Justice staff provides information, basic counseling, and interpretation of documents, Acts, guidelines, Criminal Code, and regulations, etc. to interested individuals. The justice programs work with other CYFN departments, First Nation justice workers, justice committees, Indigenous Courtworkers and various departments with Yukon Government to ensure that common goal and objectives are reached.
The Indigenous Courtworker Program assists aboriginal individuals who are charged with a criminal offense to ensure they receive fair and equitable treatment before the law. The program enhances awareness and appreciation of the values, customs, languages and the social-economic conditions of Aboriginal people to the existing justice system. The program assists in breaking down communication barriers between First Nation citizens and the criminal justice system. Indigenous Courtworker services are available to all aboriginal people and also attend Court Circuits the communities of Whitehorse, Carcross, Teslin, Burwash and Beaver Creek. If you have a criminal court matter in any one of these communities, please feel free to contact us, our office does accept collect calls. Funding for this program is a 50/50 cost share with the Yukon and Federal governments. The other communities of Old Crow, Dawson City, Mayo, Pelly Crossing, Carmacks, Ross River and Watson Lake have their own Courtworker program to provide the same services.
The Reintegration Program supports the transition and reintegration of First Nation clients in custody back into the community after completing their sentence at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre (“WCC”). The Reintegration Worker works closely with First Nation offenders and their WCC Case Managers to help identify and eliminate barriers to their successful reintegration into the community. The overall objective of the program is to reduce recidivism and repeat offending by ensuring that offenders have the best chance possible when they are released from WCC. The program is funded by Yukon Justice.
Yukon Gladue Research & Resource Identification Project
Since 2010, approximately 50 Gladue-type reports have been filed with Yukon Courts. All of the reports were provided on an ad hoc basis by report writers who have received little or no formal training and who took on the responsibility with no additional funding or support to supplement their existing positions. This approach proved to be unsustainable as the demand for reports increased. As a result, in 2014, a proposal was submitted (and subsequently granted) to Canada’s Aboriginal Justice Strategy to conduct research to try and determine if a formal Gladue program would be feasible and to and create some basic protocols that could help support such a program. In order to help with the project, a ‘Yukon Gladue Steering Committee’ was formed, this committee includes representation from the Yukon Courts, Yukon Public Prosecution Service Office, the Yukon Government’s Department of Justice, Yukon Legal Services Society, the Council of Yukon First Nations Justice Programs, and Kwanlin Dun First Nation’s Justice Department.
Members of the Steering Committee agreed that it was important to advocate for the creation of a funded Gladue Pilot Program that could provide Yukon Courts with Gladue reports in collaboration with Yukon First Nations, in a professional, timely and consistent manner. Informal discussions with various members of the judiciary showed strong support for an initiative that would provide Yukon courts with Gladue reports or Gladue information.
The Steering Committee agreed with the following objectives set out in the proposal: conduct research to assess what has been done thus far related to the provision of Gladue Reports in the Yukon territory; conduct a cross-jurisdictional analysis to look at what other jurisdictions in Canada have done to date with respect to the provision of Gladue reports; collect and review available data to determine whether or not a Gladue program in the Yukon would be feasible; and, draft some basic protocols and procedures that could help a Gladue program operates.
The Gladue Pilot Program is to look at the potential for establishing a formal Yukon Gladue Program that could provide Gladue reports to Yukon courts. Attached is the project’s report on its findings as it looked at a number of different areas and includes sections that will present: a summary of data related to Aboriginal incarceration rates in the Yukon; a cross-jurisdictional summary of Gladue related efforts in Canada to date; sample operational documents that could support a Yukon Gladue Program; a sample Aftercare Directory that could support a Yukon Gladue program; and, findings and recommendations for next steps.