Ministry of the Attorney General
Province Appointing a New Judge, Improving Bail Services and Providing More Support for Jurors
St. Catharines, ON – Mar 20, 2017
Ontario is moving forward with its plan to make the criminal justice system faster and fairer by implementing programs to help reduce time-to-trial and improve the bail system in St. Catharines and the Niagara Region.
The plan will enhance public safety by making it possible to resolve criminal cases faster and by making more supports and supervision available to vulnerable, low-risk individuals who come in contact with the law.
In St. Catharines and the Niagara Region, the province is:
•Hiring a new assistant Crown attorney to help reduce time-to-trial
•Enhancing the existing Bail Verification and Supervision Program provided by the John Howard Society of Niagara in St. Catharines to include increased eligibility for services, support for Weekend and Statutory Holiday court, expanded mental health programs and support for an additional 180 clients at any given time
•Funding an Indigenous support service enhancement position in St. Catharines to provide culturally appropriate bail services to Indigenous people
•Improving and expanding bail services available to Indigenous people by strengthening relationships with Indigenous organizations in the Niagara Region.
In addition, of the 13 new judges announced in December 2016, Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve of the Ontario Court of Justice has indicated that she will assign a judge to St. Catharines.
To support jurors, Ontario is providing easier access to experienced and qualified counsellors. The Juror Support Program is available to help Ontarians who have served as jurors at the end of a trial or a coroner’s inquest, if and when they need it. There are no out-of-pocket expenses for jurors, and the program is completely confidential.
Improving Ontario’s criminal justice system is part of our plan to create jobs, keep communities safe and help people in their everyday lives.