section 672.67(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

If a court sentences a dual status offender to prison, that sentence takes precedence over any previous custodial disposition until a placement decision is made by the Review Board.

SECTION WORDING

672.67(1) Where a court imposes a sentence of imprisonment on an offender who is, or thereby becomes, a dual status offender, that sentence takes precedence over any prior custodial disposition, pending any placement decision by the Review Board.

EXPLANATION

Section 672.67(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada pertains to offenders who fall under the definition of a "dual status offender". This term refers to individuals who have been declared not criminally responsible (NCR) due to a mental disorder or unfit to stand trial and are subject to the jurisdiction of a Review Board, but who are also subject to a custodial disposition by a court. The section stipulates that in such cases, if a court imposes a sentence of imprisonment on a dual status offender, this sentence will take precedence over any prior custodial disposition. In other words, if an NCR or unfit offender receives a custodial sentence after a court trial, this sentence will supersede any previous incarceration order made by a Review Board. The purpose of this provision is to avoid situations where an individual is subject to concurrent or overlapping custodial dispositions by a court and a Review Board. This could potentially result in an offender serving multiple, simultaneous sentences for the same offence, which would be unfair and contrary to the principles of proportionality and sentencing consistency. However, the provision also allows for a temporary suspension of the custodial sentence imposed by the court pending a placement decision by the Review Board. This means that if the Review Board deems it appropriate to place the individual in a mental health institution or other appropriate facility, the custodial sentence may be put on hold until the placement is secured. Overall, section 672.67(1) seeks to ensure that dual status offenders are not subject to excessive, unfair, or overlapping custodial dispositions, while also maintaining public safety and protecting the rights of victims.

COMMENTARY

Section 672.67(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that outlines the priority of sentences in cases where a dual status offender is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. A dual status offender is someone who is serving a sentence for a criminal offence and has been granted conditional release, parole, or temporary absence, but who has once again committed a criminal offence while under supervision. In the event that such an offender is sentenced to imprisonment for the second offence, this section stipulates that the new sentence takes precedence over any previous custodial disposition. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that the interests of public safety are given priority when dealing with dual status offenders. It acknowledges that individuals who have been granted conditional release or parole have been given a second chance, and therefore, have a higher level of responsibility to adhere to the law. If they violate this responsibility, it is crucial that their sentence for the second offence is the primary focus. The priority of the new sentence over any previous custodial disposition is necessary because it reflects the gravity of the second offence committed by the offender. In these cases, the offender has not only violated their parole, but they have also committed another offence, and therefore, must be held accountable for their actions. It is essential that the court impose a sentence that reflects the severity of the offence and protects the public from any potential harm that the offender may cause. This provision also recognizes that a dual status offender is not entitled to a concurrent sentence to their previous custodial disposition for their subsequent criminal conviction. This means that if they commit another offence while on release, they cannot expect that their previous sentence will be served at the same time as their new sentence. This is an important distinction to make because it emphasizes the notion that conditional release or parole is a privilege, and that a repeat offender has forfeited their right to such a privilege. Furthermore, this provision emphasizes the importance of the parole system in Canada. The purpose of conditional release and parole is to allow offenders to demonstrate that they can successfully integrate back into society while being under supervision. It is critical that this system is maintained and respected as it plays an integral role in preventing recidivism. However, in cases where the offender commits another crime, it is essential to hold them accountable for their actions. By prioritizing the new sentence, this provision reinforces the responsibility of those on conditional release or parole to avoid committing further offences. Overall, section 672.67(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an essential provision that promotes the interests of public safety when dealing with dual status offenders. It ensures that repeat offenders are held accountable for their actions and acknowledges the importance of conditional release and parole as privileges that must be earned and respected. By prioritizing the new sentence, this provision serves as a reminder that recidivism will not be tolerated, and that the protection of society must be a top priority.

STRATEGY

Section 672.67(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides guidance on how to deal with dual status offenders. A dual status offender is a person who has a mental illness or disorder and has committed a criminal offense. Dealing with dual status offenders is a complex process that requires careful consideration of a variety of factors. This section of the Criminal Code provides some strategic considerations for the courts and the Review Board. One strategic consideration when dealing with dual status offenders is to prioritize the criminal sentence over any prior custodial disposition. This means that if an offender is sentenced to imprisonment for a criminal offense, that sentence takes precedence over any previous sentence the offender may have been serving for a mental health issue or disorder. This strategy ensures that offenders are held accountable for their criminal behavior and that public safety is prioritized. Another strategic consideration when dealing with dual status offenders is to ensure that the Review Board has adequate time to make a placement decision. The Review Board is responsible for assessing the offender's risk to the public and deciding on an appropriate placement, such as a hospital or community-based treatment program. The Review Board requires a sufficient amount of time to conduct assessments and make informed decisions. This strategy ensures that the offender's mental health needs are considered while also protecting public safety. One strategy that could be employed when dealing with dual status offenders is to prioritize treatment over punishment. This approach recognizes that offenders with mental health issues require specialized treatment and support. By prioritizing treatment, the offender is given the opportunity to address their mental health issues and reduce the risk of future criminal behavior. This strategy requires collaboration between the criminal justice system and mental health professionals. Another strategy that could be employed when dealing with dual status offenders is to provide them with alternatives to custody, such as community-based treatment programs. This approach recognizes that offenders with mental health issues may not benefit from traditional custodial sentences. Community-based treatment programs provide offenders with support and treatment in a less restrictive environment. This strategy also supports the offender's reintegration into society. In conclusion, dealing with dual status offenders requires careful consideration of a variety of factors. Section 672.67(1) of the Criminal Code provides some strategic considerations for the courts and the Review Board. Prioritizing the criminal sentence, ensuring adequate time for the Review Board, prioritizing treatment over punishment, and providing alternative sentencing options are all strategies that could be employed when dealing with dual status offenders.