Support for Review of Bail Office Inefficiencies

Resolution Year: 
2015

WHEREAS A presiding Justice of the Peace, in Alberta, performs the following services: bail hearings, Search Warrants, Production Orders, Emergency Protection Orders; and

WHEREAS Alberta Police agencies and detachments throughout the Province are required to access Presiding Justices situated at bail offices in only Calgary and Edmonton after hours, on weekends and statutory holidays. And, each such bail office is staffed by a single Justice at any given time; and

WHEREAS in many instances access is conducted remotely through the use of telecommunication devices, with wait times for call backs a long standing issue resulting in increased costs and investigative inefficiencies to police services; and

WHEREAS provincial courts in some jurisdictions dissuade accepting fresh arrest prisoners for morning court appearances and provincial court judges are routinely unavailable for afternoon court sessions, resulting in a strain on Police resources, and a slow down in prisoner processing; and

WHERAS there are significant procedural inconsistencies between Justices resulting in investigative delays and the further downloading of costs to police services.

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Association of Police Governance calls upon the Government of Alberta to:

- Consult with police agencies to identify challenges experienced when engaging the bail offices;
- Identify and require consistency of process as it relates to the submission of judicial documents;
- Adequately staff bail offices to ensure timely access to justice for both the offender and the Crown; and
- Establish and monitor measurable benchmarks for service.

Response: 

Support for Review of Bail Office Inefficiencies. A review of the Bail Offices' operations and identification of areas requiring improved efficiencies in service delivery is underway. A working group has been formed and their first meeting is being planned. The working group will be examining issues such as service improvements and the scheduling of Justices of the Peace in the Hearing Offices.