It should be common sense that police shouldn’t be allowed to release records for people found innocent, who were acquitted, or who weren’t even charged. Ontario legislative thought so too, as they unanimously agreed to pass a law banning this.
Unfortunately, regulations haven’t been put in place to act on this legislature. Toronto criminal lawyer Edward Prutschi states this currently poses a problem because people don’t know if or when these records could appear.
Even if someone was found innocent or if charges were never brought forth, the records on the investigation could still show up on a background check. Having a criminal record can be devastating and ruin lives. The issue is that these people have records, but they aren’t criminals. Prutschi says they could still face the same consequences as criminal though, especially when applying for jobs, trying to cross borders, or volunteering for certain organizations. He believes it’s totally inappropriate and that the government needs to act now.
Read more from Edward Prutschi in the media.