Prevent crime before it happens: redirect tax dollars

Arnet Tuffs, Sechelt; Vancouver Sun

Re: Penitentiary costs soar 87%, July 19

Several years ago, while teaching inmates in the 100-year-old B.C. Penitentiary in New Westminster, it became clear to me that there is a relationship between poverty, mental health illness, illiteracy and crime.

One day some students asked me: “Why do the governments spend taxpayers dollars locking us up in expensive prisons when the governments could have spent less money caring for us when we were little children needing help?” Sad to write the students’ thoughtful question couldn’t be answered.

So today my question is to voters – isn’t time that we elect politicians, who will spend our tax money for wise crime preventive universal child care programs?

Isn’t time that we elect politicians who will spend our tax money caring for little kids needing help when they are at the important developmental age?

For less money, pain and anguish this is better than billions of dollars expended on new prisons that will do little to prevent harmful criminal behaviour before it happens.