Vancouver’s Downtown Community Court, the first of its kind in Canada, is turning five years old.
There isn’t much data available on how successful the DCC has been, but property crime has dropped by more than 20 per cent in the city since 2008.
Former Attorney General Wally Oppal believes that is not a coincidence.
“It’s really counterproductive to send people who are addicted to drugs over and over again,” he says.
“You do have to send a lot of people to jail in order to protect the public; however a lot of these people can be rehabilitated or cured. In those circumstances it’s better to cure them than put them through the system again.”
A government website says the court deals with about 1,500 offenders a year.