The figure to the right is from a recent study that shows trends of repeat offenders based on the age at which they were first convicted.
It is clear that those who get into trouble when they are young are much more likely to land in prison, over and over again. This is why it is so important to reach out to troubled youth BEFORE THEY GET IN TROUBLE. That is exactly what the Conservative government of Stephen Harper is doing.
The Hon. Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, today issued the following statement about the rise in street gang violence in cities across Canada.
“The top priority of our Government is the protection and safety of Canadians. That is why in just over two years we have taken concrete action on several fronts to help cities across this country combat the serious threat posed by gang-related activities.
In January 2007, I announced $16.1 million in funding for initiatives that target youth gang prevention throughout our cities. Of this amount, $11.1 million was earmarked to create a Youth Gang Prevention Fund to help communities prevent youth crime with a focus on guns, gangs, and drugs.
Our Safer Communities strategy is implemented, in part, through effective law enforcement and by adding more police in our streets. Our Government has delivered on key platform commitments to provide financial resources to support the recruitment of 2,500 new front-line police officers and to fund an additional 1,000 RCMP personnel. (See CTV interview)
We are also giving our law enforcement agencies strong legislative tools, including the Tackling Violent Crime Act which came fully into force this past July. This bill introduces a reverse onus for bail which requires those accused of serious gun crimes to show why they should not be kept in jail while awaiting trial.
This law, which targets organized criminals and gangs, introduces tougher mandatory jail time for serious gun crimes.
We have also introduced legislation that will strengthen the Youth Criminal Justice Act to allow judges to include deterrence and denunciation as principles of sentencing. This will make it easier to detain youth who pose a risk to public safety before their trials, including those who steal cars.
Our message is clear: The Government of Canada will not stand by and allow our citizens to live in fear. This is the message I will convey in my keynote address to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police 2008 Annual Conference next Monday in Montreal.”