Ever wonder what is wrong with our country?
This just in from the Globe & Mail (Read it and weep.):
VANCOUVER — Shaun Deacon, one of Canada's most notorious pedophiles, was found with the image of a young child on his personal computer, a violation of a supervision order that barred him from having any images of children under the age of 16.
And Mr. Deacon -- considered to be such a risk to reoffend that he requires constant supervision and has been chemically castrated -- stole a set of keys from his downtown Vancouver halfway house in early December in a bid to surreptitiously copy them, according to the National Parole Board's regular review of his status.
The response of the board to these violations was to loosen the restrictions placed on Mr. Deacon, who has abducted and molested several boys and girls.
Now, he is allowed to possess images of children aged 15 and younger -- so long as they fall into one of two categories. Mr. Deacon can have pictures of children that are intact, legal and commercially available, as long as they are from publications that are not sexual in nature and are not focused on children.
He can also have images of children known to him by family and friends, including pictures of himself as a child; such images must be approved by a parole officer.
Previously, Mr. Deacon was flatly prohibited from having any images of children under the age of 16. The panel decision does not describe what kind of image was stored on Mr. Deacon's computer; however, there is no indication that the image was deemed a serious enough breach to trigger a suspension, which would return him to jail.
Indeed, after the discovery of the image on his computer, he and his lawyer argued that the prohibition was overly broad.
The three-member panel of the National Parole Board agreed, saying the condition "is too broad in its scope and ultimately unenforceable." In its decision, the panel wrote that Mr. Deacon "showed some insight" that as a sex offender, he should not be allowed unrestricted access to pictures of children.
That was rare spot of praise for Mr. Deacon in the five-page decision. Elsewhere, the panel criticized him for his refusal to even attempt to avoid a relapse, and noted that his behaviour -- which has already resulted in him being ejected from one halfway house -- is getting worse. "You have a pattern of conning, lying and trying to manipulate staff in order to get your own way. Of particular concern is the fact that you seem unaware of the deteriorations in your own behaviour and consistently fail to make any use of relapse prevention skills you may have learned in program sessions to prevent the problems from escalating," the panel wrote.
Mr. Deacon has an extensive history of abusing children, starting in the 1980s, when he was sentenced to a seven-year term for assaulting a five-year-old girl, and three boys ranging in age from six to 13. He abducted one of those victims and assaulted the child again, while he was waiting to be sentenced in Kelowna.
After his release in the mid-1990s, he was caught assaulting an eight-year-old boy in a restaurant bathroom, and while on parole for that crime, he was found with a 10-year-old boy in his room in a halfway house. He went back to jail for two years.
Mr. Deacon has not been designated a dangerous offender, which would allow for his indefinite imprisonment, but he is subject to a decade-long supervision order.
That order was violated when he stole a set of keys on Dec. 7 belonging to his halfway house.
Dennis Finlay, a spokesman for Corrections Canada, said Mr. Deacon was allowed access to the keys, but that the possibility of them being copied was of concern.
"He wouldn't have had access to any kind of key that would have allowed him to breach security," Mr. Finlay said, noting that all exits other than the main door are outfitted with alarms.
The panel wrote that the incident "underscores your case management team's concern about your level of deception and manipulative behaviour," going on to note that Mr. Deacon was suspended as a result of the abortive copying -- a measure that could have resulted in him being returned to jail.
However, that suspension was cancelled by his parole officer. Instead, he was reprimanded and given "a firm warning," the panel wrote.
So, not only is this man not in jail where he belongs, when he violated the conditions of his parole, he received no punishment at all. To make matters worse, his restrictions were loosened.
Great. The panel knows the man is getting worse and takes steps that will only encourage his bad behavior. What are they thinking?
Probably something stupid like "oh, the poor man just needs to be understood."
The parole officer needs to be fired immediately. Deacon needs to be back in jail.