New numbers show New Brunswick continues to have high remand rates


New numbers from Statistics Canada show a higher remand for New Brunswick than 10 years ago. A report showed roughly 2,218 were on remand awaiting sentencing or additional court appearance, while only 1,387 were actually sentenced.Data found that 2,607 were sentenced 10 years ago, with 2,097 remanded. The report also found the number of individuals remanded went from 32 per cent to 62 per cent. The national average is 71 per cent.“It’s a worrying statistic,” said Shakir Rahim from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.“If any of us are being charged with a criminal offence, without this right, we may not be able to get back to our normal life and get our names cleared.” Story continues below advertisement Rahim told Global News on Monday that he’s noticed that wait times throughout the system have begun to increase.“That prolonged period of time is a difficult time because the person doesn’t have as much freedom as those who are already serving sentences in lower security environments,” Dr. Mary Ann Campbell, the University of New Brunswick Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies. Trending Now “This is why if this person is found guilty, that time is a part of their sentence.”COVID-19 slowed incarcerationsNumbers throughout the pandemic showed rates across Canada dropped significantly, with 227,124 total custodial admissions from their reporting period of 2019-2020. The next period saw numbers drop to 143,975, the lowest on record, going back to 2,000.Both Rahim and Campbell said that there became a remand hesitancy during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many courts letting those non-dangerous offenders back on the streets until their next court appearance.New Brunswick saw its numbers go from 5,232 to 3,724 during the early portions of the pandemic. incarceration rates per 100,00 adults for New Brunswick. Statistics Canada “If you only have a few people serving a role and many of them go down because of COVID, then it would add constraints. Especially amongst the judiciary themselves because we only have so many of them,” told Campbell. Story continues below advertisement “The ability to hand off trials in the middle of things is not realistic.”Numbers dropped slightly in the federal system during that time. 1,565 fewer admissions were handled between 2019-2020 and 2020-21.Experts believe that the increased use of court appearances via video could potentially help speed up the process. &copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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