Combined Courtworkers are located in 13 locations and guide Indigenous adults and youth charged with a criminal offence, Indigenous families involved in family court, and Indigenous families involved in the child welfare system.
The Aboriginal Criminal Courtwork Program assists accused offenders to better understand their rights, options and responsibilities when appearing before the courts, through the guidance of a Courtworker. Indigenous Courtworkers are not Lawyers and do not give legal advice. They are Courtworkers and advocates who speak on a person’s behalf if they can’t or won’t speak for themselves while involved in the criminal justice system.
The Aboriginal Community Justice Program provides an alternative to court for Indigenous adults and youth that have acquired criminal charges.
In communities where these programs exist, Indigenuos accused have the option to apply to have their charges diverted (deferred) out of the courts and placed into the Aboriginal Community Justice Program. Each program has an operational protocol agreement with their local Crown Attorney’s office that outlines the process, the charge types, and eligibility requirements to participate in the program.
The Aboriginal Family Courtwork Program assists Aboriginal youth involved in the criminal justice system, separating couples involved in family court and Aboriginal families dealing with child welfare matters, to navigate the court process, through the guidance of a Courtworker. Aboriginal Courtworkers are not Lawyers and do not give legal advice. Courtworkers are advocates who speak on a person’s behalf if they can’t or won’t speak for themselves while involved in the criminal justice system.
The Gladue Writer supports Indigenous accused (adults and youth) and justice personnel in applying the sentencing principles set out in section 718.2 (e) of the Criminal Code of Canada and section 38 (2) (d) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Both legislative acts indicate a court that imposes a sentence shall also take into consideration the following principles:
(e) All available sanctions other than imprisonment that are reasonable in the circumstances should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders.