Source: (2003) Alberta Justice. Downloaded 21 April 2004.

Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia supported conditional sentences of imprisonment as an effective and appropriate mechanism to divert minor offences and offenders away from the prison system. However, what was intended, by Parliament, as a method to address minor crime without resorting to imprisonment has become, in practice, a sanction used in cases of very serious crime. Offenders are currently receiving conditional sentences of imprisonment for crimes of serious violence, sexual assault and related offences, driving offences involving death or serious bodily harm, and theft committed in the context of a breach of trust. These provinces have agreed to jointly address this issue. To this end, Alberta has prepared this paper. It is not the existence of conditional sentences that is problematic, but rather the use of conditional sentences in cases which should result in actual jail. (excerpt)


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