Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Justice Minister Says Need to Reduce Number of People on Costly Remand

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Justice Minister Says Need to Reduce Number of People on Costly Remand

Article excerpt

Minister says need to reduce people in remand

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REGINA - Justice Minister Gord Wyant says Saskatchewan needs to find ways to reduce the number of people held in custody while awaiting trial.

Wyant says 60 per cent of nearly 1,900 people in custody in the province are in remand.

"Short stays in remand are expensive and there's ... some cause to think that there's a lot of people on remand that don't necessarily need to be there, because they're not a threat to public safety," Wyant said Thursday at the legislature.

There are also a number of people on, what Wyant called, extended remand stays.

He said he's asked the deputy minister of corrections to work with the prosecutions branch to see if there's a way to get those people to trial as quickly as possible, "because they are an expense to our system."

The number of people in custody is being questioned because Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said Tuesday that the province's budget deficit is going to be higher than projected, in part because incarcerations have increased. …

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