Criminals Get Royal Treatment?!

Hazel McCallion Senior Public School
Mississauga, Ontario

By Andrea M. (Grade 8)

When a person is charged with something very serious like murder, a certain question is asked - what should his/her sentence be? Life with parole, life with no parole, a certain number of years in jail, or even (drum roll please) - execution? (I won't even go there because that's a whole other argument.) Most of the time, in Canada, or in any Western country for that matter, criminals get off too easily in many people's minds.

Imagine how many people are in danger when a murderer gets a day pass to go to the mall on a Saturday afternoon in December to do Christmas shopping. This is not just "too easy", this is just plain stupid.

Other inmates who weren't lucky enough to get a day pass still were watching TV, having turkey dinner or opening gifts that came from home. Wake up people! They are in a jail, not a hotel!

In 1988, when a Brampton boy was killed, his murderer, Joseph Fredricson, who had a record like the killers from a Stephen King or a Wes Craven movie, was allowed to roam free. This happened even though officials knew he was dangerous and would likely re-offend. How can those people sleep at night after making decisions like that?!

Many people say things like, "No criminals are really treated like that, they are just rumours" or "the government knows what it's doing, they're professionals." However, in a lot of ways, the treatment of criminals does get out of hand. Some imprisoned offenders end up with a better life than some ordinary people. They have a roof over their heads, food to eat, cable TV and many other luxuries.

Reporter, Jill Davis, from Brampton puts it very well when she states, "When will we wake up? ... At some point we lost sight of what it means to be a victim ... The system is a joke and says something about all of us for allowing it to remain this way."

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