[{"label":"Home","url":"https:\/\/www.pbo-dpb.ca\/en"},{"label":"Publications","url":"https:\/\/www.pbo-dpb.ca\/en\/publications"},{"label":"The Federal Cost of Minimum Sentences","url":"https:\/\/www.pbo-dpb.ca\/en\/publications\/RP-2122-035-S--federal-cost-minimum-sentences--cout-federal-peines-minimales"}]

The Federal Cost of Minimum Sentences

Read (PDF)
Published on March 30, 2022 PDF

Minimum sentences require judges to impose a minimum penalty on persons convicted of a specific crime. Minimum sentences can result in judges issuing longer sentences. The issuance of longer sentences results in more inmates in federal custody which, in turn, increases the costs incurred by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).

This report focuses on the minimum sentence for “Possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition”. Persons convicted of “Possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition” in each year continue to be sentenced to a total of 1,162 more years in federal custody than they were before the minimum was increased. The total cost associated with the additional 684 persons in custody and 467 persons on parole at a given point in time as a result of this minimum sentence is estimated to be $98 million/year. The effect of this minimum sentence persists despite the minimum sentence having been declared null and void by the courts.

It is difficult to draw conclusions about the impact of other minimum sentences. It is also unclear, what effect, if any, the repeal of a minimum sentence would have on the severity of sentencing.

Highlight

  • Persons convicted of “Possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition” in each year continue to be sentenced to a total of 1,162 more years in federal custody than they were before the minimum sentence was increased. The total cost associated with the additional 684 persons in custody and 467 persons on parole at a given point in time as a result of this minimum sentence is estimated to be $98 million each year.


Communications

Quote

  • The total cost associated with the additional 684 persons in custody and 467 persons on parole as a result of this minimum sentence is estimated to be $98 million each year.

Yves Giroux
Parliamentary Budget Officer

Infographics

News Release

{"id":32,"created_at":"2022-03-28T11:53:18-04:00","updated_at":"2022-03-30T09:02:19-04:00","slug":"pbo-estimate-the-minimum-sentence-to-cost-98-million-each-year-le-dpb-estime-que-la-peine-minimale-coutera-98-millions-de-dollars-par-annee","title_en":"PBO estimate the minimum sentence to cost $98 million each year","title_fr":"Le DPB estime que la peine minimale co\u00fbtera 98 millions de dollars par ann\u00e9e","body_en":"The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) today released his analysis of the Federal Cost of Minimum Sentences. This report focuses on the minimum sentence for \u201cPossession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition\u201d.\n\nMinimum sentences require judges to impose a minimum penalty on persons convicted of a specific crime. Minimum sentences can result in judges issuing longer sentences. The issuance of longer sentences results in more inmates in federal custody over time which, in turn, increases the costs incurred by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).\n\nPersons convicted of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition in each year continue to be sentenced to a total of 1,162 more years in federal custody than they were before the minimum sentence was increased. According to Yves Giroux, PBO, \u201cthe total cost associated with the additional 684 persons in custody and 467 persons on parole as a result of this minimum sentence is estimated to be $98 million each year.\u201d\n\nIt is unclear, what effect, if any, the repeal of a minimum sentence would have on the severity of sentencing. The total duration of sentences was not discernably affected by the minimum being declared unconstitutional in 2015.","body_fr":"Le directeur parlementaire du budget (DPB) a publi\u00e9 aujourd\u2019hui son analyse du co\u00fbt f\u00e9d\u00e9ral des peines minimales. Le rapport porte sur la peine minimale pour \u00ab possession d\u2019une arme \u00e0 feu prohib\u00e9e ou \u00e0 autorisation restreinte avec des munitions \u00bb.\n\nLes peines minimales obligent les juges \u00e0 imposer une sanction minimale aux personnes reconnues coupables d\u2019un crime donn\u00e9. Elles peuvent les amener \u00e0 leur infliger des peines plus longues. L\u2019imposition de peines plus longues se traduit par un plus grand nombre de d\u00e9tenus sous responsabilit\u00e9 f\u00e9d\u00e9rale, ce qui augmente les co\u00fbts engag\u00e9s par le Service correctionnel du Canada (SCC).\n\nChaque ann\u00e9e, les personnes reconnues coupables de \u00ab possession d\u2019une arme \u00e0 feu prohib\u00e9e ou \u00e0 autorisation restreinte avec des munitions \u00bb continuent d\u2019\u00eatre condamn\u00e9es \u00e0 passer 1 162 ann\u00e9es de plus dans un \u00e9tablissement f\u00e9d\u00e9ral qu\u2019avant l\u2019augmentation de la peine minimale. Selon Yves Giroux, DPB, \u00ab le co\u00fbt total associ\u00e9 aux 684 personnes de plus en d\u00e9tention et aux 467 personnes en lib\u00e9ration conditionnelle [\u00e0 la suite de l\u2019imposition de la peine minimale] est estim\u00e9 \u00e0 98 millions de dollars par ann\u00e9e \u00bb.\n\nOn ne sait pas exactement quel effet, le cas \u00e9ch\u00e9ant, l\u2019abrogation de la peine minimale aurait sur la s\u00e9v\u00e9rit\u00e9 des peines. En 2015, la peine minimale a \u00e9t\u00e9 d\u00e9clar\u00e9e inconstitutionnelle, mais cette d\u00e9cision n\u2019a pas influ\u00e9 de fa\u00e7on perceptible sur la dur\u00e9e totale des peines.","release_date":"2022-03-30T09:00:00-04:00","is_published":"2022-03-30T09:02:19-04:00","internal_id":"COM-2122-032","permalinks":{"en":{"website":"https:\/\/www.pbo-dpb.ca\/en\/blog\/news-releases--communiques-de-presse\/pbo-estimate-the-minimum-sentence-to-cost-98-million-each-year-le-dpb-estime-que-la-peine-minimale-coutera-98-millions-de-dollars-par-annee"},"fr":{"website":"https:\/\/www.pbo-dpb.ca\/fr\/blog\/news-releases--communiques-de-presse\/pbo-estimate-the-minimum-sentence-to-cost-98-million-each-year-le-dpb-estime-que-la-peine-minimale-coutera-98-millions-de-dollars-par-annee"}},"pivot":{"publication_id":659,"news_release_id":32}}