P E N A L   A B O L I T I O N

As a penal abolitionist I am opposed to the use of imprisonment as punishment as well as other forms of punitive sanctions designed to deter the individual and to generally deter others. I accept that imprisonment is necessary to protect the public from certain individuals, but expect that it should only be used so long as necessary and no further.

As a penal abolitionist, I subscribe to the abolition of all forms of victimless crimes and therefore support the decriminalization of drugs, prostitution and other victimless crimes. I accept that these subjects should be regulated, but not by the criminal law and punitive sanctions.

I support a restorative justice model in which 80% of our Criminal Code could be converted to a modified civil justice system where the role of the government and the police would be in assisting in the gathering of evidence in order to facilitate a peaceful resolution of disputes between individuals, groups of individuals or even corporations according to the civil standard and with extensive use of arbitration, mediation and reconciliation. The criminal justice system should be reduced to only serious matters involving primarily violence against others or significant threats of violence.

Most importantly, I support, as a penal abolitionist, the involvement of the community in the justice system. The public must be involved not only as juries finding facts, but also in determining appropriate awards, sanctions or penalties.

- John Conroy

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