Legal Aid Ontario funding expands Gladue services to four new locations
Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2015
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is providing funding to Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto (ALST) for four Gladue report writers to work in southwestern and northern Ontario.
ALST, the acknowledged best practice leader and provider of Gladue services, will receive $467,376.00 in funding to expand the Gladue report writing program to:
- Sault Ste. Marie
- North Bay
Currently, ALST employs Gladue report writers in Toronto, Hamilton-Brantford-St. Catharines-Welland, Kitchener-Waterloo, Sarnia, Ottawa, Niagara, Barrie and Oshawa-Peterborough-Lindsay.
ALST’s Gladue writers prepare reports for First Nation, Métis and Inuit accused at the request of defence counsel, Crown or judges at the sentencing stage of criminal matters. Reports are written for accused pleading or found guilty of an offence who face a jail sentence of 90 days or more for an out-of-custody client, or three additional months for an in-custody client. Gladue writers are Aboriginal and live within the communities they serve.
Gladue reports document the unique background factors of Aboriginal accused that may have brought them into the court system. The report is considered by the judge during sentencing to support all alternatives to incarceration. ALST initiated Gladue services in Canada by helping to establish a Gladue court at Old City Hall in Toronto in 2001. LAO began funding ALST’s Gladue report program in 2004.
“We’re very pleased that this funding from LAO will allow us to provide Gladue reports in Sudbury, Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie and North Bay,” says Jonathan Rudin, program director at ALST. “We know the need for this service is there because we have heard this from judges, lawyers and Aboriginal accused persons themselves. The funding fills a big gap in the provision of Gladue services in Ontario.”
The strategy aims to improve access to justice, enhance legal aid services that recognize the unique needs of Aboriginal communities, and address the overrepresentation of First Nation, Métis and Inuit in the justice system.
For more information on this program:
Program Director, Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto
Phone: 416-408-3967, ext. 226
Bilingual Senior Communications Media Relations Officer
Legal Aid Ontario
For other questions or communication requests:
Legal Aid Ontario
Phone: 416-979-2352 x 6013