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The Manitoba government is looking to transform the justice system in this province, today announcing a criminal justice system modernization strategy.

Justice minister Heather Stefanson told reporters at today's announcement this will be a long-term strategy.

"We have the highest incarceration rates in Canada, we have among the highest violent crime rates in Canada. Clearly the status quo is not an option. This didn't happen overnight, this has happened as a result of many years of moving in this kind of a direction. So we're taking a different approach, we're taking a proactive approach to ensure that we look at developing better outcomes for Manitobans," said Stefanson.

The strategy launch follows an internal review, and has four main components: preventing crime through strategic intervention, focusing resources on serious criminal cases, more effectively using restorative justice, and responsibly reintegrating offenders back into society.

A release from the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says today's announced strategy builds on the Aboriginal Justice Strategy launched in 1996. It's calling for resources to be invested.

"While it’s good to see strategies like restorative justice being given the respect it is due, it isn't new or modern," says Grand Chief Arlen Dumas in the release. "If there are adequate resources put into restorative justice, it will be one of the biggest steps since the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry. There has to be meaning and commitment behind this strategy. We’ve been putting solutions forward for 25 years."

Stefanson says it's not just about new resources, but about better management of resources.

"In many cases, I think we need to look at how the system is really not working effectively right now. I think there are efficiencies within the system that we can find," she said.

Stefanson says stay tuned for the release of the provincial budget on Monday.