on criminals is a Conservative government hallmark, but the man appointed as Parliament's watchdog for the federal corrections system says the policy is creating a prison powder keg.
Overcrowding, the application of mandatory minimum sentences and a lack of rehabilitation programs are creating the kind of conditions that led to the bloody 1971 riot at Kingston Penitentiary, Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers said in a weekend speech.
The Globe and Mail reported the prison ombudsman made a broad attack on the government's policies, hammering "mass incarceration," "arbitrary and abusive conditions of detention," and making victims' rights the core of the program.
Sapers has long as been dubious about the Conservatives' approach to incarceration. His last annual report, issued in June 2012, documented the rising number of inmates, a growth in double-bunking prisoners in cells meant for one, despite plans to add 2,700 new cells, and the rising cost of the corrections system.
[Read More »from Ombudsman warns Tories’ tough-on-crime policies creating prison powder keg