Sunday, October 09, 2005

Foreign convicts love our prisons

From the Ottawa Sun.

"Very few foreigners want to return back to their country of origin," she said. "Because we offer a whole gamut of programming, a lot offenders really want to deal with their criminogenic factors. And their quality of life in Canada, more often than not, is better than in the foreign country."

Even prisoners from the U.S. prefer to do their time here, she said.

While most being transferred have been convicted of drug crimes abroad, others have committed serious violent offences like murder.

Notorious killer Albert Walker, for example, caused an uproar in February when he was flown home from Britain to the surprise of outraged family members who weren't notified of the transfer.

Because CSC has a policy of paying for the relocation -- including staff, flights, hotel and meals -- costs can be hefty. Upon their return, CSC also incurs the costs of incarcerating the offender, which carries an average annual pricetag of about $88,000 in federal penitentiaries.


But John Williamson, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said Canadians should serve their time where they did the crime -- even if that means fewer perks and programs.

"If Canada makes an allowance for them to return home, it should not be taxpayers who are footing the bill," he said.

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