Lord Black's imprisonment has made me much more cynical about American justice. Jailing non violent criminals is probably a bad idea. Jailing small time drug users is probably a bad idea. As I have already said I favor the Portugese solution of decriminalizing small amounts of drugs and increasing rehab. I don't totally agree with Lord Black about violent criminals. that's what jails ate for. The same goes for sex offenders. I have often complained about minimal sentences for violent acts. That is still my opinion. Lord. Black does make several interesting points and I think we as conservatives should pay some attention.
In the past two years, as regular readers in this space would know, thanks to my gracious hosts in the U.S. government, I have had what could be called extensive hands-on experience of the American correctional system. I have been tutoring and teaching fellow prisoners in English, and in U.S. history. And some of them have taught me how to read music, play the piano, keep fit, diet sensibly and assimilate some local folkways, while I have been fighting my way through the courts toward a just disposition of the few remaining (unfounded) charges that bedevil me. The fact that all my life any definition of Canada's virtue and distinctiveness has prominently included references to civility and decency explains my alarm and outrage at finally reading the three-year-old report on the Correctional Service of Canada, misleadingly titled "A Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety."