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 Indigenous offenders.
In sentencing Indigenous offenders, the judge must consider:
- The unique systemic or background factors which may have played a part in bringing the particular Indigenous offender before the courts; and,
- The types of sentencing procedure and sanctions which may be appropriate in the circumstances of the offender because of his or her Indigenous heritage or connection.
The Gladue Writer provides the court with a comprehensive picture of the life circumstances and background factors of the accused that played a part in bringing them before the courts. The report identifies alternatives to incarceration, types of resources available in the community and surrounding area including Indigenous specific programs and services that address the underlying issues the accused is encountering. Unless the Gladue provision is waived, background factors and community alternatives are required in all cases involving an Indigenous accused.
A Gladue Writer is available at the N’Amerind Friendship Centre located in London, Ontario.