News, research and resources

Find out more about how the Government of Canada and the Department of Justice are transforming the criminal justice system with the following information and resources.

Online reports

Justice Canada research reports that deal with a range of subjects impacting the transformation

News releases


Reports by request

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  • National Justice Survey 2016: Canada's Criminal Justice System
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    The National Justice Survey 2016 focuses on the criminal justice system (CJS) to inform the current criminal justice system review and engage with adults 18+ from across Canada.

    Specifically, this nationally representative research involved a traditional public opinion research survey, in informed choice survey and in person and online focus groups. The purpose of this research was to explore Canadians' views perceptions and expectations for the CJS, the values they want it to reflect, objectives of the criminal justice system, and priorities and concerns with respect to criminal justice issues. This work was undertaken to support reforms and new initiatives in this area. A full report and data tables are now available.

  • Mandatory Minimum Penalties in Canada: Analysis and Annotated Bibliography - Kyle Coady and Kari Glynes Elliott
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    This document summarizes core findings on Mandatory Minimum Penalties (MMPs) in Canada. Information and evidence are drawn from refereed publications and journals, policy/position papers, and key monographs; these publications focus on the Canadian MMP experience. This paper reviews core research findings and ideas on MMPs in Canada by showing how they are defined, their history, how they are used, and how they impact key legal system players in the sentencing process.

  • "Broken Bail" in Canada: How We Might Go About Fixing It - Cheryl Marie Webster
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    This study explores the phenomenon of Canada's "broken bail system", which the author identifies as not only the bail process (i.e. the criminal procedure of determining whether an accused detained by the police will be released or formally detained until trial) but also remand (i.e. the detention of these accused in provincial/territorial custody awaiting either a bail determination or, having forgone or been denied bail, the resolution of their court case).

  • The Mentally Ill: How They Became Enmeshed in the Criminal Justice System and How We Might Get Them Out - The Hon. Mr. Justice Richard D. Schneider
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    This report discusses how individuals with mental illness become involved in the criminal justice system and presents strategies to reduce their over-representation

  • Building Legal Literacy, Preventing Crisis - Sarah McCoubrey
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    A report that focuses on improving legal literacy to improve access to justice and develop trust in the criminal justice system.

  • Police and Judicial Detention and Release Characteristics: Data from the Justice Effectiveness Study - Karen Beattie, André Solecki and Kelly E. Morton Bourgon
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    The purpose of this research is to provide information regarding the detention and release practices of police and of the court, while also providing data on the characteristics of accused subject to these decisions.