Bill C-36, enacted in 1992, contained provisions that relate to detention to warrant expiry. Detention to warrant expiry means that offenders are held in custody until the end of their sentence. Society is afraid of particular offenders being released into society. The Solicitor General of Canada (1991) stated that "public safety is an important issue to Canadians, who have sent a strong message to the government that they are concerned about how Canada's corrections system deals with certain kinds of criminals" (p. 1). In response this public concern, Bill C-36 was developed to force certain offenders to remain in prison for their entire sentence rather than being released at their two-thirds date on statutory release.
By keeping these offenders incarcerated longer, society is not assisting the offender in community reintegration. Normally when an inmate is released, the offender will be ordered to stay at a halfway house or report to a parole officer. When an inmate serves their whole sentence, they are simply released back into society with no further control, support, or aid from the correctional services. This leaves the responsibility of reintegration on society, and society is unwilling to take on such a task because of their fear of these offenders.
Knowing that these offenders have no control or support upon release may instill even more fear in society. This legislation does not promote public safety: the offender does not receive the programs or services that aid reintegration, which inmates released on statutory release receive (Pemberton, 1995). The inmates do not leave prison having found work and having made other support connections.
Bill C-45, an Act introduced in 1994, was another attempt to respond to the public's concern about high-risk offenders. The publics fear of high-risk offenders was growing at the time and in an effort to reduce this fear, the Canadian government introduced this legislation. The government intended to restore public confidence and increase public safety as well. The Solicitor General of Canada (1994) stated that the Canadian government does "share Canadians' concerns that more must be done to better protect society from repeat sex offenders" (p. 1).
Bill C-45 introduced provisions that made it more difficult for high-risk offenders to be released into society. In essence. Bill C-45 delays the release of high-risk offenders into society, alleviating some of the fear the public holds about high-risk offenders being released back into the community.
With this bill though, the release of these offenders was only delayed, not prevented. The impact of C-45 was that more offenders were released at warrant expiry with no control or support, causing a public panic about the system's inability to control these offenders after release. Society's fear of these offenders was not eliminated, it was only postponed, leaving many people with a new fear of high-risk offenders at-large in their community. Fears about high-risk offenders persist and so do the calls that demand changes to high-risk offender legislation.