Ottawa won’t cover costs of new mentally ill offender law

Anna Mehler Paperny, Global News : Tuesday, February 12, 2013 1:05 PM

The federal government has no plans to help provinces with costs associated with its new rules on how to deal with mentally ill offenders.

Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled legislation that would crack down on people found not criminally responsible due to mental disorders. It would establish a “high risk” classification for those who have committed serious crimes and shift emphasis to victim impact when determining how long someone should stay in custody.

If courts and review boards take this legislation to heart it could mean more offenders in provincial forensic hospitals for a longer period of time.

Ottawa won’t pay for them.

Full story here.

Crackdown on mentally ill offenders could overwhelm strained system, critics charge

Anna Mehler Paperny, Global News : Tuesday, February 12, 2013 1:00 PM

Ottawa’s plan to crack down on mentally ill offenders could accomplish the opposite of its intent, critics say – pushing more people with mental illness into a prison system unable to treat them, and putting seriously ill patients in makeshift, less secure accommodation in overflowing forensic hospital wings.

Full story here.