Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Law to toughen sex offender registry, reintroduced

OTTAWA -- Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has reintroduced a law beefing up the national sex offender's registry by making it mandatory for anyone convicted of a sex offence in Canada to be added to the registry.
Currently, it is up to a Crown prosecutor to ask for an offender to be added and a judge to agree.
The new law would also ensure a Canadian convicted of a crime outside the country is added to Canada's registry upon their return. They must report their arrival and conviction to police within seven days of returning to Canada.
Police will also be able to search the registry to help prevent sex crimes, not just after one has been committed.
Ottawa police Chief Vern White said that means when a parent calls and complains a particular car has been parked outside their child's school over and over again, the police can search the registry to see if the car belongs to or is driven by a registered sex offender.
"Canadians have the right to feel safe in their communities," Toews said at a news conference in Ottawa.

The Conservative government reintroduced a bill Wednesday that would toughen up Canada's sex offender registry.
The party wants to make it easier for police to use the information in the registry to prevent future crimes.
Public Safety Safety Minister Vic Toews said the legislation would force anyone convicted of a sex crime to be added to the national registry and supply a DNA sample for the file.
"This is not the case under the current law. At present, the Crown must apply to have an offender registered and the presiding judge has the discretion but is not required to make such an order," Toews told a press conference in Ottawa.
"Our legislation will eliminate this process and make registration automatic upon conviction."
The proposed amendments would ensure that police can notify foreign or other Canadian police when high-risk offenders are travelling in their area.
Authorities would also be able to include in the registry those returning to Canada after being convicted of sex offences outside the country.
The registry will also include details of how offenders committed their crimes to help police investigate subsequent cases.
The Tories first proposed the amendments in June 2009, but the bill died when Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament last December.

I think this is a good law to reintroduce. I think that if it helps protect women and children to prevent sex crimes, it sounds beneficial to me. On CBC here are some comments that sum up my views on the topic:
It is unfortunately, not uncommon, for a woman who finds herself in a compromised situation to claim a sex crime was committed. The range goes from wives who believe their husband is cheating on them, to students in high school who don't like their teacher or who are afraid they might fail a course. It is far too easy to be charged.

For the real criminals, rapists, pedophiles I have no problem with a registry and one that severely limits a convicted person's future freedoms. However, this law sounds far too broad in scope, as many have noticed. For examples I don't think using the services of a prostitute should follow with registry unless the prostitute was obviously underage, nor situations which might arise between a 17 year old and his 15 year old girlfriend unless force were used or there were other clearly substantiated evidence of malfeasance.

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