Fellow

Catherine Latimer

Expertise: Criminal Justice, Human Rights, Justice, Social & Public Policy

Catherine Latimer has been the Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Canada since 2011. Previously, Ms. Latimer was a policy lawyer for the federal government providing analysis and policy advice for the Departments of the Solicitor General, the Privy Council Office, and Justice and had a lead responsibility in the development of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Her law degree is from Queen’s University, Kingston and her Masters in Criminology is from Cambridge University.  She is the current President of the National Associations Active in Criminal Justice and a member of the Order of Canada.

Posts & Activities by Catherine Latimer


  • Government action to curb solitary confinement long overdue

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    Making a prisoner spend four years isolated in a plexiglass cell under the constant glare of artificial light is a form of custody that shocks Canadian sensibilities. It is difficult to believe that such cruel treatment was imposed on Adam Capay in a Thunder Bay detention centre – but it was.

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  • Time to move beyond "tough on crime" rhetoric

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    Not since Governor Michael Dukakis’ 1988 presidential bid was derailed by attack ads about the dangerous inmate Willie Horton being released into the community has any well-briefed politician dared not to be “tough on crime.”  

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  • The decline of evidence-based law making

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    The old adage holds that law is like sausages, you don’t want to see them being made. The problem is, in making our federal criminal and correctional law, seeing how things are put together is of decisive importance. 

    The Department of Justice has responsibility for ensuring federal compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Bill of Rights, and for developing policies and legal reforms in key areas such as criminal justice. Unfortunately, it does this work behind closed doors, so the general public doesn’t get to see what is going on.

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