Author: Dan Gardner

DAN GARDNER is a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen. He has won numerous awards from such groups as Amnesty International, the Canadian Criminal Justice Association, etc. Republished by permission of The Ottawa Citizen, Mar. 18, 2002.

Finland Is Soft on Crime

AS PRESSURE GROWS in Canada to adopt the American justice model of harsh prisons and long sentences, Finland has saved millions and prevented centuries of human misery doing the opposite. HAMEENLINNA, Finland — In a classroom thick with wigs, sinks and barber chairs, a man sprays water through a woman's sudsy hair and works his fingers carefully to rinse the shampoo. Standing in front of a large mirror, another man brushes and sprays a woman's hair. Two others discuss styling techniques. It could be a scene from any community college, but for the bars on the windows.