Modern Law - Droit Moderne

Episode 30: Benjamin Perrin puts Canada’s criminal justice system on trial

Episode Summary

Content warning: This episode discusses serious and potentially triggering subjects, such as substance abuse, police brutality and trauma. They say the first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. But what if whatever we're trying to fix is in "chaos"? What if we're talking about fixing a criminal justice system that has been broken for decades, floundering under its own weight, insanely costly, rife with mental health issues, often described by critics as inhumane, and marred by systemic racism? Can we really solve the problem by tinkering around the edges as we have done for so many decades?

Episode Notes

If you think that description of our criminal justice system is a bit harsh, well, you should read the latest book by our guest today.


Benjamin Perrin is a law professor at the UBC's Allard School of Law. He has served in the Prime Minister of Canada's Office as in-house legal counsel and lead policy advisor on criminal justice and public safety.


He's also the national best-selling author of Overdose: Heartbreak and Hope in Canada's Opioid Crisis, and before that Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking.


His latest work is Indictment: The Criminal Justice System on Trial – a deep dive into a system that, in theory at least, is supposed to help keep Canadians safe while supporting victims of crime. 


We talk a lot about victims in this conversation – and offenders, too – and their struggles. Please keep an open mind as you hear this conversation. And a content warning: There is sensitive material covered in this episode that touches upon substance abuse, police brutality and a lot of discussion around trauma.

Benjamin Perrin - Criminal Justice, Overdose


Podcast — Myrna McCallum


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