Ontario’s bail courts are in for a potential revolution if the “Bail Directive-Judicial Interim Release” memo becomes widely adopted. These new laws and regulations would finally bring Ontario in line with other provinces.
Edward Prutschi believes that whenever possible, an accused person should be released from jail while they await bail hearing. Only when public safety is at risk should minimally invasive conditions, like house arrest, be attached.
Right now bail requires surety, meaning that most marginalized individuals accused of a crime are stuck in jail until their trail. Marginalized citizens don’t have a long list of people that are able to provide surety for bail, don’t have cars to get to the court, don’t have the ability to get last minute childcare or call out to work. It leaves radicalized, impoverished, and mentally ill accused to languish in jail. It goes against the core belief of the judicial system that accused are innocent until proven guilty.
Currently, in Brampton criminal courts and throughout Ontario, those released on bail have stricter conditions imposed on them than the probationary conditions of those who have been proven guilty. Now it remains to see if the memo will be implemented or not.