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Conditions placed on criminals may not be enough

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Thank goodness for Section 810.2 of the Criminal Code, otherwise known as a Judicial Restrain Order. That section allows the courts to impose conditions on sexual predators who are considered a threat to society even though they’ve served their full sentence. However, it’s not quite good enough to make me feel safe.


Here’s the deal: Our justice system decides that when a criminal serves his/her full sentence, it’s mandatory that the person then be set free — even if he or she has been deemed a threat to society.


It doesn’t make sense to me. Here in Canada, we have something called the Correctional Service, and even if that service classifies someone as high risk to reoffend, the person in question still gains the rights of any other criminal who may have become rehabilitated through serving their sentence.


In late February, in British Columbia, Paul Callow, 52, otherwise known as the Balcony Rapist, responsible for raping Toronto women in the mid-’80s, was released. He was immediately re-arrested based on Section 810.2. He cannot step foot in Ontario and is under intense media scrutiny. But here’s what bothers me: He’s out — on the streets — and who’s to say he won’t re-offend in the province in which he’s now living?


This month, Michael Micallef was released from Kingston Penitentiary after serving his full seven-year sentence for brutally raping a woman at knifepoint in Toronto. Luckily, Toronto investigators imposed Section 810.2 on him. The conditions imposed on him may make it more difficult for him to re-offend, but they don’t seem enough to fully deter.


Though I’m all for civil rights, I want to know more about what’s being done to rehabilitate these people. As I understand it, when incarcerated, these criminals aren’t forced to participate in the treatment offered. Why not?


Even still, there’s no guarantee that the treatment will be effective. A criminal who has served his/her time deserves to have their freedom back, but I’m sure many people would like to be reassured that any monitoring system which exists is well-funded and accountable.


Sexual predators are usually psychologically unstable people.


Just telling someone with those mental problems that he can’t go to a specific province, or, as in Micallef’s case, can’t hang out in public parks, doesn’t seem like much of a restraint to me.


There are a million places a predator can hide, and attack.


And again, in Micallef’s case, he’s been banned from possessing firearms or weapons. Big deal — anything can be used as a weapon, if used with intent to harm, such as a rope.


As women — we’re usually the targets of these types of criminals — isn’t there more we should be doing to keep such offenders from being allowed loose on our streets? How can we feel safe in our cities knowing that past perpetrators of sexual crimes, who haven’t been proven rehabilitated, are roaming the streets?



letters@metronews.ca

 
 
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