Prisoners, Pensions, and Pecan Swirl
Dave Killion — October 25, 2010
Over at the website for the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation, Kevin Gaudet is pretty vexed with the way taxpayers have to cough up money so that even the most violent murderers enjoy ice cream and entitlement payments. Gaudet proposes a system like that run by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which definitely sounds more punitive than what Canadian prisoners endure. Although I don’t know the details of Arpaio’s system, from what I have read he is a cast-iron son-of-a-bitch who makes a lot of hay tickling the fancy of the law-and-order crowd, and doesn’t appear to recognize much in the way of limits to his authority. I expect a close examination will find a lot of things that Canadians really aren’t going to be able to stomach. I absolutely agree the taxpayer is getting rammed, but unlike Gaudet, I’m not concerned just with the provision of pensions and ice cream. I want to know why we have to pay anything at all?
Law-breakers should be held responsible for all costs related to their crimes. They must pay the police for bringing them to justice. They must pay restitution to the victim. They must pay for the courts and lawyers involved in trying them, and if they must be jailed then they must pay for the costs of their imprisonment, including food, shelter, and clothing. The more cooperative and hard-working they are, the sooner they can obtain their freedom. And if, after paying these costs, they manage to earn enough to buy some ice-cream or invest in a pension plan, well, that victimizes no one. But Gaudet is right. Canadians are being forced to pay for things they shouldn’t.
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