The Docket – Episode 6: Bail, Police Record Checks and the Presumption of Innocence

July 25, 2014

The presumption of innocence is the golden thread that runs through the criminal justice system. When a person is accused of a criminal offence they are presumed to be innocent.

The John Howard Society of Ontario recently released two reports related to the presumption of innocence.

The first report exposed systemic problems with Canada’s bail system – miss-use of police and crown discretion to release, the over reliance on sureties, the imposition of harsh and punitive conditions and delays in obtaining a bail hearing.

The second report exposed the shocking practice of police disclosure of the personal information of people who were never found guilty of any offence.

Is the presumption of innocence – a right guaranteed in the Charter – dying a death by a thousand cuts?

Leo and I sit down to talk with the John Howard Society of Ontario’s Michelle Keast (Director of Research, Policy & Program Development) and Jacqueline Tasca (policy analyst) to talk about the reports, their work and why the erosion of the presumption of innocence matters.

Follow the John Howard Society of Ontario at: @reducingcrime

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