Tag Archive: sentencing

How science calls into question sentencing practices

May 10, 2020

830 words; 4 minutes to read Our criminal justice system goes back well before the advent of the social sciences and the development of reliable knowledge about human behaviour.  But because it is so firmly based on precedents and past...

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The sorry state of provincial jails

February 21, 2020

630 words; 3 minutes to read The recent release of a new report from the federal Correctional investigator yet again shows the many serious deficiencies in Canada’s prisons, and the indifference of the government to fix these despite many protestations...

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New government fails on criminal justice

January 30, 2020

600 words; 3 minutes to read Those who believe in making major reforms to criminal justice in Canada were heartened a few years ago.  The new Liberal government in 2015 made many commitments to address at least some of the...

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What is ‘closure’ in criminal justice?

January 8, 2020

850 words; 4 minutes to read ‘Providing closure’ is one of the comments we often hear in media coverage of verdicts and sentences in criminal cases.  The suggestion is that a harsh sentence provides victims of crime, or family members...

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Why conviction does not always imply guilt

December 19, 2019

930 words; 4 minutes to read Some people are found guilty of crimes they did not commit, and many more people plead guilty to specific charges that are inaccurate.  Yet once someone has pled guilty or been convicted, we seem...

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Beyond Incarceration

November 7, 2019

950 words; 4 minutes to read Paula Mallea has had a long and distinguished career as a criminal defense lawyer and public policy advocate.  Having worked extensively with prisoners, and with Indigenous people in the justice system, she became a...

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Why we like punishment

November 2, 2019 |

675 words; 3 minutes One of the great myths about the criminal justice system is that one of its major purposes is rehabilitation, helping people who did something wrong improve themselves so they will no longer commit crimes. But when...

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