MacKay Defends Not Criminally Responsible Legislation

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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In a recently issued statement by Justice Minister that comments on the newly-introduced not criminally responsible legislation, Peter MacKay alleged that it seeks to clearly distinguish between offenders who are at a high-risk of re-offending, and those who are not. The new bill introduced on Monday aims at forming a high-risk designation that will enable court to keep offenders in custody even if finds they are mentally ill that and cannot be convicted of a crime.

Addressing reporters on Monday, Mackay stated that “we’re not talking about keeping individuals behind bars.  They’re not in the classic corrections system.” He added that “they’re actually in secure medical facilities where they can receive treatment.” He assured that the number of not criminally responsible (NCR) offenders categorized as high-risk offenders would be “very low.” The arguable bill has received sheer criticism from lawyers and mental-health professionals. Schizophrenia Canada mentioned in a statement that it hopes the government will work with health organizations to make amendments to the bill that “support all victims of crime as well as victims of untreated mental illness in reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.”

In addition to that, MacKay revealed that new high-risk designation will resolve the issue of stigmatization by clearly defining NCR offenders who are “not a risk to the public.” He added that “it provides clarity and public confidence and it puts clear lines in place between those who are a risk and those who are not.” MacKay declared that the primary motive behind the bill is to protect public and a place victim of crimes in “front and centre in the system.”

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