BCFNJC Leads Transformation of Gladue Report Services Toward Staff-Centric Model

In the pursuit of maintaining high standards of quality and consistency, our organization is undergoing a significant transition from a roster-based model of Gladue Report writers to a staff-centric approach. This shift, which began with the introduction of Support Worker roles to bolster cultural competence and trauma-informed care, has empowered our team to collaborate closely with Indigenous communities. These Support Workers work alongside Staff Writers to implement restorative justice plans, gather crucial resources, and craft comprehensive healing and aftercare reports for individuals we serve.

Moreover, our program emphasizes Trauma Informed Training for both Staff Writers and Support Workers to ensure they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively serve our community members.

This evolution is part of a broader initiative within British Columbia’s justice system. As of April 1, 2021, management of the province’s Gladue report program transitioned from Legal Aid BC (LABC) to the BC First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC). The significance of this transition lies in the unique considerations that Indigenous individuals are entitled to under the Criminal Code of Canada. Judges are tasked with understanding the systemic and background factors that may have led an Indigenous person into legal proceedings, factors summarized within a Gladue report.

The report also supports restorative justice, promoting rehabilitation and community-based sentencing over incarceration. The collaboration between the BCFNJC, impacted individuals, and Gladue writers ensures comprehensive reports for use in various legal contexts, such as sentencing, bail, and parole hearings.

Doug White, Chair of the BCFNJC, expressed pride in leading this transformative process alongside the Province and First Nations, emphasizing the importance of addressing over-representation and incarceration through alternative measures and self-determination.

Attorney General David Eby highlighted the significance of this transition in aligning with the Indigenous Justice Strategy, developed collaboratively with Indigenous communities and the Province of British Columbia. This strategy, signed in March 2020, focuses on reforming the justice system and restoring First Nation legal traditions and structures.

The journey towards a staff model and the broader transformation within the justice system reflect a commitment to honouring Indigenous rights, fostering meaningful collaboration, and seeking justice through culturally empowered approaches.