Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 12, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thvnrfvy, July 12, 1973 THI UTHMIOOI HttAlA The failure of correctional institutions Good corporate citizens By MoHrU C. Shomlateber, Regina lawyer He painted an Idylic picture of life inside an Ontario jail. The "facilities" are better than ever before. The beds are more comfortable and the food is nourishing. Prisoner's cloth- ing is first rate. There are varied recreational programs; educational opportunities are available to all. There is a medical establishment that helps to keep inmates fit and plans are going forward for free dental care. Donald Sin- clair's description of the condi- tion of Ontario prisons to the large group that partici- pated in a panel discussion at the Canadian Congress of Criminology and Corrections at Regina sounded like a prospec- tus for some salubrious South Pacific island in which food, clothing and shelter were pro- vided to everyone by a gen- erous and benign native deity, without money and without price. Donald Sinclair ought to know. He is the deputy minis- ter of correctional services for Ontario, and if what be says is true, then he is unquestionably delivering high class services in the prisons of that province. Had Mr. Sinclair only men- tioned the portal-to-portal se- curity that Ontario's prisons were also providing, all who heard him would have at once recognized that, Ontario's cor- rectional program., in common with those of the federal gov- ernment and every provincial government in Canada, was creating the ideal welfare so- ciety within prison walls. It was hard for him to under- stand why this people's para- dise was not appreciated more by those for whom it is being produced. yov ten me Aow many gallons H'a to the next gas The panel was designed to discuss "inmates' rights." Those prisoners who spoke were not especially enamored of the newly structured life that the planners had designed for their welfare and security. No one expected to have freedom in jail. That right could not exist even in this most ideal of environments. But then there was security, and wasn't this what everyone in jail or on the street wanted most of all? I asked Mr. Sinclair if pris- ons had succeeded in creating so agreeable an environment, why they were not more popu- lar among those who were domiciled there. Or if the at- mosphere were so benign, why those who remained for a space of years did not depart as model citizens. Or if it were really true that prisons were now correctional institutions and that they are, in fact, correcting human error and improving human charac- ter, why the rest of the popula- tion is still deprived of the beneficial treatment and care that are reserved for convicts and felons? If food, clothing and shelter, medicare, denti- care, free education and guid- ance clinics are what it takes to transform erring citizens into better people, then surely that same regime is bound to improve even good citizens, and turn them into paragons of truth and virtue! Why bestow all these blessings only upon prisoners? Surely, what is good for them ought to be good for the rest of the human race. The fly that every correction- al officer attending the con- gress in Regina found in his jar of ointment, of course, was that, for all their planning, balanced diets, their psy- chological conditioning and their air conditioning, therapy physical, psychia- tric, sexual, occupational and recreational the prisons (even when they are called "institutions" or "centres" for sake) are all elephantine failures. They are as much a failure as the idea that an elite that goes about planning and pro- gramming the lifetime activi- ties of the people of a nation can produce a panacea for all the perplexing problems that are common to the human state in every state. "Restructuring the institu- tions" favorite phrase of politicians and bureaucrats can never reconstruct a human being, because man is not a machine that can be manipu- lated, fluxed, phased or re- cycled and still retain his human qualities. I am of the firm view that no institution can correct or improve a man who has found himself at the bottom of the greasy pole of the law. "Do you mean, then, that no one ought to be I have been asked. "No matter bow heinous the crime he has com- mitted? That there ought not to be retribution for a man's criminal I mean that correction of the individual is better than retri- bution and that penance is bet- ter than punishment; and that neither correction nor penance can be the product of any in- stitution. If either is achieved within the institutional context, it is only because luck has brought an offender face to face with an individual whose common sense has not been scuttled by sodo-psychological gibberish and whose human understanding has not been submerged in an official wel- ter of forms, policy statements and directives. The prisoner takes no joy in the institution. Occasionally, he win be moved by a man within it. What of the public? The vic- tims of crime who not only pay when they are being robbed, burgled, mugged, raped and defrauded but pay also for the defence of those who are charged with wronging them, and go on paying for their room and board and all the good that is supposed to be done malefactors under the guise of welfare, during their sojourn in prison. These vic- tims may not be so callous as to claim retribution of their wrongdoers. But they often feel that for all their pains, Mcc weather for Thicks. When it comes to your favourite Andres Duck, pleasure knows no season. Andres Cold Duck, a beautiful blend of champagne and burgundy. Or Andres Baby Duck; die happy marriage of a robust, red wine to a delicate, sparkling white. Whatever the weather, now's the time to get quacking. SPARKLING BABYDUCK ANDReS COLD DICK ANDRES WNES (ALBKTA) LTD 72-Ht they are entitled to some genu- ine restitution. The "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" of Mosaic law was not a harsh rule that de- manded of him who put out my eyes that he also be blinded. It required that if I lose my sight as a result of your wrong- doing, it becomes your duty to use your good eyes to guide and help me. And if you should kill me and deprive my wife of my labor in the vineyaid, it be- comes your duty to work the land and support her. No insti- tution intervenes between the victim and the wrongdoer save the court that imposes the ob- ligation on the wrongdoer ac- cording to the law. The very confrontation between the wrongdoer and his victim, or the family of the victim has a dramatic effect. No longer is the crime a mere facsimile reconstructed out of the mouths of witnesses in court. It becomes an experience re- lived in which the parties face each other, and squarely face their responsibilities toward each other. A trial, even when civil mat- ters are involved, and the awe- some issues of life and death are not at stake, has its ther- apeutic effect. In court, ex- pression is then given to the hostilities and fears of the principals; their witnesses vent their anger; their loyal- ties find an outlet; their alli- ance with truth enforces their righteousness. Their participa- tion in the duel between the protagonists generates tat more drama and excitement than any football game. And when it is over, whatever the result, the parties generally feel that they have been beard and fairly judged, and that somehow, the evil that lay at the root of then- animosity has been purged. It is the face-to- face confrontation of wrong- doer to victim that contributes to this result, as much as the dramatic words that are still spoken to an accused and to each prospective juror who wfli judge him: "Juror look at the prisoner; prisoner look at the juror Books in brief "Seven MAGIC Orders" by Shu Mid with Ohistraflais by Y.T. Mid. (McCfeuand and Stewart Limited, 80 An excellent Chinese folktale In which the hero, Chung Shun, fulfills a dangerous mission for his emperor, destroys a mon- ster demon, and rescues his fiancee from captivity. The story is short and moves at an exciting pace. The colored il- lustrations by a Chinese master painter are superb. Unfortunately the binding of the book is poor and the covers of my copy have warped very badly. Apart from this defect, we have a fine book which most children should enjoy reading and browsing through. TERRY MORRIS "Dreams of Victory" by EBen Conford (Little, Brown and Company (Canada) Lim- ited, 121 pages, Vicky is an eleven year old girl who finds that daydream- ing helps to overcome ner fail- ures in life. School and social life are very frustrating so she uses her vivd imagination to find the success she craves. She becomes a famous movie star, skating champion, spy, beauty queen, woman astro- and even president of the United States. It's lots of fun and makes for a very pleas- ant, natural, and amusing I think children in the 10 to 12 year range win appreic- ate Vicky's problems and sym- pathize with her dreams of fame and fortune. A worthy addition to any collection of children's literature. TERRY MORRIS "Tfce High Valley" by Jes- sica North (RaaoMi Hone pages. The High VaBey teOs of the adventures of Alison Mallory, a teacher of the bond, who is hired by a Spanish nobleman, Don Carlos Romano, to teach his blind stepmother and tutor his young son. He takes her to Use high vauey where she finds' many conflicts among the fam- ily members as well as much hatred- Alison also finds love in the beautiful high valley in Mexico. There are many unexpected twists in the story wTdch keeps one's attention at all times. The High Valley provided me with very enjoyable reading It might be noted that the author is at present gaining material for her next novel about folkways on the SI Law- rence River. GREY By Christopher Yeuf. in recent years have much quite properly of their with to make foreign corporations behave as good citizens of this country when their sub- sidiaries do business here. We ought to at least equally concerned to see that Ca- nadian corporations with subsidiary ticns abroad behave as good citizens in the countries where they operate. Recently The Citizen completed publica- tion of a series of articles by Hugh Naogle on the operations of Canadian companies in southern Africa. These articles made it very clear that a number of large firms owned and based in Canada are operating in ways that are totally at variance with reasonable standards of justice, fair play and human decency. The Citizen commissioned this series be- cause we had information suggesting that some Canadian companies, like some Brit- ish firms recently exposed in a series of articles in ibe Manchester Guardian, were taking advantage of racial repression and cheap labor to make a killing in South Africa. Hugh Nangle was bom in Southern Rho- desia of a white settler mother and a Ca- nadian fattier, attended university in South Africa and at McGill, and became, after a varied career in Canada, an editorial writer for the Windsor Star. Two years ago be went to Botswana, the land-locked little black state formerly known as Be- chuanaland, next door to South Africa. There he was a volunteer with the Ca- nadian University Service Overseas, and was just completing his tour when we caught up with him. He had accepted a new position as deputy editorial page ed- itor of The Montreal Gazette, and the Ga- zette joined with The Citizen hi financing his investigation. What Nangle found was shocking to a degree beyond what wa had suspected. Sev- eral well-known Canadian firms are indeed sweating bbck labor in South Africa, pay- ing not merely low wages but often wages that are below what even the South Afri- can government considers to be a mini- mum poverty kvel. Falconbridge Nickel Mines Ltd., to men- tion perhaps the worst case, is also operat- ing hi Rhodesia, In defiance of Canadian government policy and United Nations sanctions, and in Namibia, formerly called Southwest Africa, which South Africa rules as a colony contrary to the judgment of the World Court. The Canadian government appears to be turning a Nelsonian blind eye to all this. According to the foreign policy review published by the Trudeau government hi ef The Ottawa Culm 1970, CanadU? foreign policy bat six thorns, as follows: foster economic growth safeguard sovereignty and Indepen- dence work for peace and security promote soda! justice enhance the quality of life ensure a harmonious natural ment So far as policy in southern Africa concerned, fostering economic growth not only comes first but overrides all other considerations. Certainly our government has shown no interest hi promoting social justice, except where it costs us nothing to make a pretty speech. What our businessmen are doing in era Africa will not promote peace and se- curity, since it helps to fuel the explosive fury that must some day blow up in revolu- tion or war. When Karl Marx was writing his windy tomes in the- gloom of the British Mu- seum, industrial capitalism was still un- trammelled by much in the way of state regulation or bleeding heart legislation. Charles Dickens observed the same condi- tions and wrote about them as bitterly as Marx. Conditions were changed by angry men with social consciences, and by the power of universal suffrage. The revolution that Marx forecast did not happen in England or in the other industrial states of Eu- rope where the tempering force of social action moved hi time. Contrary to his ex- pectation, the Marxist revolution came first to an agrarian, class ridden, chaotic Rus- sia, weakened by military defeat and gov- ernment incompetence. The Marxist theory of inevitability was proved wrong, but only because people and societies acted to protect themselves against the excesses of unbridled capital- ism. In southern Africa today, including Canadians are acting out the classic pattern of Marxist doctrine, exploit- ing a powerless proletariat hi unanswerving dedication to the profit statement Ironical- ly the South African government makes fre- quent usa of the Communist threat to jus- tify repressive measures, while encourag- ing the very conditions that give commun- ism its impetus. Canada's capacity to influence South Africa is limited or non-existent. Our ca- pacity to influence the behavior of Cana- dian companies is considerable. It bears thinking about, and acting on thereafter. ANDY RUSSELL Tivo book reviews "The Han of the Mountain by Howard H. Snyder (Charles fierOmen' SOBS, For those who cfimb mountains and Owse who rarely set foot outside the con- crete canyons of cities, this book will stir its readers like few others. It is the starkly dramatic account of an ill-fated and badly managed expedition assaulting the foot Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America and the tallest on earth as viewed from the foot level of the valley of the McKinley River at its foot. The climb was made in June, 1967, and resulted in seven men loosing their lives seven of the 12 who started. The author has undoubtedly done a tre- mendous amount of research besides be- ing a very experienced climber, and has bent over backward to be fair; for the book is factual, and very interesting. It is a monument in print to a mountain's cruel vengeance on those who would take liber- ties by being ill prepared. Perhaps be- cause I have stood in awe looking at the mountain from adjoining slopes over a period of most of two summers, I have been more deeply impressed. Perhaps be- cause I have spent most of my life in the mountains organizing expeditions and deal- ing with people, I am over-critical and ex- cessively cautious. But here is the prime example of what can happen hi the face of bad leadership and poor organization. There were times when reading this book I almost groaned aloud at the bund risks that were being taken in respect to poor judgment and conflicting personalities. Although Howard Snyder does not con- sciously promote the idea, it was obvious from the very beginning that be should have been the leader. Hindsight, being often much belter than farsight, this is easy to say, but if he had been leader, seven men would likely still be alive. Why do men climb a mountain? A fam- ous climber once answered tins question by saying: because it is there. It is the physical chaPenge that attracts men and women to dJmbing; the pitting of wits, skill and experience against the difficulty, risks and elements. Sheer altitude by itself is a challenge to fitness. There is always the unknown quantity of weather to contend with and in this it was awful. How- Snyder "s book is more than just an account, it is a directory how-to-do and a tonwjot-do book that everyone aspir- ing to be even a casual climber should read. Howard Snyder was bom hi Kansas City, Missouri in 1945. He received his BA degree from the University of Colorado, and did post graduate work at the Univer- sity of British Columbia and McGifl Univer- sity. He has had wide mountain experi- ence. He and his wife Mkfaefe now five in Cardston, Alberta. "Jackson Hole" by Frank Caftan (Al- fred A. Knopf, JS, distributed by Ran- dom Wyoming's famed Jackson Hole is a mag. nfficent piece of country backed by the impressive outline of the Grand Teton Mountains, a place scenicafly comparable to southwest Alberta but with a more lurid past in its frontier history. Frank Calkins writes about it with a deep affection man who loves it with every fibre of hit and his book reflects his feeling for it No matter M you have never seen this grand country, you will know something of its history, natural endowments and color- ful history when you have read this book, for he takes you step by step until you fed soaked in the place. He conjures up evocative and provoca- tive impressions not only of big rivers, great sweeping valleys and towering gra- nite peaks, but also of some old western characters who prowled the place long before the rumble of tourist traffic in- vaded it He brings alive such famous fron- tier personalities as Jim Bridger and some of his contemporaries and pictures the days when the Hole was the hideout for some tough, unscrupulous outlaws. He evokes word paintings of mountain vistas alive and warm with wildlife and the pure magic of taking a trout on a fly for supper. He pokes some fun at fellow- men who swaim into the place in summer ard are unhappy because a few flies share the scenery. His account varies from pore lyrics in his description and feeling for the land to the brutal history of cattls-sheep wars and disputes over water rights. AU through his writing one gets the impression of a man who bates to see this country abused for the sake of greed, hypocrisy and thoughtless waste. Although regionally written this book can be enjoyed by read- ccv Frank Calkins was bom in Portland, Ore- gon, tiie city of roses, and took his formal education at the University of Utah and Utah State University. But one gete the impression like most of us who aspire to write of vrild country, the most impor- tant part his learning comes from ex- perience mountain trails beneath the big open sky He has contributed many articles to such national magazines as Out- door iafe. Field and Stream, Sports Afield and others and is the author of a previous look, Rocky Mountain Warden. He and bis wife. Rcdeflo Hunter, arrfbur of rwvel, A House of Many Rooms, live m Jackson Hole, Wyoming.