Throwing away the keys: the human and social cost of mandatory minimum sentences

Lawyers from Pivot Legal Society are holding a press conference in Ottawa on May 30th to launch their new report, Throwing Away The Keys: The human and social cost of mandatory minimum sentences.

This report is based on interviews with drug users about their involvement within the criminal justice system, and assesses the potential impacts of new mandatory minimum sentences on low-income drug users.

Pivot Legal Society took on this research after the Safe Streets and Communities Act (SSCA), also known as Bill C-10 and the "Omnibus Crime Bill", was passed by Parliament on March 12, 2012. This "tough on crime" approach was justified as a means to increase safety and security of Canadians; but how are mandatory minimum sentences affecting marginalized communities?

The focus of this report examines the potential social and economic impacts on low-income drug users, and explores whether these new provisions are likely to raise constitutional issues (particularly when applied to members of Charter protected groups, such as Aboriginal people and people with disabilities)

The press conference will be taking place in front of the Supreme Court of Canada (301 Wellington St) at 11:00am. Speakers at the press conference will include Former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler and members of Ottawa's own Drug User Advocacy League (DUAL).

Please join local service providers, community groups, and activists in having a presence in front of the Supreme Court of Canada on May 30th. Come out to show that you believe in the human rights, health, and dignity for ALL people who use drugs.

All are welcome to attend the press conference and are encouraged to bring banners/signs! See you on May 30th!

Join the rally on Facebook.