According to Statistics Canada, all crime rates -- including violent crime -- have been trending downward over the last twenty years. Yet the Harper government continues to insist Canadians are in the midst of a crime epidemic. This is their rationale for spending billions on new prisons, and for legislation that will put thousands more behind bars and increase the likelihood that young Canadians will have criminal records.
In this book, author Paula Mallea lays out the evidence that contradicts the government's claims. "Tough on Crime is actually lazy on crime," says Mallea. "It is certainly tough on taxpayers. A better approach is to be smart on crime." The Harper approach has been widely used in the United States, where governments are now turning away from measures which cost billions while producing few or no measurable benefits.
Fearmonger is a compelling critique of the financial as well as the human costs of the Harper tough-on-crime agenda.
PAULA MALLEA practised criminal law for fifteen years in Toronto, Kingston, and Manitoba, mainly as defence counsel. She is a research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. She is also the author of Aboriginal Law: Apartheid in Canada. She currently resides in Gore Bay, on Manitoulin Island.
"...a comprehensive attack on the Conservative government's crime agenda dating back to 2006, including many proposals that appear destined to become law in 2012...While centred on recent events, the relevance of Mallea's critique extends well into the future."
"...an outstanding overview of recently passed and proposed crime legislation.
Written in an accessible manner while reflecting the author's own extensive background in criminal law, this analysis picks apart each of the Conservative crime agenda's multi-pronged proposals based on an objective, reality-based approach that can hardly be accused of partisanship. Rather, Mallea cobbles together research, expert voices and common sense refutations that illustrate how an indefinite increase in punishment for punishment's sake will in fact make society less safe and cost untold billions in the process."
"Fearmonger should be a must-read for all of us."
"Mallea's recently published book portrays the Harper government as being obsessed with crime...She predicts the stubborn attitude will take a huge toll on the country."
"Despite the statistics indicating that crime rates, including violent crime, have been declining over the last twenty years, Stephen Harper and his government insists Canada needs to get "tough on crime." Mallea explains how this is really "tough on taxpayers" who will pay for the incarceration of ever-greater numbers of people."