Yukon Law Society says Gladue report pilot project needed
Workers who prepare report need more guidelines, training, says society
The Yukon Law Society is calling on government to fund a Gladue program pilot project.
The program would establish guidelines for the background reports judges require when sentencing aboriginal offenders.
Gladue reports are supposed to contain detailed background information judges require when sentencing aboriginal offenders. But a recent report, commissioned by the Council of Yukon First Nations, concludes that in Yukon, Gladue reports are woefully inadequate.
The report reads that all of the approximately 50 Gladue reports filed in the Yukon courts since 2010 "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."
"In the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, the population that's represented by the aboriginal community, it hovers between 70 and 90 per cent," said Jim Tucker, president of the Law Society of Yukon. "That's a strong indicator of a very serious problem."
Over the years, Yukon judges have relied on two untrained First Nation court workers to provide background reports in sentencing aboriginal offenders.
"Even finding training has been difficult, because there are not a lot of places that offer it," said Dan Cable, Yukon's justice policy director.
"But we will continue to work with our partners to see if we can come up with a solution. I don't know what it will be, but we've got the goodwill to get something done."
Cable says meetings are scheduled for next month to discuss next steps.