Public Safety That Works
A sense of security is a fundamental need that must be met for individuals and communities to thrive. The Green Party of Manitoba believes that, to fully respect the right of all Manitobans to feel safe and secure in their communities, we must take a holistic and preventative approach to public safety that focuses on tackling the root causes of crime.
Building strong communities is our first and best line of defence in long-term crime prevention. Factors such as poverty, addiction, and social exclusion contribute to rising crime rates. An effective public safety strategy must focus first on ensuring that people receive the support they need to prosper in their communities. This involves addressing the social and economic inequities in our province, such as reducing poverty rates by introducing a universal basic income, and increasing support for community-based social programming.
Furthermore, we believe that true justice occurs when the most effective measures are taken to ensure that punishments for crimes do not make offenders more likely to reoffend. This will be accomplished by developing a restorative justice program that focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community.
In addition, we support other alternatives to the traditional court systems where appropriate, as well as alternatives to incarceration such as restitution, community service and community-based sentencing (see the Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba). We will also support post-release interventions that have proven success rates of improving the outcomes of individuals leaving incarceration and thus reducing recidivism rates.
In combination, these measures will reduce crime rates and recidivism, reduce the burden on the police and the justice system, and reduce the very high costs associated with prosecution and incarceration.
To ensure the safety of Manitobas by taking an approach to public safety that works, the Green Party of Manitoba will:
Support measures that address demonstrated social and economic risk factors
- Implement poverty reduction measures such as providing a Basic Income to protect Manitobans from economic risk factors associated with crime
- Ensure greater access to quality mental health and addictions services to reduce drug-related crime
- Promote culturally appropriate Indigenous programming focused on building resilience and overcoming intergenerational trauma and the legacy of colonialism
Support youth and family focused community programming
- Support evidence-based crime prevention initiatives that focus on early childhood social development and building healthy relationships
- Ensure youth have access to quality, structured recreation and arts programming
- Support programming that focuses on promoting healthy family relationships and helping parents build skills and access resources
Provide greater support for initiatives generated at the community level
- Provide support for community-based safety initiatives
- Engage in regular consultation with safe community organizations to ensure community-appropriate responses to crime intervention
Develop and fund a restorative justice program
- Appoint a Manitoba restorative justice advisory council
- Develop a restorative justice program that focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large
- Develop policies respecting the use of restorative justice programs
- Fund restorative justice programs to a level that represents at least 5% of the total budget of the Department of Justice
Increase the reliance on alternative courts
- Increase investment in mental health courts, drug treatment courts, and FASD courts to more effectively support offenders and reduce involvement in the criminal justice system
Support pre- and post release programs to reduce recidivism
- Provide appropriate and culturally relevant services to inmates on issues such as substance abuse, family and domestic violence, and overcoming the experience of having been sexually abused
- Support pre- and post-release interventions that focus on education, employment and reintegration into society