Mr. Speaker, what worries me most about my colleague's speech is that he fails to take note of or at least recognize or acknowledge that we have 30 years of empirical evidence to draw from as testimony to the predictable consequences and outcomes of the course of action that the government is taking.
I am making reference to the tough on crime initiative of the United States, which American legislators are now saying has been a catastrophic failure and not only a catastrophic failure but it is bankrupting the 50 states. They have been building prisons and stacking up prisoners like cordwood for the last 30 years, to the point where they had to privatize the prison system, bringing in Halliburton to provide jails and to feed the prisoners, and bankrupting states. The streets are no safer.
Is my colleague aware of the recent trend in the United States that has stopped building more prisons, stopped mandatory minimum sentences, and is putting the money that is saved into crime prevention, especially in the context of drug rehabilitation and in dealing with the mentally ill rather than locking them up, giving them treatment? Prevention rather than punishment is the trend.