Experts note loophole in release of offenders like Myles Sanderson | Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

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Experts note loophole in release of offenders like Myles Sanderson | Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

Knife attacks in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon left 10 dead and 18 injured.

Experts reveal loophole in justice system as Myles Sanderson spent more 100 days unlawfully at large when he was named as a suspect in the September 4 stabbings in Saskatchewan.

Mr. Sanderson's case has sparked scrutiny of how he managed to stay free in the months before the attacks, and how authorities should deal with violent criminals who break the rules of their release.


Myles Sanderson had been released into the community in August 2021 on a statutory release, which takes effect when federal criminals have completed two-thirds of their sentence from prison.

Four months later, he was convicted of lying about his living conditions and his release was suspended.

Myles Sanderson's parole papers show he asked the board to overturn his suspension, saying he had stayed sober and found work.

It was not the first time that he was found guilty of violating these rules. He was convicted of 59 offenses, 28 of which were for breach of bail conditions or failure to appear in court.

At the end of May, the Correctional Service of Canada ruled that Myles Sanderson should not be released and a parole officer issued a warrant for Mr. Sanderson's arrest.

Myles Sanderson is one of two suspects in the September 4 stabbing attacks in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan that left 10 dead and 18 injured.

After a four-day manhunt, he was arrested and died in custody after RCMP said he was in medical distress.

His brother, Damien Sanderson, who has also been named as a suspect, was also killed.

The Correctional Service of Canada says that in cases like this, those responsible for the prison communicate with the offender's contacts to try to locate him, but that it is up to the police to capture those who violate their parole.

“We will work closely with the police to ensure they have all the information necessary to execute the warrant and bring the offender back,” a Correctional Service Canada spokesperson said in a statement.

Former London, Ontario police sergeant Scott Blandford says this is a problem, as warrants for these suspects are among countless others landing on their desks to be processed.

It's a finger-pointing exercise, he says. Thousands of warrants are issued every day in Canada, and the resources available to deal with them are limited.

Brian Sauve, president of the National Police Federation, which represents members of RCMP, says that unless it is a high profile case, parole authorities do not proactively contact police when a criminal is in custody. on the run.

“What often happens is that the offender's name appears in a database. They don't pick up the phone.

— Brian Sauve, President of the National Police Federation

For her part, Professor of Criminology at Metropolitan University of Toronto, Jane Sprott, supports this release period for offenders. These give them time to reintegrate into society after living in a tightly controlled environment. they are given a period of reintegration support, she says via email.

She adds that if not, the option is to cold release them without any supervision or reintegration after their prison sentence, which increases their chances of recidivism.

With information from The Canadian Press

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