Pubdate: Wed, 28 Nov 2007
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2007 The Calgary Sun
Author: Dr. John Manzo
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor.


Reader Jeff Gardiner argued the much higher rate of violent crime in
Canada (951 crimes per 100,000 persons in Canada versus 474 in the U.S
in 2006) is evidence their "war on drugs" is an effective policy we
should emulate. This is a dangerous misunderstanding. The U.S. violent
crime rate is a composite of only four major crimes: Murder,
aggravated assault, rape and robbery. In Canada, it includes all of
these as well as other crimes, most importantly simple assault, which
constitutes the majority of violent crime charges. This means, using
U.S. definitions, our "violent crime rate" is actually lower than in
the U.S. Our murder rate is roughly one-third of that in the U.S. Our
crime rates are moreover the lowest in 25 years. We manage all this
with a rate of imprisonment roughly one-seventh that in the U.S., the
most punitive and violent western nation.

Dr. John Manzo,

Associate Professor, Sociology

University of Calgary
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