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Reflections on “Con Game”

Gardner, Dan
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice / Revue canadienne de criminologie et de justice pénale. 44(4):475-489.

In this essay, Dan Gardner reflects on the book Con Game, a recent book by investigative journalist Michael Harris. When Con Game was published, The Ottawa Citizen (a newspaper in Ottawa, Ontario) had just begun publishing a lengthy series of articles under the title “Crime and Punishment,â€? articles researched and written by Gardner. Based on his research, Gardner believed that the Canadian way of crime and punishment, while not perfect, was in many ways a model for the world. Harris, in contrast, argued in his book that Canada’s prison system was in crisis, and that the Correctional Service of Canada neither reformed criminals not protected the public. Gardner responded by closely examining the assertions and arguments in Harris’s book. In the course of his reflection, Gardner concluded that many uses of statistics by Harris and many of Harris’s positions on criminal justice are just plain wrong.


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