Research on Justice Issues

The Research and Statistics Division (RSD) at the Department of Justice produces and communicates high-quality empirical research and statistical analysis using social science methods as an integral part of the evidence-based policy process.

While some reports are written in-house by RSD researchers, other reports are written by external subject matter specialists, who are contracted by the RSD to answer specific questions in their fields of expertise.

Below is a list of reports produced by the RSD. Click on the hyperlink to view reports that have been posted to the website or click on the email address to request a pdf copy.

2017

Considerations for determining parenting arrangements: factors that influence outcomes
This document consists of three parts. Section one describes important findings on the effects of divorce on children from a risk and resiliency perspective and lists a number of important considerations. Section two explores the impact of time spent parenting, providing a description of how time has been conceptualized in divorce/separation and parenting research, and lists the core themes/findings from the academic research. Finally, section three lists and describes common factors that are important for child outcomes.
The Costs of Charter Litigation - Alan Young
In this brief report, the author will address the issue of whether Charter challenges are, in fact, beyond the means of ordinary Canadians by looking at the costs incurred both in challenges this lawyer has advanced and in other challenges for which there is some information regarding the costs of the challenge.

JustFacts: Sentencing in Canada

JustFacts: Indigenous overrepresentation in the criminal justice system

2016

JustFacts: Indigenous overrepresentation in provincial/territorial corrections

JustFacts: Compliance with Family Support Obligations

JustFacts: Economic Consequences of Divorce and Separation

JustFacts: Family Law Cases

JustFacts: Family Structure in Canada

JustFacts: Mobility and Relocation in the Context of Family Law

JustFacts: Self-Represented Litigants in Family Law

Exemptions from Mandatory Minimum Penalties - Recent Developments in Selected Countries - Yvon Dandurand
This report explores the question of mandatory minimum penalties and their impact on recidivism, the criminal justice process and prisons. It highlights the application of mandatory minimum penalties and reviews the experience of selected jurisdictions where exemptions or other forms of relief have been instituted.
The Federal Victim Surcharge - The 2013 Amendments and their Implementation in Nine Jurisdictions - Moira A. Law
This report examines how the 2013 amendments to the Criminal Code, which doubled the amount of the federal victim surcharge (FVS) and removed judicial discretion of a waiver, have been enforced in several jurisdictions.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Youth Criminal Justice in Canada: A Compendium of Statistics
This compendium presents an overview of statistical information on Canada’s youth criminal justice system, including information on youth contact with the police, youth courts, and the youth correctional system from 1999 (a few years before implementation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, YCJA, 2003) to the most recent year with available data.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Forensic Mental Health, FASD, and neurocognitive disorders roundtable - Kaitlyn McLachlan, Ph.D., C. Psych.
Justice Canada hosted a roundtable of experts to explore how criminal justice decision makers might obtain information about an accused person’s neurocognitive disabilities using the forensic mental health system.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Programming Responses for Intimate Partner Violence - Lisa Heslop, Tim Kelly, Randal David, Katreena Scott
This report was undertaken to provide a better understanding of the current landscape of programming aimed at perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) across Canada.
Mandatory Minimum Penalties in Canada: Analysis and Annotated Bibliography - Kyle Coady and Kari Glynes Elliott
This document summarizes core findings on Mandatory Minimum Penalties (MMPs) in Canada. Information and evidence are drawn from refereed publications and journals, policy/position papers, and key monographs; these publications focus on the Canadian MMP experience. This paper reviews core research findings and ideas on MMPs in Canada by showing how they are defined, their history, how they are used, and how they impact key legal system players in the sentencing process.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca

2015

"Broken Bail" in Canada: How We Might Go About Fixing It - Cheryl Marie Webster
This study explores the phenomenon of Canada’s "broken bail system", which the author identifies as not only the bail process (i.e. the criminal procedure of determining whether an accused detained by the police will be released or formally detained until trial) but also remand (i.e. the detention of these accused in provincial/territorial custody awaiting either a bail determination or, having forgone or been denied bail, the resolution of their court case).

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
The Mentally Ill: How They Became Enmeshed in the Criminal Justice System and How We Might Get Them Out - The Hon. Mr. Justice Richard D. Schneider
This report discusses how individuals with mental illness become involved in the criminal justice system and presents strategies to reduce their over-representation.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Child Advocacy Centres and Child and Youth Advocacy Centres in Canada: National Operational Survey Results
The Department of Justice designed this study to collect operational data such as the CACs/CYACs stage of development, the services they provide, and how they provide these services. To do this, an electronic survey was developed to answer the following research questions:
  • What services are provided/will be provided by CACs/CYACs across Canada?
  • How are/will services be provided to clients of CACs/CYACs in Canada?
If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Building Legal Literacy, Preventing Crisis - Sarah McCoubrey
A report that focuses on improving legal literacy to improve access to justice and develop trust in the criminal justice system.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca

2014

The Examination and Cross-Examination of Children in Criminal Proceedings: A Review of the International Literature - Tamara Jordan
This report examines how seven countries, Australia, New Zealand, England and Wales, the United States, South Africa, Israel and Norway, handle the examination and cross-examination of child witnesses in the criminal justice system.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca

2013

JustFacts: Children's Advocacy Centres

The Justice System Costs of Administration of Justice Offences in Canada, 2009
The Research and Statistics Division used data from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics to estimate the costs associated with police, court, prosecution, legal aid, and corrections resulting from AOJOs (a suite of offences classified by the common theme of a perpetrator willfully attempting to obstruct the course of justice and/or disobeying various orders sanctioned by the court) committed by both adults and youth.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Police and Judicial Detention and Release Characteristics: Data from the Justice Effectiveness Study - Karen Beattie, André Solecki and Kelly E. Morton Bourgon
The purpose of this research is to provide information regarding the detention and release practices of police and of the court, while also providing data on the characteristics of accused subject to these decisions.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Administration of Justice Offences Among Aboriginal People: Court Officials' Perspective - Mylène Magrinelli Orsi and Sébastien April
This research seeks to learn about the experiences and perceptions of court officials regarding:
  • AOJOs most frequently committed by Aboriginal people—adults and youth;
  • The factors that contribute to the commission of AOJOs among Aboriginal people;
  • Individuals with the most influence on reducing AOJOs among Aboriginal people;
  • Strategies to prevent AOJOs among Aboriginal people.
If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Administration Of Justice Offences: Aboriginal Courtwork Program Clients' Perspective - Mylène Magrinelli Orsi and Sébastien April
Aboriginal courtworkers (hereinafter courtworkers) provide Aboriginal people charged with a criminal offence with information about the criminal justice system, to assist them during the court process and to direct them to the appropriate legal, social and community justice programs. The purpose of this study is to learn the perceptions of ACW program clients with regard to the following:
  1. the most commonly committed AOJOs
  2. the reasons given for these offences
  3. the conditions that were imposed on them by the court, if any.
If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
A Gender Based Analysis of the Services Provided by the Aboriginal Courtwork Program - Mylène Magrinelli Orsi
The main purpose of this research was to identify, from the perspective of courtworkers, the types of services most commonly delivered to male and female clients and any gaps in services that could be provided to male, female and youth clients.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Profiling Aboriginal Women in the Canadian Correctional System – 2010/2011 - Karen Beattie
This report focuses on the representation of Aboriginal women in federal and provincial/territorial correctional institutions, using data mainly from the Integrated Correctional Services Survey (ICSS) and Adult Correctional Services Survey (ACS).

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Description and processing of Individuals found Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder accused of "serious violent offences" - Anne G. Crocker, Ph.D., Michael C. Seto, Ph.D., Tonia L. Nicholls, Ph.D., and Gilles Côté, Ph.D.
At the request of the Department of Justice’s Research and Statistics Division, the authors examined the following questions using National Trajectory Project (NTP) data:
  1. What was the primary psychiatric diagnosis at the time of the index offence?
  2. What were the initial dispositions after the NCRMD verdict for the most serious offence?
  3. How many prior violent and total convictions did persons found NCRMD have, by most serious offence at verdict?
  4. What was the average length of time under the Review Board and in detention?
  5. How many persons found NCRMD for serious violent offences had reoffended while under a Review Board disposition?

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
The Costs of the Youth Criminal Justice System 2010 - Ting Zhang, Ph.D., Josh Hoddenbagh, M.A.
In this study, we examine five major sectors of the youth criminal justice system: police, court, prosecution, legal aid, and youth justice programs and services to estimate the comprehensive costs.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca

2012

Section 810 Peace Bonds: Stakeholder Perceptions and Experiences - André Solecki, MA
This study examines two types of section 810 peace bonds: section 810.1 peace bonds, where there is "fear of a sexual offence on a person less than 16 years of age," otherwise referred to as "sex offence bonds," and section 810.2 peace bonds, where there is "fear of a serious personal injury offence," otherwise referred to as "personal injury bonds."

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
The Economic Impact of Firearm-related Crime in Canada, 2008 - Ting Zhang, Ph.D., Yao Qin
The present study provides estimates of the economic and social costs of firearm-related crime in Canada.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca

2011

Recidivism Among Impaired Drivers - André Solecki, MA
This report examined impaired driving recidivism using the criminal history data of impaired driving offenders.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
Environmental Scan: Risk Factors for Delinquency among Young People from Official Language Minority Communities - Mylène Magrinelli Orsi and Sébastien April
The Forum on Vulnerable Young Francophones in Minority Communities who are at risk of becoming involved with the justice system brought together officials from federal institutions and representatives from community organizations to discuss the needs of this target population.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca

2010

Restitution in Saskatchewan - Susan McDonald, Melissa Northcott and Jacinthe Loubier
This study was initiated to gain a greater understanding of how restitution is working in Saskatchewan and to better understand the application of restitution orders as part of the sentencing process, including their impact on the system, victims and offenders.

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca

2008

The Federal Victim Surcharge in the Northwest Territories - Lisa Ha
This study seeks to answer specific questions about the victim surcharge, which is an additional penalty automatically imposed on offenders at the time of sentencing. Such surcharges are used to help fund programs, services and assistance to victims of crime within the provinces and territories. 2008

If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to rsd-drs@justice.gc.ca
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