'You get to big numbers in a hurry' - Macleans.ca

‘You get to big numbers in a hurry’


The Parliamentary Budget Officer projects the cost of justice reform.

In his review, Page found the cost of running prisons could go to $9.5 billion annually in 2015-2016 from $4.4 billion this year, and it could require the construction of as many as a dozen new prisons. The act limits the credit a judge can allow for time served and Page said it will add about 159 days to average sentences, bringing the average time in federal custody to 722 days from 563.

But the numbers are much higher in the provincial system. “If you look at average head counts, they are twice as big in the provincial system — 26,000 every year versus 13,000 at the federal level,” he said. “The provinces and the territories carry the weight of the correctional services system in Canada so the impact is going to be enormous on the provinces and territories.”

Mr. Page says Correctional Services Canada didn’t fully cooperate in his investigation. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews claims otherwise and maintains that if Mr. Page “wasn’t getting any information from Correctional Services Canada, he must be making this up.”

The full report is here.