Conditional sentencing and the need for a principled system of non-custodial sanctions

Thumbnail Image
Ikonomov, Daniel Ivanov
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The stated purpose of 'Bill C-41' was to provide courts with more options in an effort to distinguish serious from less serious offences and offenders through the imposition of expanded range of sentencing alternatives. A major step in that direction was the introduction of a new type of sanction, the conditional sentence of imprisonment. In a series of recent decisions the Supreme Court of Canada addressed certain contentious issues surrounding the new sentencing regime. While conditional sentencing was readily embraced by the courts as an alternative to imprisonment, the need to fill the legislative gap in the use of non-custodial sanctions remains. One way to advance Parliament's intent is to develop a system of non-custodial intermediate sanctions, that is sanctions beyond conditional discharge, ordinary probation or small fines, but short of imprisonment. A system of intermediate sanctions is proposed, based on rough equivalencies among sanctions, with reference to a set of detailed sentencing guidelines. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)