He brings attention to an undeniable fact for anyone who has had any experience with the criminal justice system. 70 % of those entering prisons have dropped out of high school or have unstable job histories. In addition substance use/abuse problems and mental health are dominant features of the prison population.
Canada has a serious homelessness problem, the divide between the classes grows and poverty is a feature of many people entering either the mental health, addiction or criminal justice system. The social determinants of health, including mental health, correlates so significantly that I am surprised that the connection between these factors and a person's overall adaptability is not much more foregrounded in clinical analysis of people in the criminal justice system.
Instead of investing in megajails, mandatory sentencing and longer jail terms we should be investing in housing, treatment and education based on practices that actually work. Rehabilitation is more important than incarceration. As Eggleton concludes poetically and accurately, "the goal should be to help and not shackle its citizens".
I believe that it is also crucially important to bring back the notion of citizenship as part of public virtue and I am glad to see Eggleton refer to people in the criminal justice system as citizens and not inmates or criminals.
The Huffington Post has a series of very good articles on this piece of legislation that will have significant impact on the criminal justice system in Canada in the years ahead. This is reinforced by the fact that the Tories are enjoying majority governing status for at least the next five years and quite possibly longer if Alberta continues to grow and the Tories gerrymander that dynamic.
For some excellent background and analysis of this bill, see
Omnibus Crime Bill