2016 National Justice Survey: Canada's Criminal Justice System: Synthesis Report
To inform policy development, public engagement and communications, and to support its mandate, the Department of Justice commissions periodic national surveys to understand Canadians’ perceptions, understanding, and priorities on justice-related issues. Specifically, the study measures awareness, knowledge, and confidence in the criminal justice system and criminal law; examines Canadians’ perceptions of the criminal justice system, the values they want the criminal justice system to reflect, and priorities with respect to criminal justice issues; and Canadians’ expectations of the criminal justice system to support reforms and new initiatives in this area. A large scale survey of 4,200 Canadians on awareness and top-of-mind perceptions, values and expectations regarding the criminal justice system. Survey respondents were randomly sampled from EKOS’ in-house panel (Probit1).
The Survey concluded with the following information: Most respondents in the first survey report having had some exposure to or direct involvement with the criminal justice system, including knowing someone who was a victim or accused or as a witness. About one in four reports having been a victim of a violent or non-violent crime. Some report having been accused or convicted of a crime. One in four is a family member of a victim or someone accused or convicted of a crime. Almost half of Canadians in the first survey indicated they get information about the criminal justice system from their personal experience or the experience of someone they know. Another third get information from professionals in the system.
Respondents tend to believe that crime rates are rising, when they have in fact been declining steadily over the past decade or more, with the exception of a marginal increase in 2015 over 2014. Three in ten understand that the rate has been dropping over the past five years; however, one in five believe it is stagnant and almost half believe it rose over the last five years (when most years there has been a decline). Survey results and focus group discussions highlight Canadians’ views about the importance of crime prevention, rehabilitation and other approaches to sentencing such as restorative justice, as well as the need to separate offenders from society where necessary. There is also strong support for efforts and investment in primary crime prevention to address root causes and reduce the likelihood of crimes being committed before they occur. Canadians welcome information about the current issues with the criminal justice system.
- Publisher - Current Organization Name: Department of Justice Canada
- Publisher - Organization Name at Publication: Department of Justice
- Contributor: EKOS Research Associates Inc
- Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada
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2016 National Justice SurveyEnglish
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