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Council seeking changes to ‘catch and release’ justice

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Sarnia is getting support from North Bay in their call for meaningful improvements to so-called ‘catch and release’ justice.

“Police services across Ontario are exhausting time and resources having to manage the repeated arrests of the same offenders,” states the motion from Sarnia. “Which in turn, is impacting their morale, and ultimately law-abiding citizens who are paying the often significant financial and emotional toll of this broken system.”

Councillor Johanne Brousseau brought forward the motion in North Bay saying there have been years of underfunding. 

“I’m asking this provincial government to stop the cycle and move forward with a plan to reform the system, a system that will be beneficial to the well-being of all of our communities in Ontario,” she says. 

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Brousseau says probation and parole officers are stuck at their desks, for the most part, with those on bail self-reporting information like no changes in address, if they’re abiding by the rules and more. 

“Having a community corrections compliance unit that actively monitors bail, probation and parole offenders compliance in the community is something that is needed,” she says. “We need boots on the ground, not just people sitting at desks.” 

Brousseau says the Ministry of the Attorney General needs its own enforcement unit.  

“If there was bail enforcement and supervision it would reduce the rates of offending and it would reduce the cost of the burden on municipally-funded police forces that bear additional operating costs, as well as victims of a crime,” she says. 

The supported motion from Council in North Bay is being sent to a variety of federal and provincial politicians, including both the Prime Minister and the Premier, along with the city’s police chief. 

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