Tories reintroduce legislation creating new high-risk designation

OTTAWA – The Harper government has reintroduced legislation aimed at making it more difficult for people found not criminally responsible for crimes to get out from behind bars.

The bill would create a high-risk designation that would keep some offenders in custody, even if they’ve been deemed by a court to have a mental disorder that prevents them from being convicted of a crime.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay says the legislation is designed to protect the public from people found not criminally responsible for their actions.

The legislation is almost a carbon copy of a bill that was introduced by the Conservatives last year, which died on the order paper when the prime minister prorogued Parliament.

If passed into law, the bill will have to be reviewed after five years.

The legislation would also require the justice system to notify victims when an accused person found not criminally responsible is released from custody.