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Norlaine Thomas @Norlaine
, 17 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
If these healing lodges are so effective... I mean, something like 22 killers of children have been transferred to these lodges over the past 7 years or so (yes, it happened while the CPC was in power too),... 1/17 #cdnpoli
Then there must be clinical evidence that these settings are very effective in treating and rehabilitating even those offenders who have committed really heinous crimes. I doubt these decisions are made all willy nilly. So they must have a positive track record... 2/17
So, if these healing lodges are so effective, instead of fighting about who deserves the opportunity to heal & move towards being contributing citizens, shouldn't we be trying to restructure our corrections system so that every incarcerated person has this opportunity? 3/17
Don't we want as many people as possible who have made mistakes, big and small, many of whom have complex challenges, to emerge from our corrections system equipped to succeed in society? 4/17
I mean, either you want safer communities and low recidivism, or you have some other motive altogether. 5/17
There is a lengthy history of results that show that methods of rehabilitation used in Scandinavian countries work in reducing recidivism. And just as much or more evidence that the NA incarceration/punishment model does not. 6/17
If your goal is to make communities safer and reduce recidivism, it is logical to assume that you will look for the model that best achieves this goal, right? There are several models out there that have a proven track record of success. 7/17
The Scandinavian model, in which a convicted person loses their liberty. That is the consequence. They are not underfed, poorly housed, or subject to violence. Instead, they engage in programs that will give them the life skills they need to be successful upon release. 8/17
Also, there is the reconciliation model, which has been used successfully to re-integrate child soldiers back into their community. Norway, following the Scandinavian model, has shown a very low rate of recidivism. 20% compared with Canada (40%) and the US (~50%). 9/17
An analogy: If you have a child who is doing poorly in math, you can yell at them, ground them, punish them in many different ways. Often this does not improve the math scores. Besides the fact that it makes the kid dislike math even more, it doesn't address real causes. 10/17
A child may be doing poorly in school because they need a tutor who can explain the concepts in a way that suits the child's learning style. The child may be stressed b/c of family conflict, bullying, illness in the family. There could be a physical cause, ...11/17
Maybe the child needs glasses and can't see what the teacher is doing on the board. Maybe there is an undiagnosed learning disability like dyslexia. Maybe it's as simple as sleep and nutrition. But no amount of punishment will address these things. 12/17
The same is true of inmates. A huge proportion of incarcerated individuals have complex underlying problems, from addiction & mental health issues to poverty, abuse, family instability, lack of education, & social alienation. No amount of punishment will "fix" these things 13/17
If we don't address the real problems, how can we expect any different outcomes when a convict is released? If we put people who have failed society into a dehumanising system, how do we expect them to emerge as better people? 14/17
No one is suggesting putting convicts into 5-star hotels and bringing them room service. Rehab, and undergoing counselling, and receiving education, and growing as a person are all hard work. 15/17
But, if we truly want safer communities, we shouldn't be bickering about who is worthy of rehabilitation. We shouldn't give in to the baser urges to retaliate. Retribution is not an effective solution. 16/17
Instead, we should be working to recreate our correctional system to give all inmates the opportunity to turn their lives around and come back into their communities with the life skills they need to succeed. That is what makes communities safer. 17/17
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