Working to confront the collateral harm caused by the criminal justice system.

The impacts of an interaction with the criminal justice system are rarely confined to the criminal justice process. An increasing number of employers, volunteer organizations, and service providers are asking individuals to undergo a criminal record check, creating significant barriers to employment, housing, education, and other forms of meaningful community engagement. In some parts of Canada, a single interaction with police during a mental health crisis is sufficient for a person to have a ‘police record’ that can then be disclosed to their child’s school or their employer. You can read more about our past work on non-conviction police records, and the damage caused by disclosing this information, at

Our Work in Criminal Records and Collateral Consequences


Court agrees with CCLA that police background checks require oversight

March 9, 2023
On February 27, 2023, the Divisional Court in Ontario released its decision in Khorsand v.…

A Victory at the Supreme Court for Evidence-Based Criminal Law

October 28, 2022
On October 28 the Supreme Court released its decision in R. v. Ndhlovu. The decision…

Quebec Organizations Join the Call for Federal Criminal Record Reform

February 22, 2022
The Fresh Start Coalition, which includes the CCLA, announced today that several leading Quebec organisations…

Standing up for informational privacy and evidence-based criminal law

February 10, 2022
This week, CCLA is appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada to defend robust protection…

CCLA joins over 60 civil society organizations to call for criminal record reform

November 17, 2021
On November 17, the CCLA joined with dozens of other organizations to urge the federal…

CCLA to Appear Before Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in Police Background Checks Case

June 29, 2021
Thairu Taban and Josslyn Mounsey were hired by Metrolinx as Transit Safety Communications Operators. They…

CCLA Criminal Record Survey

May 31, 2021
Do you have a criminal record or police record? Have you tried to get a…

A Victory for Justice and Equality: SCC Finds Ontario Law Discriminates Based on Mental Disability

November 20, 2020
In a strong decision released today, the Supreme Court of Canada has decided that Ontario’s…

WHAMMY! Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Canada’s Ugliest Populist Criminal Law

December 14, 2018
It’s not everyday that civil libertarians hit a home run in the Supreme Court of…

Blowing the Whistle on Saskatoon’s Proposed Rules for Rideshares and Taxis

December 14, 2018
This morning we wrote to Saskatoon’s Mayor and City Council to share our concerns about…

New Act Protects Ontarians From Release Of Unproven Allegations

December 13, 2018
Across the country, Canadians who have never been found guilty of a crime are unable to…

Ontario Leads The Way On Police Record Checks Reform

November 1, 2018
On November 1, 2018, the Police Records Checks Reform Act (PRCRA) comes into force.
Know your rights

What You Need To Know About The New Police Record Checks Reform Act

November 1, 2018
On November 1, 2018, the Police Records Checks Reform Act (PRCRA) comes into force. Police record checks…

When a Criminal Record Becomes a Life Sentence: John Howard Society of Ontario

February 21, 2018
(Toronto, ON) Today the John Howard Society of Ontario (JHSO) revealed the hidden but ruinous…