What are dangerous offender and long-term offender procedures? When are they used?

Crown prosecutors do not commonly make dangerous offender or long-term offender applications, but will do so when there is evidence of high risk of further serious violence.

The Criminal Code enables a prosecutor to apply to a sentencing judge for a finding that an individual is a dangerous offender or long-term offender.

If the offender has been convicted of a ‘serious personal injury’ offence and the judge is convinced by evidence of violent previous conduct, psychiatric testimony and other evidence that the individual is likely to engage in further violent conduct, the judge may make the dangerous offender finding and sentence the offender to either an indeterminate term in a penitentiary, a determinate sentence followed by a long-term supervision order or a determinate sentence.

The court may find an offender to be a long-term offender if it is satisfied that it would be appropriate to impose a sentence of imprisonment of two years or more for the offence for which the offender has been convicted; there is a substantial risk that the offender will reoffend; and there is a reasonable possibility of eventual control of the risk in the community. The judge will make a long-term offender finding and sentence the offender to a determinate term in a penitentiary, followed by a period of long-term supervision up to a maximum of ten years.