Should we challenge mental health experts? Challenge the justice system on the grounds that we do not agree with a single, solitary verdict? On the grounds that the crime is particularly horrendous? Should we accept that a government is using a single, solitary court decision that it disagrees with and that causes public outcry to change the laws?
In the House of Commons, Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews said "Individuals with mental health issues do not belong in prisons but rather in professional health facilities." He made this sweeping and dramatic claim in the wake of the release of the Ashley Smith videos, which portrayed her horrendous and inhumane treatment while she was in custody.
Toews's comments might give an observer hope -- hope that soon we will stop putting people with mental health problems in jails. But in reality, the actions of the federal government lead to a different, bleaker conclusion.