Current Date/Time: April 15th 2024

Viewpoints on Criminal Justice Issues

The Canadian Criminal Justice Association (CCJA) has released a booklet entitled "Viewpoints on Criminal Justice Issues: A Compendium of Position Papers". This compilation includes topics such as crime prevention, victims, youth justice, parole, pardons, the "faint hope clause", conditional sentences and mandatory minimum sentences. The following is the Foreword, written by Irving Kulik, Executive Director of CCJA:

Since its beginnings as the Canadian Prisoners Welfare Association in 1919, the Canadian Criminal Justice Association has been active in promoting a humane and effective criminal justice system in Canada. We strongly believe that the criminal law must take into account what researchers have discovered in terms of effectiveness measures.

In order for public safety to be ultimately assured, the criminal law needs to consider and respond to scientific knowledge, not whim or emotion. In this light we must focus on correction rather than punishment for its own sake. We must consider crime prevention as the primary initiative in criminal justice while incarceration becomes a last resort.

As part of its work the Association reviews all new draft legislation proposed by the Government for consistency with Canadian values, human rights and research findings. Over the course of many decades we have had the opportunity of presenting a large variety of briefs to parliamentary committees studying draft legislation. While the Association produces a number of publications on a regular basis as part of its professional and public education agenda, we have never compiled a segment of our briefs for general distribution. In this booklet we present a very much condensed version of the eight key topics that have been dealt with most frequently in our presentations to parliamentary committees. We trust you will find these useful and perhaps enlightening. Readers can address themselves to the Canadian Criminal Justice Association for greater detail on any of these topics (