I am a firm believer in drawing conclusions from existing examples. For crime, the U.S. is in a class of its own. Despite tough laws and a great willingness to convict, not only does that country have a homicide rate that is twice Canada’s, but that rate, about five homicides per 100,000 people, is roughly five times higher than the average for the large countries inside the EU.
In the U.S., the incarceration rate for all crimes combined is about 0.8 per cent of the population, which is the highest in the modern world.
Mr. Harper’s willingness to copy the American system of justice amounts to building new prisons and dishing out obligatory minimum sentences for some felonies, which seems to be both unrealistic and lacking in logic.
Not only will that certainly fill those prisons, but will also require many more lawyers and prosecutors. That will be expensive since the new prisons will cost about $13 billion plus continuous operating costs.
The countries in Europe that have low crime rates and are doing well despite the recent financial crisis are the manufacturing nations, i.e. Germany, Holland, Switzerland and the Nordic countries.
When people have education and jobs that allow them to make it on their own, then we will automatically see lower crime rates.