Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Statistics Canada Article on Mandatory Minimum Penalties

Statistics Canada's publication Juristat has published an article entitled Mandatory minimum penalties: An analysis of criminal justice system outcomes for selected offences:
"Historically, Canadian law has laid out mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) for the most serious offences under the Canadian Criminal Code, such as murder and high treason. For some offences, sometimes under the presence of certain aggravating circumstances such as re-offending or using a firearm, judges in adult courts are required by law to impose a specific type of penalty or length of sentence. In addition to minimum custody sentences (imprisonment), mandatory minimums may apply to fines, and also include the mandatory federal victim surcharge imposed on offenders and used to fund services for victims. Judges do not have the discretion to give a penalty that is less than the MMP, regardless of the circumstances of the case. Over the course of the 20th century in Canada, there was an increase in the use of mandatory minimum penalties for offences such as impaired driving (starting in 1921) and firearms offences (mostly in 1995). Since 2005, the number of offences with MMPs in the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act increased considerably, as new legislation introduced new or increased mandatory minimums (...)"

"The analysis presented in this Juristat article examines the characteristics and outcomes of cases in adult criminal courts for some of the offences that were subject to changes in MMP legislation enacted from 2005 to 2012. Specifically, the analysis looks at sentencing for offences occurring before and after the introduction or amendment of mandatory minimum penalties, using data from the Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS). In particular, the report focusses on cases where the most serious offence involved selected sexual violations against children, child pornography, or selected firearms-related offences. Some information on police-reported incidents from the Uniform Crime Survey (UCR) is also provided."

"It is important to note that this analysis of court outcomes is limited to information provided by the courts. Information about prosecutor decisions prior to proceeding to court, such as plea bargaining and Crown election, that may have an impact on sentencing, is not available."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:17 pm


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