B.C. aims to support repeat offenders while protecting communities

·1 min read

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has hired two experts to investigate and report on how best to prevent cycles of crime involving prolific offenders and those who commit random violent attacks.

Attorney General David Eby says a small group of people is creating disorder and chaos, mostly in downtown cores, as businesses are trying to recover from the pandemic.

Eby says a former deputy police chief of Vancouver and an expert in mental health and corrections have been asked to come up with creative solutions and submit a report with recommendations in four months.

He says repeat offenders are unlikely to take up voluntary supports for issues related to mental health and addictions, but solutions may involve compulsory participation in programs that integrate both health and justice systems.

A group of 13 mayors in B.C.'s urban areas wrote to Eby last month about prolific offenders that are routinely arrested but often released to attack strangers and damage property.

Mayor Colin Basra of Kelowna says many offenders are often released from jail without supports and are arrested again and again so stronger consequences are needed to protect citizens.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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