COURT

NATIVE COURTWORKER SERVICES

Order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council (Click to View PDF)

PURPOSE

The Native Courtworker program is here to help ensure you understand the criminal justice process, at the earliest possible stage. As well as obtain fair, just, equitable & culturally sensitive treatment before the courts.

OBJECTIVES

To provide Indigenous accused at the earliest possible stage, and all stages of the criminal justice process with timely and accurate information about:

  • the nature and consequences of the charge;
  • their rights, responsibilities and options under the law including alternative justice processes (if available)
  • the philosophy and functioning of the criminal justice system, and of alternative justice processes (if available); 
  • court procedures; and the disposition or direction given by the court or community to the accused

HOW WE CAN HELP:

  • Provide Indigenous accused with appropriate referral to legal resources (as available and where practical). 
  • Refer Indigenous accused to appropriate social, education, employment, medical and other resources to enable them to address the underlying problems which contribute to their charges and where appropriate, follow-up on these referrals.
  • Liaise between Indigenous accused and criminal justice personnel to help overcome communication barriers and reduce Indigenous alienation from the criminal justice system. This may include being available to provide appropriate information to the court and/or speaking on behalf of the accused.
  • Inform justice officials about the cultural traditions, values, languages, socio-economic conditions and other concerns of the Indigenous community and the perspective of Indigenous accused. Initiate further understanding when required.
  • Promote understanding within the Indigenous community, of the existing criminal justice system and alternative justice processes.
  • Promote and facilitate community-based justice initiatives and help build community capacity to identify and address problems, which could end up in the courts or community justice system.

FIRST NATIONS COURT

NCCABC provides direct support to two First Nations Courts in the Province of BC, New Westminster and Duncan. NCCABC Case Management Support Workers liaise between Indigenous-accused and criminal justice personnel to help overcome communication barriers and reduce Indigenous alienation from the criminal justice system. This includes being available to provide appropriate information to the First Nations Court and/or speaking on behalf of the accused.

Our Case Management Support Workers further inform justice officials about the cultural traditions, historical trauma’s, values, languages, socio-economic conditions and other concerns of the Indigenous community and the perspective of Indigenous accused.

Our Case Manager Support Workers engage with clients to connect them with community resources and supports needed. This wrap-around support service model ensures clients in FNC are supported while carrying out their Healing plan. Healing plans are developed during FNC court in collaboration with the Elder’s Council, Crown and Duty Counsel, or ordered by the First Nations/Indigenous Court judge who have passed down probation or bail orders in the community.