A new analysis of Canada’s justice system has determined which areas of the country had the highest and lowest scores for solving both violent and non-violent crimes in 2017. Coming at the bottom of the list: British Columbia.
The Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy (MLI) released the report card in which it designated scores for both provinces and territories.
“A well-functioning, fair, and just criminal justice system is vital to Canadians,” noted co-authors Benjamin Perrin, a professor at UBC’s Allard School of Law, and Richard Audas, a professor of health statistics and economics at Memorial University (via Global News).
“We hope that by once again bringing some focused attention to the major strengths and shortcomings of the criminal justice system, in each province and territory, that necessary reforms will be introduced to improve public safety, support for victims, better management of costs and resources, greater efficiency and provide greater fairness and access to justice.”
Scores were based on weighted “clearance rates” which indicate how many crimes are solved by police. The crimes are weighted by severity—a felony vs. a misdemeanour, for example.
In 2017, B.C.’s actual weighted clearance rate for violent crime was 51.7 percent. The weighted clearance rate for non-violent crime was 20.4 percent.
B.C. ranked the lowest alongside Manitoba and Quebec in regards to people’s faith in the justice system. As for confidence in the police, B.C. came in second to last behind Quebec. B.C. also had the lowest rating for public safety (Manitoba and Quebec followed).
As for the number of Indigenous people in total custodial admissions, B.C. had the second-lowest score behind Alberta.
MLI noted in its report that overall crime rates have dropped and fewer police officers are required per capita. However, “proportionately fewer cases are being solved, the incidents of breach of probation per 1,000 crimes have risen, and the cost of corrections per capita has also gone up. Furthermore, Indigenous people are greatly overrepresented as a proportion of those in prison.”
The provinces and territories received the following grades in “Report Card on the Criminal Justice System #2”: Prince Edward Island (B), New Brunswick (B), Newfoundland & Labrador (B), Ontario (B), Nova Scotia (B), Quebec (B), Alberta (B), Nunavut (C+), Saskatchewan (C+), British Columbia (C+), Manitoba (C), Northwest Territories (C), Yukon (C).