Ottawa launches consultations ahead of criminal justice system reforms

The Justice Department wants Canadians to think beyond their preconceived notions about crimes as the Liberal government readies long-promised reforms to the criminal justice system.

The interactive online consultation includes a survey asking participants to weigh in on a number of stories, such as a young single father caught stealing 800-dollars from his employer, resulting in a criminal record that makes it harder for him to find a job.

The survey notes that theft under five-thousand dollars makes up a quarter of all Criminal Code offences and asks participants to consider whether the judge should have considered other options.

Throughout the exercise, there are statistics and other details meant to deepen understanding of the issues being addressed.

Carissima Mathen, a University of Ottawa law professor, says the consultation could help to educate the public while at the same time preparing them for potentially controversial criminal justice reforms on the horizon.

The online consultation ends on January 31st.