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‘Tough on crime’ policies causing a crisis in provincial jails

Overcrowding, violence and mental illness are all on the rise, which means our jails are costing us more without reducing crime

TORONTO (April 30, 2015) — A study by the Public Services Foundation of Canada (PSFC) reveals that the federal government has pushed the country’s network of provincial jails into a state of crisis, with profound consequences not just for inmates and correctional workers, but for each and every Canadian. 

Charity can’t replace public services

A recent Globe and Mail column by Elizabeth Renzetti points out exactly why charity and crowdfunding can’t replace quality public services.

The example used was of a Detroit factory worker who received $300,000 and a car donated after people found out that poor transit service meant he had to walk 34 km a day to get to and from work. Crowd funding helped one person, but thousands of other are in similar situations.

“Like asking a fish to ride a bicycle”

“Like asking a fish to ride a bicycle” is how a recent Guardian article described the belief that the private sector can do a good job running public services.

As the article points out, the root of the problem is that businesses and the public sector have fundamentally different objectives. For businesses, success is measured by the return for shareholders. For public services, the measure of success is how well they are meeting public needs.


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