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Dangerous and high-risk offender legislation in Canada: an examination of history, offenders and process

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Dangerous Offender (DO) legislation aimed at managing dangerous and high-risk individuals in Canada began development in the 1940s, and has since been the subject of considerable debate. DOs face Canada’s most severe measure for offenders: the indeterminate sentence. Alternatives for dangerous people who do not meet statutory requirements for DO designation and indeterminate sentences, but still pose a serious threat to society include: Long-Term Offender (LTO) designation and the Long-Term Supervision Order (LTSO). This high-risk legislation involves complicated and lengthy legal processes, and is widely misunderstood by the public and justice system professionals. This project paper aims to thoroughly review, examine and critique dangerous and high-risk legislation and process in Canada; utilizing literature, case law and policy. Historical development, theory, current Criminal Code legislation and process, and research on dangerousness prediction related to specific groups of offenders are examined. Areas for future developments and research are also discussed.
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