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First, the characteristics of cases disposed of in adult criminal courts and their outcomes for 2008/2009 are presented.
Second, recent trends in the number of cases disposed in adult criminal courts and the amount of time it takes to dispose of cases are discussed, along with the characteristics of lengthy cases.
by Jennifer Thomas Characteristics of adult criminal court cases, 2008/2009 Five offences represent half of caseload Accused persons often young and male Case outcomes Two–thirds of cases had a finding of guilt Sentencing in adult criminal courts Custody sentence frequently ordered in cases involving offences against the administration of justice Most imprisonment terms are relatively short Use of imprisonment varied considerably across the country Probation likely for crimes against the person Fine sentences have slightly decreased, but the amounts are getting higher Case processing in adult criminal courts Cases in adult criminal courts are starting to get shorter What types of cases take longer to process?
Multiple-charge cases take longer to process than single-charge cases Elapsed times vary by the type of offence Trial cases take longer to complete than non-trial cases "Collapsed cases" also have longer elapsed times Bench warrants increase case elapsed time Summary Methodology Primary unit of analysis Most serious offence and decision rules Coverage Note concerning data revisions Detailed data tables Notes In Canada, the Constitution provides the federal government the exclusive authority to legislate criminal laws while the provinces and territories are responsible for the administration of justice within their jurisdiction.
Offences for which males had the highest involvement included sexual assault (98%), other sexual offences (97%), being unlawfully at large (91%), weapons offences (91%) and break and enter (90%).
Combined, these five offences accounted for almost half of all cases disposed of in adult criminal courts across the country.
The majority of adult criminal cases that come into the justice system in Canada are dealt with in provincial or territorial level courts.
All provinces and territories (with the exception of Nunavut) have also established superior level courts, which deal with more serious offences.