3 Reasons Canada Needs Bail Reforms
Advocates are calling for bail reforms to stop the jails from overcrowding. People who are awaiting trials have filled the jails in many areas around Canada. In Ontario, two-thirds of the inmates are those who are on remand and are waiting for their trials. Advocates blame bail system for the growing number of occupants in these facilities.
If you are looking for the best criminal law firm to defend against assault charges, Hershberg Law Toronto is the place to visit. The criminal lawyers in Toronto and in many other parts of the country believe that inmates can be out on bail instead of in prisoners. They should be let free to live in their communities under conditions imposed by the court. Toronto criminal lawyers also ask for proper social support for these people awaiting trials.
Difficulty of Sureties
The bail system in the country requires sureties. These sureties are a big road block for inmates getting bailed out. These requirements are a disadvantage for those who are poor or live in distant places. People cannot come down to cities paying hefty bus fares. And nothing happens without these sureties.
Besides surety, the conditions of bail are unnecessarily strict even for those with no prior criminal record. The conditions applied for less serious charges are another big hurdle. According to a report by Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the national remand rate has tripled in the last three decades. Even though, the violent crime rate is now at lowest since 1987. These strict conditions are also not very cost friendly either.
The changes over the past decades have resulted in an extraordinary number of people behind bars. The regional jails have been replaced by super jails. There is a mandatory minimum sentence. And lastly, the reverse onus bail system is inadequate. If the courts accelerate the process of nonviolent cases then this number can go down. Many of the inmates are going through mental conditions and it is hard for them to comply with such stringent conditions.
The reverse onus system requires an inmate to prove that they are suitable to be released on bail. This system has lead people with minor prior offenses to fail to prove their suitability. The costs for keeping these inmates who can be out on bail are putting quite a dent on the budget. When questioned, the authorities say that they consider the security of the people and the rights of the inmates and thus propose such conditions.
The reforms are badly needed as the number of inmates grows bigger and bigger with time. Safety of people and justice is absolutely necessary but throwing people with minor offenses and those whose mental health is deteriorating is in direct contrast with the justice courts are trying to achieve. The prisoners feel that their rights are being violated when they have to go through so many court hearings for bails. The Attorney General says that the reforms are underway and will require cooperation of the federal government. If the bail system is reformed, not only will we save money but also give people a chance to get on the right track.