The “historic new highs” of Indigenous people incarcerated in Canada’s prison system comes as no surprise to Indigenous people or those who have been paying attention to the issue. That is what it is on a daily basis for Indigenous people across the country. The recent acquittal by a jury of Gerald Stanley, a white farmer, in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man from the Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan, has again raised issues about the way the criminal justice system deals with Indigenous people. Photo: A chant is performed during a rally in response to Gerald Stanley’s acquittal in the shooting death of Colton Boushie in Edmonton, Alberta, on February 10, 2018. Joignez-vous aux débats d’Options politiques et soumettez-nous votre texte en suivant ces directives. This review provides a critical overview of Indigenous peoples’ interactions with criminal justice systems. Indigenous Peoples twice as likely to be chosen to be surveilled by, or intervened with, by police due to racist stereotypes that criminalize Indigenous people. Because these initiatives are at the provincial or territorial level, the federal government has seen little need to become involved, but these initiatives require funding to thrive. Legislation it introduced in 2016 to eliminate mandatory victim fine surcharges that accompany a criminal conviction, which are impossible for homeless and poor people to pay, has not moved past first reading. The court went on to plainly state what anyone who lives in the justice system trenches knows all too well: “Trials do not take place in a historical, cultural, or social vacuum. For example, the federal government could, as the Manitoba and Ontario reports suggested, eliminate the use of peremptory challenges. Legislative amendments are important, but they are not enough. These reports, prepared by writers working for Indigenous organizations, provide judges, lawyers and Crowns with information on the backgrounds of the offenders who are being sentenced and suggest alternatives to incarceration where possible. These include dispossession of Indigenous lands through the Numbered Treaties in which Indigenous Peoples received limited Reserve land[3] and restriction of personal freedoms through the enaction of the Pass System. We are continuing to discover and develop new initiatives. The larger the group that shares the experience, or length of time the experience is sustained can amplify the trauma experienced. [12] Duty counsel is provided to ensure that every accused is afforded their Right to Counsel as articulated un Section 10(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [4][5] Additionally, Indigenous family units were disrupted through the Residential School System and the Sixties Scoop. VICTORIA – A partnership between the Province and the BC First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC) is creating Indigenous justice centres throughout B.C., improving access to supports and helping individuals more easily navigate the justice system. Legislative change is certainly useful in addressing the crisis facing the legal system with respect to Indigenous people. The over-representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system is a complex and enduring issue. Access to justice for people living in rural areas is highly limited. [10], These factors all contribute to engagements with the criminal justice system, Police have wide discretionary powers over surveillance and intervention of individuals in public. Additionally, abstinence conditions are difficult to comply with for individuals, without support, who experience substance abuse issues. The intergenerational impact of things like residential school are invisible to judges unless someone raises those concerns — and it is usually the Gladue report that serves that function. ", "Evidence - SECU (42-1) - No. It’s that the will to fix it is lacking. [21], Due to the colonial legacy of the destruction of the Indigenous family unit through the residential school system, Indigenous youth are statistically more likely to come from single care giver homes resulting in less support and supervision. There are also many examples of creative responses that have led to a positive engagement of Indigenous people with the current justice system. [7] Ultimately, the settler state endeavored to assimilate and enfranchise all Indigenous Peoples into dominant society. The review is built around a number of key arguments, including that centuries of colonization have left Indigenous peoples across … Reasons for the vast overrepresentation of Indigenous offenders and victims in the criminal justice system are discussed in this report. The Canadian government has framed this disproportionate victimization and criminalization as being an "Indian problem." Judges and lawyers are not always familiar with noncustodial options, particularly those offered by Indigenous organizations. Approximately 1,000 Gladue reports are written annually in Ontario. The Court consistently pointed out in these cases that the issues facing Indigenous people are based on the direct and systemic discrimination they face every day in the justice system. “Challenges facing indigenous peoples in obtaining access to justice are not confined to criminal matters,”Kran said. [13] Duty counsel has been found ineffective in multiple ways including significant delays in reaching duty counsel in some jurisdictions, and communication barriers between the accused and duty counsel due to intoxication, mental state, or disability. Constitutionally, while criminal law is a federal responsibility, the administration of justice is a provincial-territorial responsibility. Mental health and addictions issues are also key factors in engagement with the criminal justice system. [8], The combination of these colonial processes created a complex history of trauma for Indigenous peoples, however, of all the contributing factors, the Residential School System has been identified as of primary significance. The combination of these factors results in Indigenous women being significantly more likely to experience precarious housing or houselessness which is a factor in engagements with the criminal justice system. [25], Youth who spend time in care are statistically more likely to have engagements with the criminal justice system [26][27][28], The Canadian Department of Justice has formally recognized the prevalence of systemic discrimination within the criminal justice system. It attributed the over-representation of Indigenous people to the impacts of colonialism, such as, but not limited to, the residential school system. Terms & Conditions | And even if it does introduce such legislation, there is no guarantee that it will be passed. RJIP works to expose and address the disparities of California Indigenous people, especially women and youth in the carceral system using traditional and cultural lifeways and practices, community organizing and advocacy to restore justice to these communities and ancestral homelands. C This article has been rated as C-Class … More is necessary. The rural IPs living in South America … Both options cover historical contexts including generational effects of colonization, Section 718.2 (e) of the Criminal Code, case and Indigenous law, Indigenous Persons Court, restorative justice, Gladue in practice and what is needed to increase its success moving forward. [20], Indigenous women comprise 42% of women in custody. Intergenerational trauma, or transgenerational trauma, can occur when an individual or group experiences a significant trauma event. Understanding the Overrepresentation of Indigenous People in the Criminal Justice System. Indigenous peoples are vastly overrepresented in the Canadian criminal justice system. Montreal, Quebec Protests in the United States in the wake of George Floyd’s death were most directly about policing and justice in the United States. [18], Poverty, precarious employment and acting as a single caregiver are incentivizing factors to plead guilty. Further, intergenerational trauma and gender inequality has resulted in Indigenous women experiencing higher rates of post-traumatic stress syndrome and addiction. For example, in Ontario, the province and Legal Aid Ontario fund the production of what are referred to as Gladue reports. [2], Multiple colonial processes enacted on Indigenous Peoples, by the settler state, are the root causes of intergenerational trauma negatively affecting Indigenous Peoples today. There is no doubt that if and when some of the more regressive aspects of the previous government’s criminal law agenda come off the books, there will be more room for creative responses from the courts. But if the problem of over-representation is rooted in systemic and direct discrimination, to just throw up one’s hands is to say that, as a society, we don’t care that our major institutions continue to fail Indigenous people. “The justice system criminalizes Native people but provides little to no resources when we ourselves are victims of violence.” ... Justice for Indigenous peoples outside of the confines of settler colonialism is a close reality. 85 - House of Commons of Canada", "United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples", "Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action", "Indigenous People in the Federal Correctional System", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Indigenous_Peoples_and_the_Canadian_Criminal_Justice_System&oldid=999175910, Violence against Indigenous people in Canada, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 January 2021, at 21:23. justice system works against I ndigenous people at every level, from police checks and a r- rests (e.g., Nettelbeck and S mandych 2010 ) to bail denial and deten tion (e.g., Roberts and Indigenous peoples in Canada are significantly overrepresented in the Canadian justice system. While these issues affect Indigenous Peoples broadly, there are specific implications for Indigenous women and youth. These courts do not create a faith in the system as a whole but rather are seen by Indigenous people as a place where they will be listened to, where their concerns and those of their communities will be heard and where, perhaps, they might actually get a sense of justice being done. Section 718.2(e) is an example of legislation that has made a difference. That is why prosecutions under the Criminal Code — a federal statute — are carried out by Crown attorneys appointed by the province, usually in provincial courts, where judges are also provincially appointed. In the case of Barton, released days before the National Inquiry’s report, the court acknowledged the detrimental effects of widespread racism against Indigenous people within our criminal justice system. The numbers are worse for Indigenous women, who make up over one-third of all women in jail. [14], Indigenous accused’s report that the conditions of associated with bail are often unreasonable, specifically for those in small, isolated communities as they may include limitations on who you may or may not have contact with. Legislative change is part of the process. He is the author of Indigenous People and the Criminal Justice System: A Practitioner’s Handbook from Emond Publishing. Obviously, that’s something that’s going to have to be done on a case-by-case, community-by-community, nation-by-nation basis. And we need to have the humility to recognize that our criminal justice system has failed Indigenous people both as offenders and as victims, and to have the humility to say to Indigenous communities: Maybe you can do better with your own Indigenous justice systems. With noncustodial Options, particularly those offered by Indigenous identity of legal Aid for counsel! Indigenous offenders and victims in the courts volume and severity of offenses. [ 11.. 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