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RSS FeedsOPP succeeds in arguing cells in northern detachment are no substitute for correctional facilities
(The Star Canada)

 
 

14 march 2018 06:26:58

 
OPP succeeds in arguing cells in northern detachment are no substitute for correctional facilities
(The Star Canada)
 




A dilemma arose last year when Christopher Black, an Indigenous man who lives in a remote northern Ontario community, was ordered to serve his impaired driving sentence on weekends:Where to serve it? There is no jail in Pikangikum, an isolated fly-in First Nations community. The nearest correctional facility is in Kenora, 225 kilometres away, which would make what is known as an intermittent sentence practically impossible.There is, however, an OPP detachment with jail cells in Pikangikum, and so Ontario Court Justice Gethin Edward ruled that Black should serve his sentence there. Months later, the OPP has won in its bid to prevent Black from doing his time in their detachment, having successfully argued before a higher court judge that the facility is not considered a correctional institution under provincial law.“In this case, it was simply not reasonable or appropriate to order Mr. Black to serve his intermittent sentence at the detachment, which is not a correctional institution and does not have appropriate accommodation for the purpose of an intermittent sentence,” Superior Court Justice John Fregeau, who sits in Kenora, wrote in a ruling released last week. “There are many cases where community-based sanctions are available and appropriate, but this is not one of them.” Fregeau sent Black’s case back down to the lower court for sentencing. An OPP spokesperson said the provincial police force accepts the ruling “and maintains complete confidence in the courts.”The issue in Black’s case has highlighted the disparities between northern and southern justice in Ontario, which Edward, the lower court judge who normally sits in Brantford, pointed out in his original sentencing decision last year. “If southern accused get to serve intermittent sentences to keep jobs, then isn’t it high time that northern accused should be entitled to intermittent sentences to preserve jobs?” Edward asked in court l ...
 
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