Pubdate: Wed, 17 Jan 2007
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2007 Southam Inc.
Author: Stockwell Day


Re: Day Did Not Follow Tattoo Report, Jan. 16.

Your readers deserve to get the full picture as to why our government 
discontinued the initiative to set up tattoo parlours in our 
corrections facilities.

Canadians were surprised to learn that taxpayers' dollars were paying 
for these parlours. So was I. Unlike the Liberals, Canada's current 
government does not believe that spending taxpayers' money on 
providing tattoos for convicted criminals is an effective use of 
public money. Like all Canadians, inmates must take responsibility 
for their own health. At the same time, we continue to support 
education initiatives that Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has 
put in place in order to educate inmates about the dangers of illicit 

I also note that the CSC commissioner recommended that we close the 
six pilot sites for the tattoo project and that the Correctional 
Officers Union (UCCO) called the program "a waste of money" and a 
"Band-aid solution." UCCO also predicted that the program would 
result in our correctional officers being assaulted with tattooing needles.

I toured institutions where the tattoo pilot project was practised 
and saw firsthand that this program was not an effective use of 
taxpayers' dollars. Our decision to not provide tattoos for convicted 
criminals was also based on the Draft Evaluation Report prepared by 
CSC, which failed to conclusively determine that the health and 
safety of staff members, inmates and the general public would be 
protected by maintaining this program.

Our new government believes in using resources as Canadians would 
want us to. That means focusing our resources on tackling crime and 
crime prevention.

Stockwell Day

Minister of Public Safety

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