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Van Dongen backs scrapping 'dead time'

B.C.’s solicitor general is thrilled the federal government is planningto eliminate two-for-one 'dead time' for criminals in pre-trial custody.

B.C.’s solicitor general is thrilled the federal government is planning to eliminate two-for-one “dead time” for criminals in pre-trial custody.

Double or even triple credit was introduced by judges decades ago to compensate alleged offenders for the lack of rehabilitation programs that were available to them in pre-trial custody.

“(Dead time) has created delays and inefficiencies in our justice system,” said John van Dongen, who visited Ottawa in February to lobby for the elimination of double-time credit. While there, he heard from police chiefs who told him that some criminals were requesting to be held in isolation so that they could qualify for triple credit.

“The system is being manipulated,” van Dongen said. “It was hurting the proper functioning of our justice system by creating incentives for delays.”

Van Dongen said the conditions in pre-trial facilities are much improved and alleged offenders have access to a wide range of rehabilitation programs.

 
 
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