Judges in part responsible for rising incarceration rate

While Alberta’s incarceration rate was above the national average last year, the reasons why are varied. Contributing factors include our rapidly growing population, an increase in serious gang-related crimes and increased enforcement through the hiring of more police officers.

Re. the Dec. 11 editorial by Lee Giles, headlined Canada’s lead jailer:

While Alberta’s incarceration rate was above the national average last year, the reasons why are varied. Contributing factors include our rapidly growing population, an increase in serious gang-related crimes and increased enforcement through the hiring of more police officers.

In the end however, it is judges and not the Crown who decide which individuals stay in remand, based on the Criminal Code.

We believe and continue to advocate that criminals be held accountable for their crimes. Getting at the root causes of crime must be a part of the solution. For that reason, Alberta’s Safe Communities initiative strikes a balance between enforcement and prevention.

Launched two years ago, this comprehensive crime reduction strategy involves nine government ministries, police, social agencies, mental health professionals and educators across the province. It includes working closely with communities to fund unique, grassroots programs that address at-risk populations through the Safe Communities Innovation Fund.

There are no quick fixes when it comes to reducing crime, but our government is investing considerable efforts and resources to make Alberta communities safer.

David Dear

Acting Director of Communications

Alberta Justice & Attorney General

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