McGuinty Government Hires More Prosecutors



    Over 150 Crown Attorneys Added Since 2003

    BRAMPTON, ON, Dec. 6 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is making our
communities safer by hiring 40 new full-time Crown attorneys and 15 new
full-time support staff across the province, Attorney General Chris Bentley
announced today at the former Peel County Courthouse.
    "Our Crown attorneys make dozens of decisions each day in pursuit of
justice," said Bentley. "These additional people will make our criminal
justice system more effective, adding to our capacity to prosecute more than
half a million charges every year."
    Nine of the 40 additional Crown attorneys will be assigned to Brampton in
response to the Peel Region's growing population, bringing their total number
of Crowns to 55. The addition of these new resources will help ensure
Ontario's court system continues to operate smoothly in response to more
charges, more complex cases and demographic shifts. The new prosecutors are
expected to be in place early in the New Year.
    "Provincial funding has already put more police officers on the street,"
said Peel Region Police Chief Mike Metcalf. "Our officers work hard each day
to enforce laws and keep our community safe. The addition of more prosecutors
will help ensure that our work is carried through the justice system
efficiently."

    Since 2003, the McGuinty government has added more than 150 new Crown
attorneys, including:
    
    -  Seventy-two guns and gangs taskforce Crown attorneys
    -  Six new anti-gun smuggling Crowns who will work province-wide
    -  Eight new high-risk offender Crowns who will work province-wide.


    Disponible en français

                      www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca
    


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    KEEPING ONTARIO'S JUSTICE SYSTEM OPERATING EFFICIENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY

    The McGuinty government is committed to safe and strong communities. That
means being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime, while helping to
ensure Ontario's justice system has the capacity to meet today's evolving
needs. The government is responding with an innovative and multi-faceted
approach, which includes hiring 40 new full-time Crown attorneys and 15 new
full-time support staff to be deployed across the province.

    Specialized Crowns
    ------------------

    Since 2003, the McGuinty government has added more than 150 Crown
prosecutors to the system, including specialized Crowns with expertise in
certain areas of criminal law. Specialized Crowns include:

    
    -  GTA Guns and Gangs Task Force - The McGuinty government has expanded
       the task force three times since October 2005 for a total of 72
       specialized guns and gangs Crown prosecutors and their support staff.
       The task force is made up of police officers, Crown prosecutors and
       staff from the Victim/Witness Assistance Program who work together
       from the first day of an investigation.

    -  Anti-Gun Smuggling Crowns - Six new anti-gun smuggling Crowns
       announced by the Premier on July 27, 2007 will focus on tracking the
       movement of restricted or prohibited firearms into and across Ontario.
       These specialized Crowns will be available province-wide to work with
       police for better coordination and collaboration in investigating and
       prosecuting gun runners, smugglers and thieves.

    -  High Risk Offender Crowns - Eight new Crowns announced by the Premier
       on August 16, 2007 will work in every region of the province with
       victim service workers, case presentation specialists and support
       staff to advise police during investigations and streamline the
       complex high-risk offender designation process. This will cut down on
       the time it takes to start a dangerous or long-term offender hearing.
    

    Added Court Resources
    ---------------------

    The government is doing all it can to help ensure Ontario's court system
has the capacity to handle the increasing volume and complexity of cases.

    
    -  More judges and more justices of the peace - Since 2003 the McGuinty
       government has:
       -  appointed 69 judges
       -  appointed 113 justices of the peace
       -  designated 29 per-diem retired justices of the peace to hear cases
          in municipal Provincial Offences Act courts.

    -  Modern, secure and accessible courts - The McGuinty government has
       taken a new and innovative approach by:
       -  building major crime courtrooms at 361 University Avenue and 2201
          Finch Avenue West in Toronto as part of a $51 million anti-guns and
          gangs strategy
       -  committing more than $1 billion over five years to build new
          courthouses and improve existing infrastructure.


    Disponible en français

                      www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Sheamus Murphy, Ministry of the Attorney
General, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the
Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210

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