Addressing Systemic Racism: Fall Economic Statement support for Criminal Justice Reform

Backgrounder

The Fall Economic Statement (FES) proposes a number of important investments to address systemic racism in the criminal justice system. The FES funding would provide much needed support for organizations and programs that help address the inequities faced by Indigenous peoples, Black and racialized Canadians in the criminal justice, with the goal of creating a fair and more effective criminal justice system for all. These initiatives would help support the proposed legislation to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Bill C-22.

Support for Gladue Principles and reporting

The Government of Canada would invest $49.3 million over five years to support the application of Gladue Principles and integration of Gladue report writing in the justice system. This would help to address systemic barriers for Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system by ensuring the background and systemic factors that bring Indigenous peoples into contact with the justice system are taken into account at sentencing, and to help inform reasonable alternatives to sentencing for Indigenous accused.

Support for Impact of Race and Culture Assessments (IRCAs)

The Government of Canada’s investment of $6.6 million over five years, and $1.6 million of ongoing funding, would support the implementation of IRCAs, which allow sentencing judges to consider the disadvantages and systemic racism that contributed to racialized Canadians’ interactions with the criminal justice system.

Support to Community Justice Centres (CJCs)

Community Justice Centres are an innovative approach for moving justice out of the traditional courtroom, and into a community setting. CJCs bring together justice, health, employment, education and social services to collectively address the root cause of crime, break the cycle of offending, and improve public safety and community well-being. Through the integration of culturally appropriate services, CJCs can help decrease the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples and Black Canadians in the criminal justice system, and provide solutions to systemic issues. The Government of Canada investment of $28.6 million over five years would support Community Justice Centres pilot projects in British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario as well as consultations to expand the Community Justice Centre concept to other provinces and territories.

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