WHEREAS many offenders convicted of crimes who suffer from serious mental illness are sent to prison;
WHEREAS the best evidence shows this to be counter-productive both for the prison system and offenders themselves;
WHEREAS this is not a cost effective way of dealing with mentally ill citizens as the prison system lacks the capacity to treat such offenders, who often increase the burdens on prison staff and facilities;
WHEREAS Canadians are increasingly supportive of treating mental illness instead of punishing it;
WHEREAS experts like UVic Law Professor Michelle Lawrence argue it is more effective to do this for the legal system;
WHEREAS the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec have failed to address this issue;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada of urge the Government of Canada to introduce legislation to allow mentally ill offenders to seek treatment for their disorder(s) as an alternative to a custodial sentence or other punishment.
Contact: John Moody