Budget officer sounds fiscal alarm on Tory sentencing law

TheGlobeandMail.com – Politics/Ottawa Notebook
Tuesday, June 22, 2010.   Jane Taber

Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page has put a price tag on the Tory’s tougher sentencing law, and it’s a big one.

According to a report released by Mr. Page this morning, the Harper government’s Truth in Sentencing Act will cost federal and provincial governments an additional $8-billion by 2016.

That’s the total cost of constructing new prison facilities on account of the act. The federal cost is projected to be about $1.8-billion, while the provinvial cost is roughly $6.2-billion.

The new law, passed in February, will keep offenders in jail longer, taking away a judge’s discretion to compensate an individual for pre-sentence time spent in detention.

There had been reports that it could cost up to $10-billion.

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