OTTAWA — Canada lacks a full picture of the issues related to bail, says a recent note drafted to brief Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould on the state of the criminal justice system.
The document, obtained by The Canadian Press, suggested half of those in provincial jails are on remand and have not been convicted of anything.
The bail question troubles many people.
Michael Spratt, an Ottawa-based criminal defence lawyer, said the bail issue is clearly a national problem.
“You can’t just look and see that Saskatchewan is dropping the ball or Ontario is dropping the ball,” Spratt said.
“It is a problem across the country which shows that there needs to be some sort, I think, of federal leadership to try to address the problem and answer the question why we have so many people in custody, especially when a lot of those people are in custody for property offences, minor shoplifting offences, administrative offences.”
Tackling the issue, however, is complex, said Anthony Doob, a University of Toronto criminology professor.
In fact, he said, Canada does not know how to deal with it.
Read the full Canadian Press article: Huffington Post