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A complex web of laws, regulations and policies affect the lives and the health of people who are marginalized as a result of homelessness, substance use, or engagement in sex work. Federal laws often get the most attention, but municipal bylaws and local law enforcement practices also have the potential to increase stigma and restrict the delivery of harm reduction programs, emergency shelter, and other services for marginalized people. As part of Project Inclusion, we reached out to communities throughout BC to explore ways to reduce overdose deaths, increase access to HIV and HCV prevention and treatment services, protect people who are homeless, and uphold human right at the local level.

Past Victories

Influencing the Director of Public Prosecutions' Bail Conditions Direction

On April 1, 2019, the Director of Public Prosecutions directed federal Crown prosecutors to minimize detentions for breaches of bail conditions, in part by no longer imposing the following bail conditions on people experiencing addiction: 'abstinence’ conditions, prohibitions on carrying ‘drug paraphernalia,' and area restrictions (or “red zones”). The direction is adapted in part from Project Inclusion's recommendations.

Bail conditions and affiliated breaches lead to rampant liberty infringements, over-incarceration, and an increase in harms associated with incarceration, including heightened stigma and loss of income, housing, or employment. The Public Prosecution Service's guideline cites Project Inclusion, acknowledging that breaches related to one’s drug use can also adversely affect one’s drug tolerance and put people at heightened risk of overdose following release. Read more about the importance of this direction here.