Prolific offender program a big success story

The prolific offender program is something that is clearly working.

The local RCMP deserve high praise for their diligent work, which has made this effort such a success.

Most of the crimes in the community are, in fact, committed by a small number of individuals.

The reasoning behind the prolific offender program is that by focusing on these individuals, crime can be reduced significantly.

What we’re most impressed with are the true success stories — not the ones that have ended with suspects behind bars for long sentences, though sometimes this is necessary for the protection of the community — but the ones about the people who have been turned from their life of crime.

How great is it to hear about the woman who turned her life around, got a job, and was so excited when she bought a car that she contacted the RCMP officer who worked with her to help her leave crime behind?

Because this is the true success.

To have people see the error of their ways and become productive members of society.

All too often we hear people express the view that criminals — offences large or small, it doesn’t seem to matter — should just be tossed in jail and the key thrown away.

But that doesn’t solve the problem. It also doesn’t address criminals as people, but rather seems to suppose they are something other than human beings. It’s a view that certainly makes them easier to write off.

The fact of the matter is, however, that these folks will be rejoining our society, if they’ve been in jail. Or will continue to live alongside of us, if they have not been incarcerated.

(This does not, of course, apply to those who have committed the most serious and grisly of offences. They are a different kettle of fish.)

Is it not better that they are offered opportunities and assistance so that they become law-abiding citizens?

Some, of course, will never take the olive branch, no many times it is offered.

It’s a sad fact that success will never be 100 per cent.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Again and again if necessary.

And by keeping an eye on such offenders, police will have a better chance of preventing their crimes.

It also only makes sense to address domestic violence perpetrators through the prolific offender program.

Because acts of domestic violence almost always happen over and over again, the perpetrators are the very definition of prolific offenders.

The marked success the RCMP have had with their test cases proves this to be a productive way to deal with this scourge on our Cowichan Valley communities.