Prince Edward Island got a B+ for its justice system and the Northwest Territories a C, and the rest got Bs and C-plus' in the latest ranking from a Canadian think tank.The Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) just released its third Justice Report Card, which grades the nation and each province and territory, on the successes and failures of the criminal justice system."If this were a real report card it would likely be hidden at the bottom of a backpack and might lead to some awkward conversations around the dinner table," the MLI said in a press release."Canada's criminal justice system is at a crossroads and is clearly performing worse than it was five years ago. Confidence in police and the justice system are worryingly low. And no wonder: the combination of plunging clearance rates and an increasing number of cases stayed or withdrawn gives the perception of a justice system that has given up on its core responsibilities."The justice system has company in its mediocrity. Earlier this year, an MLI report entitled Canada’s Governance Crisis detailed a “systemic failure at both the political and bureaucratic levels to manage complex public policy issues” including energy, indigenous affairs and health care. The evidence contained in this report suggests that criminal justice ought to be added to the list.The MLI placed Canada’s Violent Crime Severity Index at its highest point since 2007. The homicide rate is the highest it has been in thirty years, and the police-reported rate for sexual assault is at its highest level since 1995.The proportion of Canadians who express confidence in the fairness of the criminal justice system is troublingly low. In 2022, only 62% of Canadians expressed confidence in the police, with only 46% expressing confidence in the justice system more broadly.The number of indigenous persons admitted into custody between 2018 and 2022 has been 6 to 6.2 times higher than the indigenous proportion of the population during that period, with indigenous persons constituting 27% of the total federal offender population in 2020/21.The MLI found provincial and territorial criminal justice systems are far less efficient than they were five years ago. More cases are being stayed or withdrawn; the criminal cases that do make it to trial take longer to be resolved; and police are solving fewer crimes, especially the most important crimes.The trends can no longer be blamed on the pandemic. The MLI found some evidence of spikes (or drops) across the board in certain metrics for one to two years that could potentially be traced to the pandemic, but most of the negative trend lines both precede and succeed the pandemic.There were notable changes between the 2017 and 2023 criminal justice report cards, including a considerable jump in ranking from Alberta, and a major decline in the overall ranking for Ontario.The territories continue to have shockingly high rates of crime per capita that far exceed the numbers in any province. For example, the violent crime rates in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories were more than 12 times higher than in Ontario. Among the provinces, violent crime rates are highest in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and lowest in Ontario.Among provinces, there was an East/West divide with respect to fairness and access; Quebec and the Atlantic provinces had the five highest scores, while Ontario and the Western provinces had the five lowest scores.Public confidence in police and the justice system is highest in PEI, trailed by Quebec. It is lowest in BC and Manitoba.The perception of police being fair was highest in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. Manitoba residents were least likely to believe police behave fairly.Legal aid expenditures on criminal matters per Criminal Code incident are highest in Nunavut, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, while they are lowest in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Click here for the full report.