Leaders of B.C.’s justice and public safety sector came together for a discussion of services and supports to benefit people with mental-health or substance-use disorders who are in contact with the criminal justice system.
Also at the table were leaders from the health sector, Indigenous justice organizations and clinical experts. Discussion focused on how to improve outcomes while protecting public safety.
Justice Summit participants considered the creation of an action plan, to be negotiated and finalized by November 2017.
Objectives of the plan include co-ordination between mental-health and criminal-justice services of their responses to people in crisis and continuity of care across system transitions that involve criminal justice. These objectives would be pursued in ways that would combat stigma, ensure Indigenous cultural safety and promote trauma-informed practice.
The action plan would also include short- and long-term targets and timelines for reporting on outcomes, as well as cross-sector performance indicators.
A full report of the Justice Summit’s proceedings and recommendations will be delivered to Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris and the chief justices and chief judge of the province's three courts in January.
The report will be also posted online: http://www.justicebc.ca/justice-summits/
- The summit took place at the University of B.C.’s Allard School of Law Nov. 25, 2016.
- The summit considered an action plan that flowed from the sixth Justice Summit held in June 2016. The earlier event was a broad consideration of the challenges surrounding individuals with mental-health or substance-use disorders who engage the criminal justice system and led to identification of priority issues.
- The Justice Reform and Transparency Act requires that a Justice Summit be held at least once a year.
- Attendees at the seventh summit included the judiciary, defence bar, police services, clinicians, health administrators, health subject matter experts, academics, Indigenous organizations, justice services providers, the ministries of Justice, Public Safety, Health, Children and Family Development, Sustainable Development and Social Innovation and Ministry responsible for Housing, as well as the federal government.
- Government is committed to continue and improve supports to individuals and families who are impacted by mental-health challenges and has created a Cabinet Working Group on Mental Health to take stock of existing mental health programs and services and develop a cross-system response to the issue.
Read the proceedings of previous summits: http://www.justicebc.ca/justice-summits/
More about the Justice and Public Safety Council: http://www.justicebc.ca/