EDITORIAL: Inmates perform community service behind the scenes

For many of the inmates at William Head, the road to restitution, rehabilitation and reintegration passes through Sooke.

A number of offenders from the minimum security facility in Metchosin taking part in escorted temporary absence programs are regular visitors to our community. Although you wouldn’t recognize them if they passed you on the street, you may be familiar with their work.

For many years, inmates helped transform the arena at SEAPARC into a gallery for the annual Sooke Fine Arts show. More recently, others have done the grunt work making improvements at Camp Barnard, or stuffing hampers at the Mustard Seed Food Bank, making positive differences through work that in most cases may not be completed otherwise.

The one common denominator these men share is that they will be released back into mainstream society once they have completed their sentence, whether you like it or not. So, as long as public safety concerns are addressed, it makes perfect sense to take steps that help pave the way to a smooth transition.

To qualify for the program, inmates have arguably already demonstrated a desire to pay it forward with regards to their debt to society, so providing them with the opportunity to get a sense of what it’s like on the outside seems to be beneficial for everyone concerned with the ins and outs.

Those involved in the program – inmates, corrections officials and the groups they work with in the community – attest to the positives. It seems like a more logical, long-term approach than simply counting down the days and dumping them outside the main gate to fend for themselves, with the hope they can figure it out on the fly.

Whether you agree with this approach, the fact is that it appears to be working in the Capital Region. That’s true in part because the population at William Head is already screened and deemed to be within the lowest end of the spectrum regarding the risks.

As long as the community benefits from the work they do while they’re out on temporary release and there is support for the program within the community, it should be encouraged to continue. For the benefit of everyone involved, on the outside and the inside.

Just Posted

Reignited embers damage Saanich house in Sunday morning fire

Fire started at around 8:30 a.m. in bucket filled with ashes placed on balcony

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

Sidney Museum’s Chief Dan George exhibition sees surge of interest

Four mayors, federal Green leader, Tsartlip reps to attend June 21 opening ceremony

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

SOOKE HISTORY: Pemberton Pool namesake remains a mystery

Historian believes it was possibly named after surveyor Joseph Despard Pemberton

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Most Read