Alberta's provincial government announced new measures to target violent crime yesterday (Sept. 11).

Among the steps announced were changes to bail protocol for Crown prosecutors.

Justice Minister Mickey Amery explained the new protocol.

"This document provides advice to prosecutors to use when arguing for what bail conditions, if any at all, should be sought for accused individuals. The updated protocols place a greater priority on public safety at bail hearings for repeat violent offenders. Many of these individuals pose a significant risk of reoffending if they are released on bail. Significant enough to keep them off our streets while their cases are being tried."

 Amery made reference to federal legislation he hopes to see come to fruition to target the same issue.

"Bail reform is, of course, ultimately a matter for the federal Justice Minister Arif Virani to act on, and while we wait for federal bail reform legislation, Bill C48, to hopefully become law, we will do what we can as a province to support our prosecutors in effectively dealing with offenders who have repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect of their fellow Albertans and the rule of law."

Another measure announced was the creation of "targeted prosecution units" in Alberta's urban centres, with prosecutors working with police to focus on issues specific to certain communities, including drug houses and the availability of social supports.

Amery also announced an end to the “triage practice protocol" introduced in 2017 that was meant to address the strain on the court system at the time. 

The aim, according to the provincial government, is to ensure that all viable criminal charges are prosecuted.

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