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Found 10 records similar to Research at a Glance: Diversion, Discretion, and Sentencing Commissions
The majority of Canadians believe that judges should have at least some degree of discretion and flexibility when deciding a sentence. What we also found:
The overwhelming majority of Canadians (95%) felt that the best approach for determining fair and appropriate sentences for offenders involves giving judges at least some degree of discretion. Seven in ten (71%) Canadians thought the best way was to give judges some sort of guideline or range of sentences to choose from, with the option of going outside those ranges if they deem it necessary. About one-quarter (24%) of Canadians believed that the best way to determine a fair and appropriate sentence was to give judges full discretion (deciding on the sentence after looking at how the offence happened, why the offender did it and what sentences were given in other similar cases).
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%).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Proportion of the population who believe their local police are doing a good job or an average or poor job at responding quickly to calls, by sex, population aged 15 and over.
Intensive moose browsing appears to have led to a large reduction in woody plant abundance and diversity in Gros Morne National Park mature forests.This measure assess the biodiversity of native shrubs and tree saplings in the understory of mature balsam fir forest stands. Stems are being enumerated by species in 1x20 m strip transects, 6 of which are sampled at each of 15 sites in forests throughout the 3 ecoregions in GMNP (90 strip transects total). Sampling is carried out every second year, during the months of July to September.