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NCJ Number: 186054 Find in a Library
Title: Aboriginal Sentencing Reform in Canada--Prospects for Success: Standing Tall with Both Feet Planted Firmly in the Air
Journal: E Law: Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law  Volume:7  Issue:1  Dated:March 2000  Pages:1-44
Author(s): Susan Haslip
Date Published: March 2000
Page Count: 45
Publisher: http://www.murdoch.edu.au/elaw/ 
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper critically assesses the likelihood that recent sentencing reforms in Canada will address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in prisons and recommends ways to make the recent law reform more effective.
Abstract: The criminal code amendments that took effect in September 1996 included section 718.2(e), which stated that all available nonprison sanctions that are reasonable in the circumstances should receive consideration for all offenders, especially Aboriginal offenders. Another provision gave sentencing judges the discretion to allow offenders sentenced to 2 years or less in provincial institutions to serve their sentence in the community pursuant to a conditional sentence order. The analysis argues that sentencing reform has only limited ability to affect the causes of Aboriginal offending and alienation, because it does not address the decades of dislocation and lack of economic development that have resulted in higher crime rates among Aboriginal people. In addition, sentencing innovations do not address Aboriginal alienation from the criminal justice system. Needed legislative amendments should focus on clarifying the emphasis on a restorative justice approach in most cases and the need for judges and attorneys to recognize the unique circumstances of Aboriginal offenders. Otherwise, legislative reliance on section 718.2(e) to deal with Aboriginal overrepresentation in Canadian correctional institutions is equivalent to standing firmly with both feet planted firmly in the air. Reference notes
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): Aborigines; Alternatives to institutionalization; American Indians; Canada; Cause removal crime prevention; Eskimos; Foreign sentencing; Minority overrepresentation; Sentencing reform
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