Jail dol­lars could be spent else­where

Ottawa Citizen - - LETTERS -

Re: It’s time to stop plan­ning a new jail, Nov. 10. Justin Piché asks why the hun­dreds of mil­lions that will be spent on a new jail in Ot­tawa will not be spent in­stead on ad­dress­ing so­cial in­equal­ity, pre­vent­ing harm and sup­port­ing neigh­bour­hood con­flict res­o­lu­tion ca­pac­ity.

In­cluded in that list would be in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity for care of men­tal health (in­clud­ing ad­dic­tions). World-class re­search is car­ried out in Ot­tawa at The Royal to de­velop new knowl­edge on men­tal health. It is now high time to put this new knowl­edge to work by in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity for ac­cess­ing men­tal health care in this city, and by help­ing at-risk in­di­vid­u­als be­fore their be­hav­iour leads them into the jus­tice sys­tem and be­hind the ra­zor wire of the lo­cal jail.

Now is the time to stop plan­ning a new jail and start plan­ning to in­vest the funds on ini­tia­tives that will pro­vide the gen­uine long-term ben­e­fits that will never come from a new jail. R. Win­ston Re­vie, Ot­tawa

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