Prison carries costs

At the June 8 public forum, prison advocate Darryl Plecas commended the City of Kamloops on its award for the greatest reduction in crime rate of any Canadian community. He emphasized that this was achieved despite the presence of a provincial remand centre/correction facility.

At the June 8 public forum, prison advocate Darryl Plecas commended the City of Kamloops on its award for the greatest reduction in crime rate of any Canadian community. He emphasized that this was achieved despite the presence of a provincial remand centre/correction facility.

What Dr. Plecas didn’t point out was the taxpayer cost of this result. Kamloops, with a population of 84,000, spends approximately $22.7 million on policing, or $270 per capita. By comparison, Penticton with roughly 33,000 residents spends $5.7million annually, or $172 per capita.

In other words the per capita spending on policing is approximately 57 per cent higher in Kamloops. It is hard to suggest that some portion of that is not attributable to the presence of a provincial remand centre/correctional facility in that city.

This is a single illustration of the evident shortcomings of last week’s panel presentation. Its announced intent of neutrality failed by having blatantly unbalanced representation, no opportunity to question assertions, and an early closure of the proceedings even with many pertinent questions from participants not being put forward by organizers of the event. The lesson is that any future sessions need to be balanced and fairly conducted.

Robert Havers

 

Penticton