Saskatchewan Takes a Stand on Government Benefits for Violent Offenders

Starting November 1st, 2023, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Corrections, Policing, and Public Safety rolled out the Warrant Intelligence Team, aimed at suspending government benefits for prolific violent offenders with outstanding warrants.

The initiative is guided by the principle that “violent individuals with outstanding warrants for arrest should not be benefiting from taxpayer dollars,” as articulated by Minister Paul Merriman.

The newly enacted Warrant Compliance Act now grants the team the authority to recommend the suspension of benefits, including Saskatchewan Income Support and the Saskatchewan Housing Benefit. This policy shift presents a two-fold objective. On one hand, it seeks to prevent taxpayer dollars from supporting those with open arrest warrants. On the other, it aims to assist law enforcement in their efforts to apprehend these individuals.

While the initiative is framed around the principle of ensuring that individuals with open arrest warrants are not benefiting from taxpayer funds, it raises important questions. What are the potential repercussions for the families of these offenders who rely on these benefits for their financial well-being?

Minister responsible for social services Gene Makowsky says in a release, “Our ministry will do this work so that families of the offender continue to have their financial needs met as they plan for a safer future.”

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