I know very little about CPIC other than what it is supposed to do and how it works. It seems to me that it's clearly necessary to have a good retrieval system for criminal records that's up to date and accurate. Whether that means just getting rid of the backlog, it would seem to me that is necessary but insufficient.
I say that because it doesn't sound to me as if CPIC is a system that we should tolerate for many more decades, because it may be one of those circumstances where what we need to do is to build a new system and run, in a sense, a parallel system for a while until we get the new system working properly. As we've mentioned in our submissions to your committee, nobody is suggesting anything but the idea that a criminal record, in most cases, is relevant for the primary and secondary grounds for detention of an accused person. We need to have that information, we need to have it easily, we need to have it in a way that is authoritative, and so on. So we do want a way to get that at the first hearing.
The difficulty at the moment is that, as Professor Webster mentioned, bail hearings are taking multiple appearances in many cases, and those multiple appearances are serving no one. It's not okay to say, well, the person is in jail so it's all right; it's not serving anyone at all. We do have substantial numbers of people—I think Cheryl gave the figures—who are detained in custody and then are released without any...where all charges are withdrawn. Well what's going on there? It's probably a lack of information, and this may contribute to it.
I will say one final thing having to do with this issue about how we, in a sense, try to correct this error. I did mention the fact that this section has been amended, re-amended, and amended again a number of times since 2003. That suggests to me that what we're trying to do is patch holes in a rotting boat, and what we really need to do is to fix it.
If you're looking for analogies what I would suggest is that you look to a completely separate section, 718.21, which has to do with the sentencing of organizations. It lays out, in one section, 10 different factors to be considered, in this case by the judge, in sentencing organizations. Some of them might be seen as mitigating, some would be seen as aggravating, but it gives direction to everybody very clearly all in one section. What we have in 515 is this peculiar thing where everything is added to it.