Community service should be added to court sentences – Nanaimo News Bulletin

For the editor,

Subject: A resident daring others to clean up the streets of Nanaimo, January 26.

I, and no doubt most of the citizens of Nanaimo, appreciate and salute the person who challenged residents to clean up their neighborhoods as part of Great Nanaimo Garbage Grab. It is a sad comment that our piece of paradise is polluted with rubbish, garbage, dumps on secondary roads, graffiti and illegal signs. Even sadder is the obvious lack of interest of the so-called authorities to do anything about the abuses.

When I see people voluntarily picking up debris left behind by scammers, I’m sad that people who aren’t polluting are trying to do the work that should be done by the polluters themselves.

If we can’t convince everyone to take pride in Nanaimo’s environment by not littering in the first place, then those violators should be required to clean up that debris through forced community service. I ask the city council to convince the provincial and federal governments to include community service as a mandatory element of any judicial and administrative sentence imposed on a person who violates our laws and regulations. The community service component of the sentence would be commensurate with the offence, would include cleaning up litter debris, removing secondary landfills, cleaning up vandalized properties, destroying invasive plant species, etc. It would be a long-needed addition to traditional sentences and would be enforced in the community where the offense was committed.

This is at least partial compensation for the cost of execution for the community and for the owner directly damaged.

Every parole order should include such a requirement, as these offenders are probably the polluter types to begin with.

May I suggest to citizens to demand that our governments change the laws to make meaningful community service a requirement for all offenders.

Gary Korpan, Nanaimo

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Letter to the Editor

Jill E. Washington