The government is considering possible changes to the Youth Criminal Justice Act that would sharply increase the number of young offenders sent to adult jails, according to a memo obtained by CTV News.
The memo sketches a “preferred option” that would “give the Crown discretion to use adult criminal justice procedures for youths aged 16 and 17 who are charged with murder, attempted murder, manslaughter or aggravated sexual assault.”
Judges currently decide whether young offenders should be charged as adults; the option outlined in the memo would strip them of that power.
Lots going on just in that short passage.
Put kids in jail instead of providing educational,work and other opportunities that might make for a future. Not to mention instead of providing decent wages and childcare programs to help steer them in the right direction.
Wonder how many of the kids “adult streamed” will be visible minorities?
Judges stripped of power. Now why would a government want to strip judges of power?
Aren’t judges supposed to be the thinned robed line between justice and simple revenge?
The confidential note also assumes that about 80 per cent of youth charged with those offences would be referred to the adult criminal justice system, and “a significant amount would receive life sentences.”
Sounds like they have targets they want to reach. Will these kids get life skills counselling, education, work training?
What are they supposed to do after they come out, most likely the victims of sexual and other forms of abuse.
Bala said such a change would mark a radical shift in the Canadian justice system.
“It seems to mark another episode in the ongoing rejection of the role of judges in making decisions,” Bala told CTV News.
“I think without question, this would be an increase in the power of the prosecutors and a diminution of the power of judges.”
Now where have we seen a system like that before?
Oh yes…look south.
Some interesting stats from down south.
The Justice Policy Institute has previously reported and quantified the staggering costs of imprisoning millions of Americans. The more significant findings include:
* America spends 50% more incarcerating 1.2 million non-violent offenders than the entire $16.6 billion the federal government is currently spending on welfare programs that serve 8.5 million people;18
* The nation is spending 6 times more to incarcerate 1.2 million nonviolent offenders than the federal government spent on child care for 1.25 million children;19
* States around the country spent more building prisons than colleges in 1995 for the first time. There was nearly a dollar-for-dollar tradeoff between corrections and higher education, with university construction funds decreasing by $945 million (to $2.5 billion) while corrections funding increased by $926 million (to $2.6 billion).20 During the 1990s, New York State’s prison budget grew by $761 million, while its budget for higher education dropped by $615 million.21 From 1984 to 1994, California’s prison system realized a 209% increase in funding, compared to a 15 % increase in state university funding.22
Critics say the bills, if passed, would mean a sharp increase in the number of Canadians serving time in prison.
Toews estimated that if every bill in the government’s crime-fighting agenda were passed it would require the construction of new prisons, costing taxpayers more than $200 million.
200 million. Well then you can see why they need the savings from all the programs cut, listed here.
Why they can’t institute a proper daycare system.
And most especially why we need to get this government out of power now!