Sampson caves to Liberal pressure
There wonít be a lot of room at the inn this weekend.
This week the Ministry of Correctional Services cancelled
its intermittent Temporary Absence Permit (TAP) program after
Liberal Corrections Critic David Levac revealed to the press
that inmates were being allowed to serve their sentences at
The Nov. 7 Liberal press conference was held in conjunction
with Canadians for Safe and Sober Driving. Levac showed
reporters a copy of a TAP form given to a convicted drunk
driver serving a weekend sentence. The reason for the
inmateís release? Overcrowding.
Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty raised this issue in the
legislature on Oct. 19. McGuinty grilled Corrections Minister
Rob Sampson about the dozens of inmates who were being
released every Friday night at the Mimico Correctional Centre.
"You are failing us, and I'll tell you why,"
McGuinty said to Sampson. "Judges are sending people to
jail in Ontario to serve intermittent sentences to be served
on weekends. It turns out that every Friday at the Mimico
Correctional Centre right here in Toronto, over 100 criminals
arrive, sign a temporary absence plan and get out of jail
instantly. How do you justify that, Minister?"
Sampson smugly held his ground and accused the Liberals of
not being as tough on criminals as the Tories. McGuinty
continued to bore in.
"Once again we've proven that when it comes to crime
this government is all talk and no action," McGuinty
said. "You are so tough on talk. You know, you've got me
shaking in my boots. You tell us youíre going to be really
hard on criminals; youíre going to crack down. Here we've
got a specific instance: in Ontario today, if you are
sentenced to an intermittent sentence and you are required to
do time on weekends, all you've got to do is show up and sign
yourself out. You get to go home for the weekend, you get to
cut the grass, do a bit of shopping and God knows what else,
and this is the new, tough, law-and-order regime of the Mike
Sampson then dug a rather large hole for himself when he
told the Leader of the Official Opposition that all the
inmates were either performing volunteer work or attending
counselling sessions on the weekend. Sampson then mocked the
Liberals as not liking those kinds of activities.
Once again, the patented Rob Sampson method of making
statements before checking the facts came back to dine on his
derriere when Levac launched his thunderbolt to the Queenís
Park press gallery last Tuesday.
So it came as no surprise when the Ministry announced the
suspension of the TAP program "pending review." But
many staff are now wondering this: What is the Ministry
planning on doing with the hundreds of additional inmates who
will be behind bars this weekend?
The bigger question being raised is how Rob
"Hands-on" Sampson could not have possibly known
what was happening every Friday night at jails across the
province. Well, he does now.
Perhaps Sampson will also find out that inmates are using
cell phone and beeper numbers for their main contact number on
the weekends that they are released. And maybe Sampson will
also find out that the wonderful work and counselling programs
heís talking about donít even exist in many areas where
intermittents are released.
Maybe our Minister can help solve the impending weekend
overcrowding fiasco with a little "hands-on" help.
Got a few spare beds at your place, Rob?
Oh, those irritating public
Two weeks ago, it was reported in Lock Talk that
patients at the Penetanguishene Oak Ridges Mental Health
Centre had signed a petition asking that their institution be
privatized. Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop (PC) presented
that petition to the legislature on Oct. 25. Up until now, the
actual wording of that petition was unknown. Now we know why.
It turns out the inmates wanted privatization due to the
annoying habits of the professional public employees. Namely,
implementing additional security measures at the facility.
Thatís no way to run a maximum-security institution.
Quick, get Wackenhut on the line!
No, not THAT Straight Talk
It would appear that in their haste to put out a new
publication, the Ministry of Correctional Services didnít do
quite enough research into the title Straight Talk.
Sources reveal that "Straight Talk" is a
registered charitable organization in Toronto and Owen Sound.
The organization counsels teens on sexual activity.
We donít think that anybody wants THAT kind of guidance
from our Minister. Perhaps they should try again. Oh, and Lock
Talk is already taken.
The resolution count reaches 139 this week as the
Resolution Warrior, Len Mason, from Local 737 (Thunder Bay
Jail) continues his assault on the province
The Township of Fenelon (northwest of Lindsay), the
Township of Ramara (southeast of Orillia), and the County of
Bruce are now on the list of municipalities who oppose
privatization. Go, Len, go!
For campaign information, call Don Ford (ext. 442) or Carol Whitehead
(ext. 356) at
1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ontario Public Service Employees Union
100 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 3P8
Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman, president.
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