In order to ensure that high-risk, recurrent violent offenders adhere to their bail conditions, the Ontario government is making an investment of $112 million to immediately strengthen the bail system in the province. New technology will be supported, violent crime bail teams will be established, the Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement Squad of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will be expanded, and prosecutors will receive the resources they need to hold complex bail hearings.
“This funding will help ensure that anyone out on bail is following the rules and high-risk, repeat offenders are kept in jail as the country and our province face rising crime rates and people are feeling increasingly unsafe in their communities,” stated Premier Doug Ford. We can’t have an equity framework where savage lawbreakers are captured one day and back out on the roads the following. We are contributing to the improvement of the broken bail system and anticipate collaborating with our federal partners to complete the task.
Points of interest of the venture include:
- The creation of a new Bail Compliance and Warrant Apprehension Grant
- $24 million will be made available over three years to help the OPP and municipal and First Nations police services establish dedicated bail compliance teams. Teams will also assist prosecutors with gathering evidence and assessing public safety risk during the bail hearing stage.
- Grant funding may also be used to acquire bail compliance technology or support a network that police services could use to share bail offender information.
- Expansion of the OPP Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement (ROPE) Squad
- $48 million to create a dedicated Bail Compliance Unit within the OPP’s Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement Squad. This new dedicated, provincewide, Bail Compliance Unit will apprehend high-risk provincial offenders who have broken their bail conditions or are unlawfully at large.
- Establishment of Intensive Serious Violent Crime Bail Teams
- $26 million to create Intensive Serious Violent Crime Bail Teams within the courts system to ensure that there are dedicated prosecutors and subject matter experts to prepare for and properly conduct the often lengthy and complex bail hearings.
- Rollout of the Bail Compliance Dashboard
- A new provincewide bail monitoring system to allow police services to monitor high-risk offenders with the most accurate data possible.
“With regards to keeping individuals safe and tending to wrongdoing in our networks, we’ll persevere relentlessly,” said Specialist General Michael Kerzner. ” By increasing the resources required to monitor and apprehend high-risk repeat offenders who violate bail conditions, this funding will assist partners in the police and justice sectors in addressing issues of bail compliance. It will also assist in ensuring that the bail and sentencing procedures work to reduce violent acts and maintain community safety.
All of Canada’s premiers have been pressing the federal government for months to reform bail and amend the Criminal Code in order to prevent violent and recurrent offenders from returning to their communities. The federal government has made it clear that it is willing to collaborate with all of the provinces and territories to find and put into action effective solutions. Ontario will keep on being an accomplice in this work and anticipates these progressions being made.
Attorney General Doug Downey stated, “As part of our ongoing efforts with the federal government to reform the broken bail system, we are adding new resources to support our work to strengthen Ontario’s bail process.” By providing additional resources to the police to investigate and apprehend these accused persons and to prosecutors and courts to conduct complex, time-consuming bail hearings with the best evidence, these investments will immediately assist in addressing serious, violent, and repeat offenders.