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Thursday, 06 November 2014

Delegates to the Saskatchewan Party Convention,

As you prepare for our Saskatchewan Party Convention, I would like for you to consider a pressing matter that, I believe, needs to be addressed:


Conditions of our Jails / Overcrowding

This past month the StarPhoenix ran an editorial stating that:

            "Jail crowding won't ease soon."

The editorial highlighted a report by Jason Demers of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives entitled:
            "Warehousing Prisoners in Saskatchewan".

The article sates:,

"Saskatchewan boasts one of the most highly strained provincial prison systems in the country. 

"Double bunking in Saskatchewan’s provincial prisons is a matter of fact."

This past May the StarPhoenix presented the story about the 2012 death of an inmate at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre. The article stated that the inmate was:

            "dead less than 24 hours after he was placed in a cell" with another inmate.

"Double-bunking" or overcrowding of inmates is considered a possible cause.

When dealing with people who abuse alcohol, drugs, become members of violent gangs, or other community problems, social worker sometimes use the expression:

            "We cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem."

Yet in dealing with these problems in Saskatchewan we have filled our jails to overflowing.

We cannot allow this situation to continue.

As a society we must consider the adverse effects of penning two total strangers together in the same small space.

How would we react to being forced to live in a small space with a complete stranger - a stranger with drug addiction, alcohol dependence, or anger management problems?

To answer that question, I believe we must apply The Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule as recorded in Matthew 7:12 is found in many different religions and various faiths of the world.

The English Standard Version says:

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."

Whether for moral, economic, or safety reasons,
if we are going to send people to jail,
then we need to have jails to which we would be willing to be sent,
or to which we could see our sons and daughters being sent.

Simply putting people in jail is not good enough.

Providing both adequate space, and dealing with the "root causes" of crime, drug addiction, and gangs will be expensive, but necessary.

I look forward to discussing this topic, and other concerns, with you in Regina.


Edward B. Hudson, DVM, MS
306-230-8929 (cell)