The member says they do not get caught. Let us take a look at who does get caught.
Taking the same population base but looking at those who have been incarcerated and what happens in their first year out, 30% are caught and charged with additional crimes. Again, a number of them are clearly breaches of their parole but others are new crimes. That is the reality. If we look at the longer term, the rate of recidivism is even worse for those who were incarcerated. The rate spreads even more than that 11% to 30%. It has been an effective tool.
There is no question that there are certain crimes for which this should not be used and a couple of them, in fact, are in this bill. It is for that reason and that reason alone that we will be supporting it going to committee. We have every intention of taking out the offensive parts.
Let me deal with those offensive parts. I know there was a question earlier today about the disrespect that the government consistently shows to the judiciary, and this bill is another example of it.
There are a couple of clauses in the bill that would shift discretion from the judiciary to the prosecutory. The way that works is that a prosecutor would decide that a person was going to be charged with a certain offence but would have a choice as to whether he or she were going to proceed by indictment, which is the more serious way to do it, versus summary conviction. If the prosecutor decided that it would be by way of indictment, the judge then would have the use of this tool removed from his or her tool kit. He or she could no longer use it, simply by that decision. Even though the judge at the end of the day might say he or she would not be sending a person to a federal penitentiary and not committing him or her to custody for more than two years, the judge still would not be able to use the conditional sentence simply because of the decision by the prosecutor.
Our system should not function that way. It historically has not functioned that way. We have trusted our judges. I will repeat, as I have so many other times in the House, that we have the absolute right to be proud as legislators and citizens of Canada in knowing that we have one of the best judiciaries in the world. I do not think there are any in the world that are better. I might argue that one or two are peers of ours. But we would be taking away that discretion if we passed this bill, in those two clauses in particular.
There are other clauses in here where clearly conditional sentences, given the right set of facts, I would say in the majority of cases, should apply. If the judge says he or she is not sentencing someone to more than two years, conditional sentencing should still be available to the judiciary in those cases. I will get into that more in committee.