Foremsky still a threat

Philip Foremsky, a man who pled guilty to groping, sexually assaulting and robbing six women near the York University campus four years ago, was recently granted a statutory release from a Correctional Centre to a half-way house in Kingston.

In the last few weeks, photos of Foremsky have been published in various media outlets in an effort to alert citizens of his appearance and presence in the community. Although some might argue that this is a violation of his right to privacy, in this particular case, the public’s right to safety is more important.

The details of Foremsky’s statutory release are significant. He will now be housed in a correction centre located only 10 minutes away from campus and will be allowed to leave the centre and interact with the general public as long as he is escorted at all times by an officer. Corrections Canada apparently considers this to be an appropriate compromise, but the thought of Foremsky walking around campus is quite frightening.

However, there are only two cities other than Kingston that Foremsky could have been sent to—Hamilton and Toronto—and each also house a university. Thus, it is unavoidable that Foremsky will be near a university.

The most troubling part about Foremsky’s statutory release is that Corrections Canada still considers him to be a high risk to reoffend. Although he entered treatment programs in prison, he performed poorly.

On one occasion, prison officials found drugs, homemade alcohol and money in his prison cell.

Most importantly, Foremsky was sentenced to prison for five years but will serve only about two-thirds of that time. Given the horrible nature of his crimes and his questionable conduct in prison, it is unclear why he deserves to be released in this way at this time.

In theory, criminals can be rehabilitated. Those criminals who have served their time in prison have certain rights that must be upheld once they are released. However, it is debatable whether or not this particular criminal has actually been rehabilitated and deserves the privileges he has been granted.

Corrections Canada has made a controversial decision in granting Foremsky a statutory release. If Foremsky proves to be undeserving of such a privilege, Corrections Canada should bear some of the blame.

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