Tory plan to eliminate '2 for 1' jail credit not so clear
Posted: March 26, 2009, 12:25 AM by Ron Nurwisah
Canada, law

While the Tory plan to eliminate “2 for 1” credit for time served in pre-trial custody is intended to ensure criminals spend more time in jail, the practical effect might not be so clear, since pre-trial custody does not count toward parole eligibility.

For example, consider two criminals who each are sentenced to three years in prison for a crime.

• Person A receives 2 for 1 credit for six months pre-trial custody. That means he has two years or 24 months left in sentence. He can apply for parole after one-third, or 8 months. So he will have to spend at least 14 months in custody, before he can apply for parole.

• Person B is free on bail when sentenced to 3 years or 36 months. He can apply for parole after one-third, or 12 months in jail.
So, Person B, who spent no time in pre-trial custody, and receives the same prison sentence, spent less time in jail before being able to apply for parole.

Experts also note that judges often take “time served” into account when deciding sentence length. So if they do not give 2 for 1 credit, they may simply lower the total sentence.

National Post

Photo: Convicted criminals may have to spend more time in prison if a Tory plan to change sentencing rules goes through. (Allen McInnis/Canwest News Service)



Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre


The Tories plan is a guaranteed cheap shot at the judiciary hearing criminal matters. The Tories plan shows not just gross disrespect to the very experienced judiciary hearing criminal matters but shows their corrupt financial link to the growing industry of private prisons who will be showing their appreciation with substantial political funding in its various forms.
The Tories could not give a dam if the jails are overcrowded and that has an incredible cost to society that the Tories just can't calculate.
The fact is, if economic benefit was calculated most jail sentences would be reduced. The length of Jail sentences has little effect on crime, addressing the root cause of crime does.
The single biggest factor that causes crime is dysfunctional parents and in particular fatherless homes for which our politicians can be held responsible for Failing Canadian children by not having a legal presumption of equal parenting upon separation.
Notice the Tories have no mention of the very successful restorative justice programs or the fact that jails breed crime not solve it.
Efficient justice systems address all the factors not just retribution.