Remand Initiative Receives Additional Funding for Expansion
The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Corrections and Policing are moving forward with expansions to the remand initiative.
An additional $2.375 million has been approved in the 2018-19 Budget to expand Early Case Resolution to weekdays and expand the Enhanced Bail Supervision partnerships to Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
“Research has shown that nearly all of the population growth in our jails is driven by remand,” Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said. “We’ve seen very positive results with the remand initiatives we’ve put in place, and it makes sense to expand these programs and continue to fine tune them over the next year.”
Early Case Resolution is a program where dedicated staff come in on Sundays to examine arrests that have occurred over the weekend. The focus of their work is to resolve cases that would otherwise require accused people to remain in a correctional facility on remand and to identify arrestees who may be manageable in the community with extra supports.
The program began in Saskatoon at the beginning of 2017 and was expanded to Prince Albert in August 2017. The new funding in the 2018-19 Budget will be used to expand the program to Regina and add more dedicated staff in Saskatoon to focus on short-term remand during weekdays.
“The Early Case Resolution project has shown a lot of promise, specifically in Saskatoon, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops now that we’re dedicating staff to this work throughout the week,” Justice Minister Don Morgan said.
The Enhanced Bail Supervision project began in Regina in October 2017 through a partnership with the Salvation Army Waterston Centre. The Ministry of Corrections and Policing provides funding to the Salvation Army, who in turn provide short-term residential beds to male arrestees who would otherwise go to remand due to a lack of supervised residential and mental health services. Additional funding in 2018-19 will be used for staff and resources to enhance the partnership with the Salvation Army and develop similar partnerships with community partners in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
Saskatchewan’s September 2017 remand growth rate slowed to .08 per cent, compared to 15.2 per cent in September 2016. The end of 2017 saw a reduction in remand growth and average daily remand counts across Saskatchewan’s four adult correctional facilities.