Criminal Justice in Nova Scotia: Beyond 'One Size Fits All'
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number and type of specialized processes in the criminal justice system. The rationale given for the enactment of special provisions for sentencing Aboriginal offenders is that the unique circumstances and social histories of these individuals have given rise to disproportionate rates of imprisonment.
Recently in Nova Scotia, cultural assessments have been requested by the judiciary to assist in sentencing African Nova Scotian offenders. Specialized or problem-solving courts (e.g. domestic violence and mental health courts) have been established in response to the perceived limitations of traditional courts in addressing the complexities of violence in intimate relationships and in responding to accused persons suffering from mental illness or drug addiction.
The purpose of this learning event is to provide a forum for participants to gain a greater understanding of:
- The rationale for creating specialized justice processes as an alternative to the traditional justice system;
- The ways in which these alternatives have been implemented in Nova Scotia; and
- The strengths and weaknesses of the approaches, the challenges and opportunities for improving their effectiveness.
For further information and to register, visit our website www.nscja.ca