Canadian Lawyer

August 2023

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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SIGN UP TODAY. IT'S FREE. Receive the latest news and updates about the Canadian legal landscape, delivered straight to your inbox regularly. NEWSLETTER SCAN TO LEARN MORE FEATURE 8 CROSS EXAMINED be the "next generation of big thinkers on criminal justice issues in Canada." He asks readers to consider whether the system is amenable to reform or requires a "whole overhaul." His answer to that question, Perrin says, was very different after speaking with people who experienced trauma. "The importance [of the stories] and why I tell stories in Indictment, and not just [include] statistics and studies, is it's quite clear that we're not doing criminal justice policy based on evidence in Canada right now." Perrin's personal story drives much of his work. He became interested in politics because of his passion for policy, and he is disillusioned with the "tough-on-crime" agenda that many WRITINGS ON CRIMINAL LAW Benjamin Perrin's books include: Indictment: The Criminal Justice System on Trial (UTP, forthcoming October 2023) Overdose: Heartbreak and Hope in Canada's Opioid Crisis (Penguin Random House, 2020) Victim Law: The Law of Victims of Crime in Canada (Thomson Reuters, 2017) Criminal Law: Canadian Law, Indigenous Laws & Critical Perspectives (CanLII, 2023) – a free open-access textbook for law students "The justice system is transmitting a tremendous amount of trauma. And if we could just step back and look at ways that we can transform that trauma and harm, we will get better outcomes" B E N J A M I N P E R R I N "A clear, compassionate, and practical vision for a much-needed transformation of the criminal justice system." — J O DY W I L S O N - R AY B O U L D , author of True Reconciliation and Indian in the Cabinet I N D I C T M E N T T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E S Y S T E M O N T R I A L $32.95 Based on first-hand interviews with victims, offenders, and others on the frontlines, Indictment puts the Canadian criminal justice system on trial and proposes a bold new vision of transformative justice. #MeToo. Black Lives Matter. Decriminalize Drugs. No More Stolen Sisters. Stop Stranger Attacks. Do we need more cops or to defund the police? Harm reduction or treatment? Tougher sentences or prison abolition? e debate about Canada's criminal justice system has rarely been so polarized – or so in need of fresh ideas. Indictment brings the heartrending and captivating stories of survivors and offenders alike to the forefront to help us understand why the criminal justice system is facing such an existential crisis. Benjamin Perrin draws on his expertise as a lawyer, former top criminal justice advisor to the prime minister, and law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada to investigate the criminal justice system itself. Indictment critiques the system from a trauma- informed perspective, examining its treatment of victims of crime, Indigenous people and Black Cana- dians, people with substance use and mental health disorders, and people experiencing homelessness, poverty, and unemployment. Perrin also shares insights from others on the frontlines, including prosecutors and defence lawyers, police chiefs, Indigenous leaders, victim support workers, corrections officers, public health experts, gang outreach workers, prisoner and victims' rights advocates, criminologists, psychologists, and leading trauma experts. Bringing forward the voices of margin- alized people, along with their stories of survival and resilience, Indictment shows that a better way is possible. B E N J A M I N P E R R I N is a professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. He has served in the Prime Minister's Office as in-house legal counsel and lead policy advisor on criminal justice and public safety. He was also a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada. He is the author of Overdose: Heartbreak and Hope in Canada's Opioid Crisis. Jacket design by Kathleen Lynch/Black Kat Design Jacket photograph © Claudia Ho Lem I N D I C T M E N T B E N J A M I N P E R R I N ISBN 978-1-4875-0627-8 9 781487 506278 "Indictment dismantled everything I thought I knew about the criminal justice system. is powerful book is a necessary read. Benjamin Perrin utilizes poignant stories of lived experiences to show why the criminal justice system doesn't work for any of us. He offers a beautiful vision for healthy communities that are safe for everyone. Read this book and you will never see things the same way again." C L A R A H U G H E S , O C , O M , six-time Olympic medalist and mental health advocate "A vividly written, long overdue, and deservedly rigorous critique of our legal system. Indictment exposes how neglecting history and ignoring trauma impacts the lives and actions of the people in our country caught up in its machinery, especially Indigenous people. Perrin offers an evidence-based, compassionate, and achievable vision of how this system could earn its name as one serving justice." G A B O R M AT É , author of e Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture "Incarceration or rehabilitation? at is the question. If you keep doing what you have always done, you'll keep getting what you have got – only in this case, it keeps getting worse. is book is alarming and hits close to home as an Indigenous person. Punish- ment, denunciation, and deterrence address the symptoms and not the cause. e ideas for a new path forward in this book must be adopted. Let's make it happen." B O B J O S E P H , author of 21 ings You May Not Know about the Indian Act and Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality "is is an important book that shifts how we think about criminal justice and the people caught up by the system in Canada. Perrin outlines in great detail how we have failed, and provides a new vision for how our systems and our society can do better." A K WA S I OW U S U B E M PA H , Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto, and author of Waiting to Inhale: Cannabis Legalization and the Fight for Racial Justice Law and Society Perrin 7189_Friesens_Indictment_JKT.indd 1 Perrin 7189_Friesens_Indictment_JKT.indd 1 6/30/23 1:11 PM 6/30/23 1:11 PM

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