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Despite repeated correspondence from the City of Williams Lake calling for stronger sentencing for prolific and repeat offenders, the judiciary has consistently failed to consider the threat to community safety resulting from their release into our community. Although the availability and proven effectiveness of the Electronic Monitoring Program is well known, prolific offenders are not consistently required to wear an ankle bracelet while on outstanding charges.

Council has argued that the interests of the public have received very little, if any, consideration during the sentencing process. Applying electronic monitoring devices still provides offenders with reasonably limited freedom; this technology does not compromise the safety of the public to the degree that releasing offenders, particularly repeat offenders, into the community without adequate monitoring does. Electronic monitoring upholds offenders’ presumption of innocence, and only involves further policing should conditions not be adhered to. This is an efficient technological solution that is already available.

The judicial system is overburdened, due in large part to repeat offenders. Council has continued to request the courts and judges to take into consideration the community appetite to see stricter penalties applied to these types of criminals, and that they not be released.  At Council’s request, the possibility of a public inquiry to determine why so many prolific offenders with serious charges are constantly released into our community with ineffective deterrents to re-offend, is now being pursued by our MLA and our MP.

The following resolution is being considered by Council as part of its ongoing lobbying efforts:

WHEREAS Williams Lake has repeatedly called for stronger sentencing for prolific and repeat offenders being released into the community;

AND WHEREAS the judiciary has consistently failed to adequately ensure community safety when releasing prolific and repeat offenders on conditions;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Williams Lake petition the provincial and federal governments to require that courts and judges take into consideration the critical need to apply stricter penalties and ensure adequate incarceration of prolific criminals, including consistent use of electronic monitoring when released on conditions.

The City of Williams Lake is seeking public feedback to strengthen these efforts.
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