Alberta not criminally responsible project: Rates of persons found NCRMD and absolute discharges in Alberta following the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act

  • Andrew M. Haag Director, Forensic Research, Northern Alberta Forensic Program at Alberta Hospital Edmonton; Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Alberta Psychiatry Department, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • Katelyn Wonsiak Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • David Tyler Dunford Forensics Program at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Keywords: High-Risk Accused, Mental Health, Review Board

Abstract

In 2014, then-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper passed the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act into law, which gave Canadian courts and Review Boards new powers to protect the public from particularly dangerous mentally ill offenders. The most controversial change to the law included the designation of the High-Risk Accused. Once designated by the courts as a High-Risk Accused, that individual is barred from leaving a forensic hospital except for urgent medical reasons. In this article, the authors assess the impact of the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act on the forensic mental health system in Alberta, Canada. The findings indicate that the legislation did not lead to any meaningful changes in the Alberta forensic mental health system in terms of absolute discharges and incoming persons found not criminally responsible.

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Published
2021-09-17
How to Cite
Haag, A. M., Wonsiak, K., & Dunford, D. T. (2021). Alberta not criminally responsible project: Rates of persons found NCRMD and absolute discharges in Alberta following the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act. Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being, 6(3), 121-126. https://doi.org/10.35502/jcswb.207
Section
Original Research