When you compare Saskatchewan’s criminal justice system to others across the country, it gets a passing grade, but not by much.
The MacDonald Laurier report places Saskatchewan ninth out of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories, scoring a C+ grade.
“In terms of fairness and access to justice, Saskatchewan has relatively low rates of criminal legal aid, which makes the system less fair and less efficient,”said Benjamin Perrin, law professor at the University of British Columbia.
Saskatchewan was just ahead of B.C. Manitoba, Northwest Territories, and Yukon.
“In Saskatchewan, the court system itself is actually doing a pretty good job. So if you are going to look at reducing the overall cost of your justice system, you’ve got to find a way to get those crime rates down,” Perrin said.
Perrin said the best way to do that, is to address the root causes of crime, adding Saskatchewan has the highest rate of violent crime and property crime of any province in the country.
“Intervening in communities where the crime rate is coming up as high, and finding out why that is. Doing some of the hard work of helping people move on from their life of criminality instead of just sending them back to jail.”