Criminal Justice and Mental Health
The Globe and Mail reminded Canadians in an editorial published on January 3, 2014, that the Canadian criminal justice system is “far from perfect and may be getting worse.”
Noting that Canada has avoided many of the mistakes of a U.S. justice system described as “brutal and counterproductive,” the Globe and Mail pointed out that cases like those of Ashley Smith and Edward Snowflake, where the use of solitary confinement lead to their suicide in custody, show that significant problems exist in the Canadian system as well.
The Globe and Mail notes that a high percentage of people in jail have serious mental health issues, and asks the question, “is more punishment going to cure them?”
As well, Globe and Mail accurately observes that “almost everyone behind bars is going to get out.” Arguing against harsh prison conditions, the Globe suggests that doing more to “educate, treat, and humanize” offenders would do more than “worsening their conditions of incarceration” to help them become productive citizens.
For 20 years criminal lawyer James Zegers has helped individuals facing criminal charges get the help they need to rehabilitate themselves and providing them with the representation they need to avoid being the victims of an imperfect justice system.