Addressing the Overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples in the Criminal Justice System in Montreal

MONTREAL, June 9, 2022 /CNW/ – Advancing reconciliation requires addressing both systemic racism and the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system. Supporting culturally responsive, Indigenous-led, and community-focused justice services is essential to bringing about the systemic changes Canadians know are needed.

Today, the Honorable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canadathe Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Ellen PhilippelliExecutive Director of the First Peoples Justice Center of Montreal (FPJCM) announced funding to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system and to provide community-based justice services to Indigenous peoples in Montreal.

“Towards an indigenous model of Justice» supports, informs and empowers Indigenous people to resolve their justice issues and resume a healthy, constructive and independent life path. Through this program, the FPJCM provides Gladue Aftercare support to community members to help them access culturally appropriate community programs and services. Gladue Aftercare supports and services include:

  • healing circles and traditional healing with Elders

  • referral and advocacy to other service providers, including mental health and addictions support services

  • post-trial community reintegration supports

  • healing supports for clients in circumstances where the making of Gladue reports evokes past trauma

In addition to Gladue Aftercare, the FPJCM offers a continuum of community justice services in the areas of prevention, diversion, probation and rehabilitation, and victim services and support. The program improves access to alternative measures for indigenous peoples involved in the justice system and provides education and training to socio-judicial actors involved in the justice process, such as police officers, legal advisers, judges, probation and rehabilitation officers and community organizations.

To support this work, Justice Canada provides $492,000 in total funding to the FPJCM through the Aboriginal Justice Program. This includes:

  • $215,000 3+ years of funding for Gladue Aftercare service delivery

  • $89,500 3+ years of program integrity funding to meet increased demand for community justice services

  • $187,500 over 5 years ($37,500 ongoing each year) to support the ongoing delivery of their community justice program

Some of this funding is provided through the Government of from Canada commitment to increasing the application of Gladue principles in the criminal justice system. This will help address the systemic factors that contribute to the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples – a commitment that is echoed as a key initiative to address systemic racism in the government’s criminal justice system. from Canada Federal pathway to address missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. This investment also supports the Government of from Canada efforts to advance reconciliation in Canada and responding to calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Quotation

“FPCJM strives to bring to light a vision of partnership through an Indigenous-led justice organization that provides community service that empowers First Nations, Inuit and Métis. This provides a safe gateway to access legal support and information as our peoples navigate the Tiohtià:ke/ Montreal.”

Ellen Philippelli
Executive Director, First Peoples Justice Center of Montreal

“Indigenous peoples are alarmingly overrepresented in from Canada criminal justice system. By supporting Indigenous justice services, like Gladue Aftercare, we are helping to bring about systemic change to address this unacceptable reality. Funding for Indigenous-led community justice programs will support our efforts to improve access to justice and fairness in our criminal justice system, and help advance our work to respond to the national tragedy of women, missing and murdered girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. “

The Honorable David Lametti, PC, QC, MP
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“National Indigenous History Month is an opportunity to renew our commitment as a government and as a country to advancing reconciliation and securing a better, healthier and fairer future for all. The First Peoples Justice Center of Montreal is an essential partner in these efforts by providing holistic, community-based justice services to Indigenous peoples Montreal. This is an essential part of the work needed to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system. »

The Honorable Marc Miller, PC, QC, MP
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Fast facts

  • To help reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system, the Government of from Canada Fall 2020 Economic Statement Invested $49.3 million support the implementation of the Gladue principles in the justice system through Canada, as well as Indigenous-led responses. Supporting the FPJCM for its Gladue aftercare services is part of this larger investment.

  • Implementing the Gladue Principles in the Justice System responds to TRC Calls to Action 30, 31 and 38 and the National Inquiry into MMIWG Calls to Justice 5.11, 5.15 and 5.16.

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SOURCE Department of Justice Canada

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