Sunday, April 22, 2007

Camp Run Amok: Rob Sampson's First Attempt At Prison Reform

As many have noted, the man appointed by Stockwell Day to "review" Canada's federal prison system, Rob Sampson, has done this kind of thing before. Here's how Peter Kormos described Sampson's first attempt, "Project Turnaround", a boot-camp for young offenders near Barrie launched in 2000, after a number of inmates escaped. From the Ontario Hansard for Novemeber 29th, 2000:

What about Camp Turnaround? What do you call it, my friends? Camp Run-Amok? Camp Getaway. Is that the same one I’m thinking of, Minister of Correctional Services, the young offender get-tough facility where your staff leave the door unlocked, leave the van parked, keys in the van, half a tank of gas and probably a few bucks in loonies and toonies in the ashtray so the kids have something to spend when they’re out on the lam? My goodness, that’s tough security. Leave the keys in the van and leave the door unlocked so it doesn’t require any ingenuity to get out of your get-tough facilities. You don’t need a board of parole to supervise the elimination of statutory remission. You’ve made release from jail automatic. You leave the door unlocked, you leave the keys in the van, half a tank of gas and enough spare change in the ashtray to get them through a McDonald’s checkout drive-by. Please. It is incredible that this government, this minister can purport to have any handle at all on his Ministry of Correctional Services, never mind the fact that Camp Getaway, Camp Run-Amok, Camp Turnaround—they didn’t turn around, Minister. They kept driving. They just kept driving, saying, "Thank you very much, Mike Harris and government of Ontario, for leaving the door unlocked, the keys in the van, half a tank of gas and enough loonies and toonies in the ashtray to get us through a McDonald’s drive-by checkout."

Hold onto your hats. This guy Sampson has done more to make the term "revolving door prison system" a reality than a whole roomful of bleeding-heart Liberals!

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