The faith of the public in the services and integrity of the Criminal Justice System is the cornerstone of that system. Without that faith, the system is more than just hindered – it is disabled

The justice system is a complex machine, built on and evolving from principles such as the rule of law, presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Trials are multifaceted, taking into account rules regarding the admittance of evidence, the role of precedent, and the desire by the crown to plea bargain in order to keep prosecution costs under control. Yet the one thing that seems to be missing in our criminal justice system is a culture of indignation towards crime. A culture of outrage at the suffering inflicted upon law-abiding citizens. This outrage is alive and well in the general population, but somehow is lost in the administration of justice.

Canadians should not be afraid to discuss ideas for change. In criminal justice, including police work, courts, corrections and probation, nothing is black and white. Even though there are no easy answers Canadians should feel empowered to have these types of discussions. There are many ideas as to how we can improve our criminal justice system.

“Cost should not be a factor in the decision to release violent offenders into our communities.”

Our corrections facilities should not operate under a shroud of secrecy. Our police officers should not be forced to do complex police work without adequate resources, inadvertently jeopardizing cases. Our judges should not engage in judicial policy making that does not reflect the values of the average Canadian. A sentence given should be a sentence served. Jail should not be a good time. Cost should not be a factor in the decision to release violent offenders into our communities.

Who should bear the burden of responsibility for all that is wrong with the Canadian justice system? Clearly, responsibility lies with the federal government. The government is in charge of writing our criminal laws, funding our judiciary, our prisons and our police forces, running the department of justice, and most of all, responding to the many problems and inadequacies found in the justice and correctional systems. Change is possible; all that is necessary is a government willing to make changes.