Ministry of the Attorney General
Province Appointing a New Judge, Expanding Bail Programs and Providing More Support for Jurors
Kitchener, ON – Mar 27, 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 Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph.
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.
The province is:
•Funding 10 new bail beds at the House of Friendship in Kitchener to provide safe, supportive and supervised housing for vulnerable accused individuals who require enhanced supervision in the community
•Hiring one new dedicated bail vettor Crown attorney in Kitchener-Waterloo to facilitate faster bail decisions and early resolutions
•Assigning one new duty counsel bail coordinator to the Kitchener courthouse to help expedite the bail process and ensure meaningful decisions are made
•Hiring two new assistant Crown attorneys to help reduce time-to-trial in Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and the surrounding region
•Enhancing the existing Bail Verification and Supervision Program provided by the Waterloo Region Bail Program in Kitchener-Waterloo by increasing eligibility for services and enhancing support for mental health clients
•Expanding the Bail Verification and Supervision Program to Guelph to provide supervision to low-risk individuals who have been released on bail.
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 Kitchener.
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.
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