A civil rights group calling for changes to how Canadian courts handle bail hearings says answers may be found on Prince Edward Island.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association released a study last week that shows more than half the inmates in provincial jails across the country are awaiting trial, and have not been convicted of anything. But the study shows a very different situation on P.E.I., with fewer than 20 per cent of inmates awaiting trial, the lowest remand rate in the country.
Charles Thompson, a justice of the peace who conducts bail hearings, in Charlottetown, also believes the rest of Canada can take some lessons from P.E.I.'s justice system.
"I think they should be looking at, considering the fact, that there is the Charter of Rights," said Thompson.
"Really they should be paying more attention to it in determining whether or not an accused is kept in custody. I don't think it's necessarily just a court issue, an awful lot of it has to do with the police, and generally speaking police are doing a very good job."
More than 200 people were held on remand in P.E.I. jails last year, staying in custody an average of 33 days before going to trial.