Ottawa lawyers are calling on the Ontario government to increase funding to its Gladue report program in the city saying delays are tying up the courts and the sole writer is struggling to keep up with “high” demand.
Lawyers say the number should be much higher considering how many Indigenous people are in court in Ottawa.
Their opinion is backed by statistics obtained by APTN that show between 2014 to October 2016 there were at least 269 Indigenous offenders facing incarceration. This is according to statistics compiled by the Odawa Native Friendship Centre that has the only Indigenous court worker that assists self-identifying First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples at the local courthouse on Elgin Street.
Of that 269, 196 were on probation, 170 suffered from addictions, 93 went, or had parents that went, to residential schools, 83 were homeless, 79 suffered from mental health and nearly half (120) were Inuit.
“I have definitely had clients, in the last number of months, who have had to wait longer than ideal for a Gladue report,” said defence lawyer Michael Spratt. “These are clients that are both in custody and out of custody.”
Read the full article at: APTN