Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 8 of 8
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I also want to express my condolences to the victims for the suffering they've experienced.
I'm going to take a risk and say something that I think is on everybody's mind here. The prospect of seeing Earl Jones and Mr. Lacroix walk out of jail after serving one-sixth of their time--after two years of a 13-year sentence--is jarring to Canadians. But also at issue here is the wisdom or not of making a policy that applies to 1,000 people a year to target two people. So I'm going to direct my questions to that.
This committee did a mammoth study on the prevalence of mental illness and addictions in the federal prison system. We found that 80% of the people in federal institutions suffer from addictions or alcoholism, and a very high percentage--I don't even think we can settle on a number--suffer from mental illness. I know that getting access to timely and effective treatment for addictions or mental illness is woeful in our federal institutions right now.
Transferring those people who are eligible--first-time, non-violent offenders--into halfway houses in the community, where they have access to far broader community services like addictions treatment, mental health resources, reintegration, connections with their families, and work, is helpful to their reintegration and rehabilitation.
Does anybody disagree with me on that?
I also want to ask about cost. It's my understanding that it costs about $140,000 a year to keep a male prisoner in a federal institution. We heard Ms. Pate say it costs $185,000 for a female--
View Phil McColeman Profile
CPC (ON)
View Phil McColeman Profile
2009-12-10 12:10
Not so much. The person who is a first offender. They give them options in terms of going to those courts and being properly streamed instead of going into the wrong situation.
Glenn Thompson
View Glenn Thompson Profile
Glenn Thompson
2009-12-10 12:10
Absolutely. The Scarborough court in Toronto is a good example of good streaming, so if you're looking for a good example, talk to the gentleman who's a PhD now, who works in that court, who works for the Canadian Mental Health Association. He's an expert in early streaming for people who have mental health or substance abuse issues or both, and he's trying to help the court and the police and others decide which ones should be referred to community agencies.
Yes, there's quite a bit known about that now, and it's being applied.
David Moffat
View David Moffat Profile
David Moffat
2009-12-08 12:44
The starting point is public safety, and the crown won't screen someone in if we're concerned.
This is someone who is in custody now. We're allowing them out of custody to go to treatment, and there's a risk involved. If there's a risk to public safety that involves violence, then we're less prone to do that.
The other incidence with the violence is—and this was brought to our attention by the judges—that we're court-ordering people to do this. We're ordering someone to spend time in this program, which in Ottawa is for at least nine months, often 12 months. If we're going to court-order accused persons to do this, then they have to be in a safe environment, and it's not a safe environment if we're allowing people into that atmosphere where they have committed crimes of violence and are likely to commit crimes of violence again.
David Moffat
View David Moffat Profile
David Moffat
2009-12-08 12:46
For instance, I just had someone not available for drug treatment court. I talked to the defence counsel and said, if he's not suitable for drug treatment court because of the violence, let's look at other options. He went in with a two-year conditional sentence, and he agreed to do a two-year residential in-treatment program, followed by three years of probation. That was an appropriate sentence, and that was for a series of break and enters.
So there's the option.
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
I'm still a little unclear about the violence aspect. I have three different notes here. One is that people who commit violent offences cannot participate. Another is that those who have committed violent offences can participate, provided they're not at risk of committing a violent act again. What is the deal for people who have committed an act of violence and their eligibility?
Helen Ward
View Helen Ward Profile
Helen Ward
2009-12-08 12:52
In mental health court it's very different. It depends on the court. We will take all comers, pretty much. Drug treatments are different because they're dealing with the federal funder.
Doug Brady
View Doug Brady Profile
Doug Brady
2009-12-08 12:52
The federal guidelines say that we cannot take violent offenders. That's where our guidelines come from as far as our funding agreement goes. That's what it basically boils down to.
We take a look at people on a case-by-case basis. We don't necessarily exclude them. If it's a one-time thing or if it's someone who doesn't have a history of violence, we may look at them. In our court, the crown brings these people to court and asks if we can work with them. We make a decision as a court team, along with the treatment team, on that basis.
Results: 1 - 8 of 8

Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data