On November 12th, 2010, the federal government announced an investment of $45 million to increase the number of beds in Manitoba jails. Steven Harper’s Conservative government has made it well known that getting tough on crime is a top priority. While there is evidence that crime rates in Canada are lower than they have been in decades, it is also true that violent crime remains a very real problem and especially so in neighbourhoods with high rates of poverty. The correlation between crime and poverty tells us that attending to the root causes of crime is an essential component of a crime reduction strategy. Yet the Harper plan centres on an increase in punitive measures as a method of deterring criminal behaviour, while at the same time cutting funding for successful crime prevention programs. This move is contrary to a long list of longitudinal research posted on the federal governments website that shows crime prevention through social development to be effective.
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