Strategy 25
Track 1

Advancements in Prosecution Policies for Indigenous People

Illustration from Sarah Jim

Supporting BC Prosecution Services advance policy changes directed at the unacceptable overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice system.

The Challenge

The Crown Counsel Policy Manual (the Policy Manual), issued by the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS), provides guidance to prosecutors in the exercise of their discretion, including on fundamental prosecution considerations such as charge assessment, alternative measures, bail, and resolution discussions.

In April of 2019, the BCPS publicly announced its Indigenous Justice Framework along with an initial series of policy changes to the Policy Manual in relation to Bail, Charge Assessment Guidelines, and Probation. While these changes are positive, further work must be done to review and revise the Policy Manual and ensure further recommendations aimed at increasing fairness and reducing the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice system are implemented.

The Solution

BCFNJC will support BCPS in positively transforming the way it deals with cases that involve Indigenous persons – as victims, as witnesses, and as accused – by supporting their review and revision of the Crown Counsel Policy Manual. BCFNJC will ensure that BCPS is making necessary policy changes that include Indigenous-specific considerations and uphold core Indigenous justice values, such as the presumption of diversion.

Line of Action

The BCFNJC will continue to support the BCPS in its review and revision of its Policy Manual with regard to Indigenous peoples.
Status in-progress