section 672.68(2)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The Review Board may decide to place a dual status offender in custody in a hospital or prison if the current place of custody is deemed inappropriate for their mental health needs or the safety of others.

SECTION WORDING

672.68(2) On application by the Minister or of its own motion, where the Review Board is of the opinion that the place of custody of a dual status offender pursuant to a sentence or custodial disposition made by the court is inappropriate to meet the mental health needs of the offender or to safeguard the well-being of other persons, the Review Board shall, after giving the offender and the Minister reasonable notice, decide whether to place the offender in custody in a hospital or in a prison.

EXPLANATION

Section 672.68(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada addresses the placement of dual status offenders who have been sentenced to custody. Dual status offenders are individuals who have been found guilty of a criminal offence, but who also have a mental health or intellectual disability. Such individuals may require different types of custody to manage both their criminal sentence and their mental health needs. The Review Board is responsible for assessing the appropriateness of the place of custody for dual status offenders. If the Review Board determines that the current place of custody is not meeting the needs of the offender or safeguarding the well-being of others, it may decide to place the offender in a hospital or prison. This provision recognizes the complex needs of dual status offenders and aims to ensure that they receive appropriate care and treatment while serving their sentence. Placing an individual in a hospital may allow for more specialized and compassionate care, while placing them in a prison may help to protect others and maintain public safety. Furthermore, the section requires that both the offender and the Minister be given reasonable notice before any decision is made about their placement. This ensures that the offender has an opportunity to be heard and that the Minister, who is responsible for overseeing the correctional system, is aware of any changes to the offender's care. Overall, section 672.68(2) seeks to balance the competing interests of punishment and treatment for dual status offenders, while also safeguarding the well-being of others involved in their care.

COMMENTARY

Section 672.68(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that enables the Review Board to decide whether a dual status offender should be placed in a hospital or a prison, based on their mental health needs and the well-being of other persons. This provision recognizes the fact that many offenders have mental health issues and that they may pose a risk to themselves or others if they are placed in a regular prison without access to mental health services. The term "dual status offender" refers to an individual who is both an offender under the Criminal Code and a patient under the Mental Health Act. These individuals often have complex needs, requiring both mental health treatment and custodial supervision. The provision under section 672.68(2) recognizes the need for a coordinated response to these individuals that balances the need for punishment with the need for treatment. The provision requires the Review Board to consider the place of custody of the offender and whether it is appropriate to meet their mental health needs and safeguard the well-being of other persons. This means that the Review Board must take into account the offender's mental health history, diagnosis, and treatment needs when making a decision about custody. This is an important step towards ensuring that the offender receives appropriate care and treatment, rather than being neglected or punished. The provision also requires the Review Board to give the offender and the Minister reasonable notice before making a decision about custody. This ensures that the offender has an opportunity to make submissions and provide evidence about their mental health needs and the appropriate place of custody. It also ensures that the Minister can provide information about the appropriate level of security and treatment required for the offender. Overall, section 672.68(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that recognizes the need for a coordinated response to dual status offenders. The provision balances the need for punishment with the need for treatment, recognizing that these individuals have complex needs that require a nuanced approach. By requiring the Review Board to consider the offender's mental health needs and safeguard the well-being of other persons, the provision ensures that the offender receives appropriate care and treatment, which is essential for their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

STRATEGY

Section 672.68(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the placement of dual status offenders in custody. The term 'dual status offender' refers to an offender with a combination of mental illness and criminal history. In Canada, these individuals are often placed in custody in either a hospital or a prison, depending on the nature and severity of their mental health needs and the risk they pose to society. When dealing with this section of the Criminal Code, there are several strategic considerations that must be taken into account. First and foremost, the focus should be on the rehabilitation of the offender. The aim of the placement should be to provide the necessary mental health treatment and support to enable the offender to reintegrate into society as a productive and law-abiding individual. Another strategic consideration is the safety of other persons. If the offender poses a risk to society, they should be placed in custody in a secure facility where their movements can be restricted. This could be a prison or a secure hospital, depending on the severity of their mental health needs and the level of risk they pose to others. When dealing with this section of the Criminal Code, it is also important to give due consideration to the views of the offender. The offender should be consulted and given the opportunity to express their views on the proposed placement. This is particularly important if the placement is likely to have a significant impact on their mental health and well-being. Another important strategic consideration is the impact of the placement on the justice system. The placement should be consistent with the principles of proportionality and fairness. The offender should be treated fairly and given the opportunity to participate in the placement process. If the placement is unfair or overly restrictive, it could have negative consequences for the offender and could undermine the legitimacy of the justice system. One strategy that could be employed when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code is to establish a system of specialized treatment facilities for dual status offenders. These facilities could be staffed by mental health professionals and corrections officers who have specialized training in managing this particular population. The facilities could also offer a range of mental health services, including therapy, medication management, and vocational programs. Another strategy would be to increase the use of community-based treatment programs for dual status offenders. This could include intensive case management services, community mental health clinics, and supportive housing programs. By providing treatment and support in the community, offenders can be better integrated into society and are less likely to reoffend. In conclusion, the placement of dual-status offenders in custody is a complex issue that requires careful consideration of a range of strategic factors. By focusing on rehabilitation, safety, fairness, and the impact on the justice system, policymakers and justice professionals can develop effective strategies for managing this population and promoting public safety.