Repeat violent offenders need harsher sentences, Ross says

The Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women is taking judges in Labrador to task over sentencing practices.

The Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women is taking judges in Labrador to task over sentencing practices.

Council president Linda Ross said violence against women, especially in small Labrador communities, needs to be addressed.

Ross said judges should think twice about releasing someone who is being charged and has had a history of domestic violence.

"Well certainly, for us, one of the issues is they shouldn't be released," Ross told CBC News, "I mean if they're such a risk to re-offend, because they have a history of this, don't put them back in the community."

"They can't be free to walk around and do it again.At issue for us is the judiciary and the judges' sentencing."

She believes once a person has been convicted, they should spend enough time in jail so that they can avail of treatment programs.

Ross said that is often not the case. 

"Try to have programs where they're rehabilitated and try to change their ways. Is it always going to be successful? No, but we have to try," Ross said. 
    
One solution, Ross said is for judges to hand out stiffer sentences to deter violence against women. 

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