Mandatory Minimum Incarceration for Drug Offences: Bad public policy: Submission to the Department of Justice

“There is no evidence that mandatory prison time for people convicted of drug offences reduces the problems associated with drug use, or drug use itself.

“At the same time, there is a growing body of evidence that mandatory minimum sentences wreak terrible damage on individuals (particularly those who are dependent on drugs), families and communities, and exacerbate the harms to public health associated with problematic drug use. By effectively preventing judges from considering the individual circumstances of a case when imposing a sentence (including a person’s Indigenous heritage or connection, as prescribed by the Criminal Code and the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Gladue), mandatory minimum sentences hurt the most vulnerable members of our communities, who are more likely to be caught in the vast net of these sentences.”

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