LAO expands access to Impact of Race and Culture Assessments

Published: March 7, 2023

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is funding pre-sentencing reports known, as Impact of Race and Culture Assessments (IRCA), to help address systemic racism and discrimination faced by Black and other racialized people in the criminal justice system.

IRCAs are a valuable tool to help judges consider the impact of racism, poverty and discrimination on individuals facing criminal charges. The report helps the judge arrive at an appropriate and just sentence.

LAO will fund reports for Black legal aid clients facing more than two years in jail and for Black youths facing custodial sentences. LAO will also fund reports for other racialized legal aid clients under similar circumstances if the court orders it.

On March 3, 2023, the Government of Canada announced it is providing LAO with up to $1.4 million over five years for the cost of producing IRCA reports.

For further details on client eligibility and how to request funding for an IRCA, please visit our page on the lawyers’ section. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at to learn more.