Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recent Justice Canada Research Reports

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications lists a series of research reports released by Justice Canada in recent months:
  • Health Impacts of Violent Victimization on Women and their Children: "There is growing evidence of the strong links between violence against women and children and significant physical and mental health impairment, and risky health behaviours. These are prevalent among children, youth and adults victimized during childhood and/or adulthood. Certain groups, for example Canada’s Aboriginal women, are at increased risk of more, and more severe, violence, and potentially more significant health impacts. While physical injuries and death form an important sub-set of the health impacts of violence, the more prevalent consequences are longer-term mental health problems, which in turn contribute to health risks as well as increasing the likelihood of being a violent offender or being re-victimized at a later point in time. As well, newer research points to the longer term chronic diseases associated with violent victimization."
  • Gladue Practices in the Provinces and Territories: "This study is intended to provide a status report on pol icies and p ractices in the provinces and territories that reflect the principles set out in the Supreme Court decision in R. v. Gladue regarding (1) specialized courts for Aboriginal accused; (2) training and awareness activities for judges, probation officers, courtworkers and duty counsel; (3) procedures for sentencing, bail and parole hearings when a case involves an Aboriginal offender; and (4) community justice programs and resources for Aboriginal offenders (...) Overall, initiatives and programs that comply with the Gladue decision were identified in all the jurisdictions that took part in the study. Specialized courts for Aboriginal persons seem to be one of the most exemplary initiatives in terms of applying the Gladue decision . In total, 19 specialized courts (whether or not they deal exclusively with cases involving Aboriginal persons) were listed in eight jurisdictions. Gladue training and awareness activities for justice system officials, including judges, are provided in roughly half of the participating jurisdictions. However, one of the participants questioned the quality of the training. Most jurisdictions stated that bail and parole decision - making processes involving Aboriginal persons are informed by Gladue type information. Community justice programs appear to exist in the majority of jurisdictions. However, one of the participants observed that inadequate information sharing, coordination, integration and communication between the various stakeholders in the justice system and the persons in charge of community justice and health programs (e.g. substance abuse and mental health treatments) may prove to be a significant obstacle to the effectiveness of these programs. Another participant pointed that the need for more effective information sharing must also be balanced with privacy and confidentiality considerations. In addition, establishing partnerships between non - governmental organizations (NGOs) and the justice system seems to be an approach that a number of jurisdictions have adopted to jointly identify solutions to the situation experienced by Aboriginal persons in the justice system. Last, legal aid programs may also play an important role in applying Gladue principles as shown by certain exemplary practices established by Legal Aid Ontario."
  • The Path to Justice in a Court-Based Drug treatment court program: "Research has shown that people who graduate from drug treatment court program s are less likely to re-offend. However, the proportion of participants in drug treatment court programs who graduate is typically low. Only about 10% of all participants graduate from the Ottawa drug treatment court program which was the subject of this study. Clearly, the low success rate diminishes the potential impact of drug treatment court programs. Therefore, an important policy issue is why some people graduate from the program while others do not. Any measures that could increase the number of people who graduate would improve the effectiveness of drug treatment court programs. This study takes an access to justice approach in attempting to understand why some treatment court program participants successfully complete the program while others do not. "
  • The Economic Impact of Firearm-related Crime in Canada, 2008: "In 2008, the total economic and social costs of firearm - related crime in Canada were approximately $3.1 billion. This amounted to a per capita cost of $93 in that year. However, this is likely to be a conservative estimate due to the una vailability of data in many areas. For example, victims may develop mental health problems, such as depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and suicidal behaviour. The associated costs are not included in this report due to data limitations . The costs outlined herein are borne by the criminal justice system, victims and third parties in general. The costs pertaining to the Canadian criminal justice system in 2008 amounted to approximately $302 million. A breakdown of the total criminal justice costs by sector reveals that policing services used the majority of justice expenditures on firearm - related crime (69.5%), followed by corrections (29.7%), courts (0.3%), prosecution (0.3%) and legal aid (0.2%). Victims bear the most direct and significant impact of crime. Many costs incurred are a direct result of victimization of firearm - related crime, such as health care cost, productivity losses and value of stolen/damaged property. The total victim costs were $2.7 billion in 2008, including both tangible and intangible costs."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:51 pm

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