Canada

States to revive special teams to monitor repeat offenders

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The BC government plans to revive its prolific criminal control program, which was discontinued in 2012. This was done in accordance with the recommendations of an expert panel that has researched better ways to deal with repeat offenders of random acts of violence.

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Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said on three of the 28 recommendations made by Doug Leppard, former Deputy Commissioner of Vancouver Police and former Traffic Police Commissioner, and Amanda Butler, a criminologist at Simon Fraser University. , said the state would take immediate action. Develop strategies to reduce property crime and random stranger attacks that have plagued many cities, including Vancouver.

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Their report was released Wednesday.

A competent criminal management team, made up of representatives from the police, the BC Department of Corrections, the Canadian Corrections Service, prosecutors, and other government departments, develops an individualized plan for each offender based on their complex needs. increase.

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According to a 2013 press release from the Office of the Attorney General of then BC Liberal Prime Minister Christy Clark, the pilot program ended the year before, but offenders who participated in the program experienced fewer reoffendings and improved physical health. It was found that the use of services and housing increased. and other social services. They also had less contact with the police and spent less time in detention.

Farnworth said the state will also create a BC First Nations Judicial Council pilot program to focus on reducing repeated crimes among Indigenous peoples, who are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. . The government will also create a commission to coordinate services among health, criminal justice and social service organizations to ensure a more integrated approach to people with complex health needs in conflict with the law.

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The authors recommend that governments continue to spend on civilian-led mental health crisis response teams that can be convened to deal with social chaos instead of police. Such an approach is being piloted in Victoria and New Westminster, and has been advocated by Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

They also recommended that all district courts be assigned a dedicated psychiatric nurse.

The authors said some believe the solution to recidivism is more aggressive prosecutions, sentencing, and longer detention, but the evidence suggests that time spent in prison causes harm and reduces recidivism. He said he was showing that he wouldn’t let it.

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LePard and Butler found that bailed chronic offenders wore real-time electronic monitoring devices and offenders suffering from mental health and addiction problems were forced to undergo compulsory treatment as part of their sentencing. It made no recommendation as to empowering judges to order I was asked to look into it specifically.

They recommended that the BC Attorney’s Office investigate the possibility of increasing the use of “therapeutic bail” orders for people with mental health and substance use needs. Therapeutic bail, as it is sometimes called, involves an agreement between a crown and an attorney to postpone sentencing while a person undergoes therapy or programming that allows him or her to avoid criminal conviction.

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LePard and Butler have spent the past four months consulting with police, prosecutors, local authorities, health officials and community groups. The authors lament the lack of time needed to build relationships and trust with indigenous communities, which is why their voices are missing from the consultations.

Leppard and Butler said it was clear that the pandemic could severely impact access to services, worsen the health of marginalized populations, and fuel crime and disorder.

The pandemic has also resulted in fewer people being tried in remand, leading to fewer serious crimes and bail violation charges, the report also found.

Leppard and Butler believe that because police and probation officers do not hold repeat offenders accountable or prosecute them on the terms they violate, “they continue to commit crimes with audacity and undermine community confidence in the justice system.” I heard.

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Crown prosecutors are innocent until proven guilty at trial, so a Canadian Supreme Court precedent demanding “the least restrictive action” possible for a person on bail after being arrested and charged. said to be bound by law.

Prosecutors also said the lack of health and social services for defendants, especially in northern BC, fueled the chain of crime.

The panel of experts was struck in May by former Attorney General David Eby, who resigned to run for the BC NDP’s leadership. At the time, the NDP was accused of failing to address what critics called a “catch and release system” in which violent offenders were released on bail and allowed to reoffend.

In late August, the Kelowna RCMP took the unusual step of issuing a public warning about a prolific criminal released on bail after being arrested. Assault, mischief, mail theft, violation of probation order. Justin Wayne Collins has more than 421 police files and 64 charges against him since 2016.

Violent crime such as assaults in cities such as Victoria and Vancouver has plateaued and hasn’t increased during the pandemic, according to Statistics Canada statistics, but Vancouver police continue to make headlines and scare fears. Engaging in unsolicited attacks on strangers.

kderosa@postmedia.com

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States to revive special teams to monitor repeat offenders

Source link States to revive special teams to monitor repeat offenders

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