The government of Manitoba recently released statistics showing that court cases are taking less time across the province.
Justice Minister Cliff Cullen says that 70% of the people sitting in Manitoba’s jails are still awaiting trial.
That fact inspired the Justice Department to create a Criminal Justice System Modernization Strategy which will bring more cases to their close more quickly.
Part of the strategy is restorative justice which includes putting systems in place to help prevent young offenders from re-entering the system. The program helps link young offenders with supports for housing, education, and employment.
The incarceration rate in Manitoba is among the highest in Canada. 231 out of every 1,000 people are in provincial jails.
One way the province is speeding up the court process is by deferring dealing with minor crimes to the local level. The province is also investing in new technology to help shy away from the paper-based system the bench currently operates on.
So far the new policies have decreased the wait times by 19%. The average wait for a trial used to be around 180 days, now it has been shortened to 160 days.
The new policies also encourage Crown attorneys to look at files earlier.
The province has committed to releasing annual statistics around the changes being made through the new strategy.