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Found 10 records similar to Research at a Glance: Discretion in Sentencing

Federal

Most Canadians feel that sentencing guidelines are the best way to ensure a fair sentence and they believe that sentencing would be more consistent with such guidelines. Many Canadians also believe that Canada should consider having a sentencing commission, and that most important activity of this body would be to give judges guidelines for sentencing decisions.

What we also found:

Seven in ten (71%) Canadians indicated that the best approach to sentencing is to provide guidelines while sill allowing for a judge's discretion.

More than eight in ten (83%) thought that guidelines for sentencing would help making sentencing more consistent (only 4% did not believe that this would be the case) and that Canada should consider having set guidelines (81%).

Last Updated: Nov. 12, 2019
Date Published: Mar. 5, 2018
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
Formats: PDF HTML
Keywords:  Justice system, Research, Consultations, Legal issues, Judges, Criminal justice system, Convictions
Federal

Readers Note: This publication presents results of an online public opinion survey completed by a sample of Canadians who received an invitation through email, Facebook and Twitter (called an "open link" sample; see Method for more details). This survey mirrored a survey conducted with a representative sample of Canadians, the results of which are available at Research on Justice Issues

Most respondents believe that diversion of accused people from the courts, should be the preferred response in some types of offences/situations. They also believe that increased use of diversion could make the criminal justice system (CJS) more efficient and effective. The majority of respondents believe that judges should have at least some degree of discretion and flexibility when deciding a sentence.

Last Updated: Nov. 22, 2018
Date Published: Jul. 2, 2018
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
Formats: PDF HTML
Keywords:  Justice system, Research, Consultations, Legal issues, Judges, Criminal justice system, Convictions
Federal

What we found:

Young people noted that the most important factors judges should consider in fair and equitable sentencing are personal circumstances and history of the accused person, and the nature of the crime, including the context, severity and motive for the crime. Ultimately, young people did not believe that mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) were beneficial because they limit judicial discretion.

Last Updated: Nov. 20, 2018
Date Published: Jul. 5, 2018
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
Formats: PDF HTML
Keywords:  Court decisions, Research, Justice system, judges, Criminal justice, Youth
Federal

Youth want a criminal justice system (CJS) that shows empathy and takes into consideration the circumstances of individuals before and during sentencing. Youth feel that the CJS should use more alternatives to incarceration that are community-based, restorative and place a focus on rehabilitation.

We also found:

Youth believed the two most important factors in terms of sentencing are the offender’s circumstances/history, and the nature of the crime, including the context, severity and motive of the crime.
A majority of youth highlighted the need for the CJS to recognize the circumstances of vulnerable Canadians, individuals who are racialized, impoverished or those suffering from mental health challenges when making sentencing decisions.

Last Updated: Nov. 21, 2018
Date Published: Jul. 5, 2018
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
Formats: PDF HTML
Keywords:  Justice system, Research, Consultations, Legal issues, Mental health, Youth engagement, Court decisions
Federal

Canadians are generally supportive of community-based sentencing; many feel that these sentences could have a number of positive impacts from reducing crime and increasing safety to greater efficiency in the criminal justice system.

What we also found:

After reviewing statistics on incarceration rates and who is incarcerated in Canada, over half of Canadians (55%) agreed that too many people were incarcerated (17% disagreed and 18% neither agreed nor disagreed)

Support for community-based sentences was much stronger for non-violent crimes.

Last Updated: Nov. 21, 2018
Date Published: Jul. 5, 2018
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
Formats: PDF HTML
Keywords:  Justice system, Research, Consultations, Legal issues, Annual reports
Federal

In general, Canadians are not supportive of the current mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) regime and prefer a more individualized approach to sentencing.

We also found:

Most Canadians indicated that they have a low to moderate level of knowledge of MMPs (52% low and 28% moderate).

Over three quarters (77%) of Canadians believed that in general, applying the same minimum sentence to all offenders who are convicted of the same offence is now fair and appropriate. Only 16% of Canadians believed MMPs lead to fair sentences.

Last Updated: Nov. 22, 2018
Date Published: Mar. 2, 2018
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
Formats: PDF HTML
Keywords:  Justice system, Research, Consultations, Legal issues, Judges, Criminal justice system, Convictions
Federal

Reader's Note: This publication presents results of an online public opinion survey completed by a sample of Canadians who received an invitation through email, Facebook and Twitter (called "open link" sample; see method for more details). This survey mirrored a survey conducted with a representative sample of Canadians, the results of which are available at Research on Justice issues.

In general, respondents were not supportive of the current MMP regime and preferred a more individualized approach to sentencing. Compared to the representative sample of Canadians, respondents to the open link survey were more knowledgeable of MMPs, more supportive of full discretion for judges in sentencing, and less supportive of MMPs.

Last Updated: Nov. 22, 2018
Date Published: Jul. 1, 2018
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
Formats: PDF HTML
Keywords:  Justice system, Research, Consultations, Legal issues, Annual reports, Criminal justice
Federal

To inform policy develop, public engagement and communications, and to support its mandate, the Department of Justice commissions periodic national surveys to explore Canadians' perception, understanding and priorities on justice-related issues.

This 2017 survey focuses on views and perceptions of the criminal justice system (CJS), in order to inform the ongoing criminal justice system review being undertaken by the Minister of Justice. It seeks to engage with people in all regions of Canada and to promote government transparency and openness. Specifically, the study explores Canadians’ views and perceptions of:

Sentencing (e.g., judicial discretion, sentencing considerations, guidelines) Mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) Administration of justice offences (AOJOs) Use of diversion/alternative measures Restorative justice and problem-solving approaches to justice Performance measurement and confidence in the CJS.

Last Updated: Aug. 14, 2019
Date Published: Mar. 28, 2018
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
Formats: DOC CSV
Keywords:  Applied Research, Legal services, Surveys, Annual reports, Justice system
Federal

To inform policy develop, public engagement and communications, and to support its mandate, the Department of Justice commissions periodic national surveys to explore Canadians' perception, understanding and priorities on justice-related issues.

This 2017 survey focuses on views and perceptions of the criminal justice system (CJS), in order to inform the ongoing criminal justice system review being undertaken by the Minister of Justice. It seeks to engage with people in all regions of Canada and to promote government transparency and openness. Specifically, the study explores Canadians’ views and perceptions of:

Sentencing (e.g., judicial discretion, sentencing considerations, guidelines)
Mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs)
Administration of justice offences (AOJOs)
Use of diversion/alternative measures
Restorative justice and problem-solving approaches to justice
Performance measurement and confidence in the CJS

Last Updated: Aug. 8, 2019
Date Published: Mar. 28, 2018
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
Formats: PDF HTML
Keywords:  Department of Justice, National Justice Survey, Community Engagement
Federal

Most Canadians believe that diversion of accused from the courts in appropriate cases should be the preferred response to at least some types of offences/situations. They also believe that increased use of diversion could make the criminal justice system (CJS) more efficient and effective and could contribute to reducing the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in custody. What we also found:

Over three quarters (79%) of Canadians believe that diversion could make the Criminal Justice System (CJS) more efficient and 69% believe that diversion could make the system more effective. Canadians were most likely to select the increased use of diversion as the best solution to reducing the number of Indigenous people in the CJS.

Last Updated: Nov. 22, 2018
Date Published: Mar. 1, 2018
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
Formats: PDF HTML
Keywords:  Justice system, Research, Consultations, Legal issues, Judges, Criminal justice system
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