Thursday, November 22, 2007

Youth Crime

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This Letter appeared in yesterday's Telegraph Journal. Mr. Moore's silence on the tragic death of Ashley Smith - a young NB woman who needed help, not incarceration - is distressing. Then, on Monday (Nov. 19), Mr. Moore was called-out by Don Newman on CBC Newsworld's "Politics". You can watch this video below.

If Mr. Harper's new youth crime bill is meant to "deter and denounce." Don Newman asks, who does the denouncing? Maybe one day we'll need to create an overpaid position for the "official denunciator" who will undoubtedly need a large office to prepare numerous denunciations.

Uncivilized to put youth behind bars

Rob Linke's article "Teen denied legal help" (Nov. 15) states that the testimony provided in the Ashley Smith case "elicited little comment" from Fundy Royal Conservative MP Rob Moore.

It seems that Moore is now willing to talk, and he did so on Monday night's edition of Politics with Don Newman on CBC. In speaking about potential Conservative amendments to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, Moore lauded the benefits of "deterrence and denunciation" in the sentencing of youth criminals.

The essence of his beliefs were very clear: he believes that youth belong behind bars to "pay" for their crimes.

I would suggest that Moore tell the family of Ashley Smith about the "benefits" of excessive sentences for youth criminals, and respond to the proven negative impacts that incarceration has on troubled and developing young minds.

It is frightening that our federal representative can be so out of touch with the values of Canadians that he can support such draconian policy changes to a system that is supposedly designed to protect and rehabilitate our most vulnerable youth.

The Conservative position supported by Rob Moore is a shameful assault on the very foundations of what makes Canada a so-called "civilized" country.


Golden Grove

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