Crime Victims Guide to Justice, 3E (Crime Victims Guide to Justice)

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An Introduction to Logic. CWCs travel to remote northern communities as part of court circuits, which allows them to provide services to court-based witnesses throughout the territories. The CWC program includes individuals with Indigenous backgrounds and who speak local languages, to help bridge language and cultural barriers on behalf of the prosecution. CWCs often work closely with territorial victim services to ensure coordination and collaboration. As noted in previous chapters, victims of sexual assault are often extremely fearful of the criminal trial process. While Crown prosecutors act to assist the victim as much as possible prior to and during a trial, they are not counsel for the victim, nor can they advise the victim in relation to possible civil action.

Accessing independent legal advice in order to decide whether to report a sexual assault to the police and to seek advice prior to and during a criminal trial, can be of great assistance to victims. Ontario has established an Independent Legal Advice for Survivors of Sexual Assault Pilot Program Footnote which provides eligible survivors with up to four hours of free independent legal advice to help survivors make informed decisions about their next steps.

Legal representation is not provided under this pilot program. The service is available to all eligible women, men, trans, and gender-diverse people over the age of 16; it is confidential and is available to survivors at any time after the sexual assault has occurred if it took place in Ontario. Building on this emerging practice, in the Department of Justice Canada offered funding to interested provinces and territories to explore implementing similar projects in their jurisdiction.

A pilot project was launched in Nova Scotia Footnote in Newfoundland and Labrador Footnote received funding to launch a similar project and Saskatchewan Footnote and Alberta launched their pilots in The models for offering independent legal advice to victims differ slightly from province to province, but all work towards the objective of providing victims with information about their options in the wake of sexual assault.

Given that all provincial pilot projects are in their infancy, no evaluative information is available at this time to attest to their effectiveness. As noted in chapter 3, victims of sexual assault are not parties to the criminal trial and are therefore not granted standing to be represented at the trial. An exception exists for representation of victims who participate at third party record application hearings pursuant to sections Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and BC provide funding for independent legal advice and representation for all complainants in sexual offence cases where a third party records application is made, regardless of the financial status of that person.

Footnote Other jurisdictions, like Saskatchewan, fund legal representation for victims in third party record hearings through their Victims Fund. These counsel are even available for victims choosing to report the sexual assault to the civilian as opposed to the military justice system, although they can only provide legal advice and not represent the victim in civilian criminal court. On May 10, , the Government of Canada introduced Bill C, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts , Footnote which would provide victims with the right to have a Victim Liaison Officer appointed to assist them in understanding how service offences are charged, tried, and dealt with under the Code of Service Discipline.

There is some evidence from other common law jurisdictions that specialized courts may be more effective and efficient than regular criminal courts because issues specific to sexual assault are better addressed and victims who testify report greater satisfaction with the process. The courts — in contrast to general courts — employ a victim-centred approach with a multi-disciplinary team, dedicated specialist prosecutors, victim-friendly waiting rooms, measures to prevent victims from coming in contact with the accused and members of the public, and support services and counselling from the moment of reporting onward.

After a number of other courts were established in various locations and a series of evaluations were completed, a national Blueprint for Sexual Offences Courts was created in A National Strategy was established the following year, and in the essential requirements of a Sexual Offences Court were upgraded. The specialist courts are, however, under intense resource pressures and over time have suffered from a number of challenges including backlogs, proximity to victims, and concerns over the unequal distribution of resources between the specialist system and general one.

The specialist system was temporarily dismantled in the mids, but has since been restored with positive results despite the reduction in resources. In October , a sexual violence court pilot was initiated in the New Zealand NZ District Court with an emphasis on improving the court experience for participants through tighter pre-trial case management of jury trials and enhanced specialist education for judges. This judiciary-led pilot is not intended to adopt a non-adversarial approach as this would require fundamental legal changes, however, it is intended to employ more victim-sensitive approach than the usual process.

The pilot is currently being tried in two locations and covers serious sexual violence allegations where the defendant pleads not guilty and elects a jury trial. Specialized training for criminal justice system and related professionals on the complex law of sexual assault as well as social context and the neurobiology of trauma emerged as a recurring theme in the promising and emerging practices examined by the Working Group. While specialized prosecutors and sexual violence courts appeared promising in the evaluations, these are resource intensive and may not be deemed appropriate for all jurisdictions.

Currently, specialized domestic violence court or court processes exist in most Canadian jurisdictions Footnote and these would cover intimate partner sexual assault. It should be noted that in , the New Zealand Law Commission released an issues paper entitled, Alternative Pre-Trial and Trial Processes: Possible Reforms , which discussed whether the current adversarial model should be replaced by an inquisitorial system for the purposes of sexual offences. Footnote This proposed fundamental change to the common law system raised concerns with the New Zealand Law Society and was rejected by the Government for various reasons including the fact that it would be impractical to have an inquisitorial system for sexual offences alone when many of these offences co-occur with non-sexual offences.

Restorative Justice RJ is commonly defined as an approach to justice that focuses on addressing the harm caused by crime while holding the offender responsible for their actions and by providing an opportunity for the parties directly affected by crime — victim s , offender and community — to identify and address their needs in the aftermath of a crime.

RJ encourages meaningful engagement and accountability and provides an opportunity for healing, reparation and reintegration. RJ processes operate at different stages of the criminal justice process including pre-charge, pre-conviction, pre-sentencing, and post-conviction and can occur in addition to, rather than instead of, the conventional court process in a given case. The most common types of processes are conferences, victim-offender mediation and healing circles.

RJ processes can be linked to, or completely separate from, the criminal justice system. The Working Group examined those RJ processes that were linked to the criminal justice system. Footnote Researchers identified more than programs across the country. The majority of the programs were open to both adults and youth; only 19 limited their programs to youth.

The Criminal Code enables RJ processes to occur at different stages, although explicit language is not required in the Criminal Code in order for police or prosecutors to make such referrals in the exercise of their discretion. Section of the Criminal Code provides that alternative measures may be used if the offender accepts responsibility for the offence. A restorative justice program can be one form of an alternative measure to which the police or the Crown can refer an offender.

RJ principles are also contained in the sentencing principles of the Criminal Code at s. Footnote In both Acts, victims have a right to receive information about RJ programs that are available, if they request it. The program is voluntary on the part of all participants and is not intended to have any direct impact on an offender's sentence or a parole decision.

In cases involving sexual offences, all requests are carefully assessed by trained mediators to determine the appropriateness of the intervention and the readiness of the participants to proceed with communication. The RO program facilitated 66 face-to-face meetings involving sexual offences between and These include offences such as sexual assault, incest, indecent assault, rape and sexual interference.

They also noted feeling respected, heard, understood, empowered and safe throughout the RO process. RESTORE was a community-based, victim-focused RJ conferencing model whereby accused persons willing to take responsibility for their actions which was not equated with a guilty plea would be referred to structured conferencing by the prosecutor following a determination that the matter was provable at trial. The program was only available upon consent of the victim for non-repeat and non-intimate partner offenders.

The accused was required to be accountable for their actions and agree to reparation, including undergoing sex offender therapy. Footnote This was the case for violent crime victims as well as property crime victims. Footnote Among other matters, RJ is identified as providing victims with greater power and control over the process, standing, a voice to express the impact the crime has had on them and an opportunity to understand why the perpetrator committed the offence.

While there are many evaluations of RJ processes internationally, there are very few evaluated RJ processes for sexual offences as these have been largely excluded from RJ. The application of RJ in cases involving power imbalances, particularly intimate partner violence and sexual assault, has been controversial. Critics of RJ in gender-based violence cases raise concerns that the process could undermine decades of work to ensure that sexual assault and intimate partner violence are treated as the serious crimes that they are.

There are concerns that victims may be coerced into participating, that their safety may be compromised, that they may be re-victimized and that perpetrators may not be motivated by genuine remorse but by the desire to avoid criminal sanctions. Accused persons who would otherwise be willing to accept responsibility for their sexual crimes and apologize to their victims may be dissuaded from doing so within the criminal justice process due to the long-term impact of an order under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and mandatory minimum penalties in some cases. Pre-conviction RJ processes, where safeguards are in place to protect the accused from self-incrimination and double jeopardy, and that preserve the presumption of innocence should the RJ process fail, can provide an incentive for the accused to accept responsibility for their action and offer restitution to the victim.

These processes, which require victim consent to proceed, could also appeal to victims who can benefit from an early acknowledgement of responsibility from the accused and avoid potential trauma associated with cross-examination in open court. There is some evidence, from two studies, that some sexual assault victims may prefer an RJ process over the criminal justice process. A recent study indicates that sexual assault victims indicated strong support for being provided the option to proceed with RJ.

Footnote A comparative study of sexual offence proceedings against young offenders in youth court and RJ in Australia indicated that the RJ process took half the time of the court process and resulted in higher victim satisfaction rates and lower offender recidivism rates. Footnote Moreover, evaluations of RJ processes in adult perpetrated sexual offences in the US and NZ have shown promising results from the perspective of victims.

Criminal justice system professionals in Canada are cautious about the role and timing of RJ in sexual assault cases. RJ may have some value and be desired by some sexual assault victims, but power, family and community dynamics are factors that risk placing pressure on victims to participate in an alternative process.

Victims should be supported, and participate only if they make an informed choice to do so, and facilitators must be highly trained. There are a wide range of emerging and promising practices to address some of the challenges facing adult victims of sexual assault as they proceed through the criminal justice system. Many of these practices fall under provincial jurisdiction and some have cost implications.

The Working Group examined these and other practices and made some recommendations upon which there was consensus.

Statistics - Criminal Justice - Research and Course Guides at Clemson University

However, all of the practices referenced in this chapter may serve to inspire pilot projects to help improve access to justice for victims of sexual assault. Despite legislative changes over the past decades, the data clearly demonstrate that sexual assault continues to be one of the most underreported violent crimes and, according to self-reported surveys, the prevalence of this crime is not decreasing at a time when other violent crime is on the decline.

Recent court cases have led the general public, service providers, advocates and academics to call for new approaches focused on protecting the dignity and safety of sexual violence victims during the criminal court process. These movements raise overarching issues related to gender equality, including in the workplace. They also raise questions about the ability of the criminal justice system to respond to the needs of sexual assault victims. Sexual assault victims may avail themselves of a variety of legal options that will depend on the context of the assault.

While labour-related or human rights recourses may be available in some cases, the most common options for victims are between a civil suit and making a criminal complaint to the police although these are not mutually exclusive. The following chart sets out some key differences between civil and criminal recourses. While the rights are available to victims of all offences, some rights, such as the right to request a testimonial aid, are particularly relevant to victims of sexual offences. Victims also have the right to make a complaint if they believe their rights have been breached or denied by a federal department or agency using the complaint systems in that department or agency section Victims who are of the opinion that their rights under the CVBR have been breached or denied by a provincial or territorial department or agency may file a complaint in accordance with the laws of the province or territory section However, the CVBR does not grant victims party status in criminal proceedings section 27 , a cause of action or a right of damages section 28 , or a right to appeal decisions made in the criminal courts section It also provides in section 22 1 the primacy of the CVBR in the event where it is not possible to interpret a federal legislative provision in a manner that is consistent with the CVBR.

This article examines the characteristics of sexual assault victims and their perceptions of safety, and the characteristics of sexual assault offenders and incidents. The emotional and physical consequences of sexual assault, in addition to reporting sexual assault to the police and the reasons for not reporting, are also discussed. A comprehensive analysis of incident, victim and accused characteristics over a six-year period is undertaken to offer a deeper understanding of those who commit sexual assault and those who are victims of it.

Factors explored include location of the sexual assault, weapon s used, level of physical injury to the victim, as well as the age and sex profiles of accused and victims and the relationship between them. For the first time, new analysis on the delay in reporting to police is presented. Findings are compared with physical assault where appropriate in order to provide an analytical reference point. Using linked data from police services and criminal courts, this study presents new findings on the attrition rate of sexual assaults as well as court outcomes.

Attrition and conviction outcomes are also analyzed by characteristics of the sexual assault incident e. Findings are compared with physical assault outcomes where appropriate in order to provide an analytical reference point. It will provide background on the collection of these data and an overview of the actions taken by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics-a division at Statistics Canada-and the Police Information and Statistics Committee of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police to revise the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey to address data quality and reporting issues, and to reinstate collection of information on unfounded criminal incidents.

Following national media attention in regarding the use of 'unfounded' by police to classify sexual assaults, Statistics Canada and representatives of the policing community made recommendations to addressed data quality issues and standardization to reintroduce the publication of unfounded criminal incidents.

Sexual assault is a widespread and serious problem in our society. Yet instead of delivering justice the criminal justice system is too often a source of further distress for victims of sexual assault. It is well known that many victims choose not to report the crimes of sexual violence committed against them. For those who choose to report and go through the trial process, sexual assault complainants have frequently experienced the criminal justice system as a place that re-traumatizes and even harms them. Sexual assault is very often an experience of trauma.

Trauma has a neurobiological impact — it affects our brains and our nervous-systems. For this reason, it is imperative that those working within the criminal justice system have a basic appreciation of the effects and impact of trauma in relation to victims of sexual assault. This will help criminal justice professionals process sexual assault cases more effectively and to receive evidence in these cases in a more fair and impartial manner.

There has been an important and significant paradigm shift in our understanding about victim reactions to traumatic events like sexual assault, including the impact of trauma on memory. This understanding has deepened knowledge and led to improved practices, both of which assist with developing more effective criminal justice system responses to sexual assault cases. Insights from the neurobiology of trauma have assisted professionals working in a wide range of fields to better understand the psychological and physiological responses of crimes such as sexual assault, and how these affect victim response.

This in turn, has facilitated more trauma-informed service delivery and more appropriate and effective interventions, from first responders like police through to advocates and legal professionals in courtrooms.

Victims' Rights under the Alaska Constitution

The focus of this report is on outlining some of the key findings from the body of knowledge of neuroscience, and applying them to the issue of sexual assault and its impacts on victims. More specifically, we review and highlight some of the significant developments, which have emerged from the field of the neurobiology of trauma as they relate to the unique crime of sexual assault.

We apply their relevance to the many challenges surrounding the criminal processing of sexual assault cases. These misunderstandings, unfortunately, continue to persist in the justice system. In fact, they contribute to ongoing deficiencies in criminal justice system processing of sexual assault cases, leading to imperfect justice for victims and survivors. We argue that this justice gap can, in part, be closed by moving towards a more trauma-informed criminal justice system. This will lead to more just outcomes for sexual assault complainants and also allow for the fuller realization of the impartiality and fairness that criminal trials can and should provide for all participants.

The purpose of this report is to critically engage with diverse approaches to access to justice for Indigenous adult survivors of sexual assault in the context of ongoing colonization and Indigenous-led efforts to end violence. The objective of this report is to create a foundation for the development of approaches to improving access to justice with the ultimate aim of reducing the harms experienced by Indigenous people and communities. In addition to an introduction, the report contains 7 main sections which are discussed briefly in this executive summary: 1 historic and social context of colonization and its relationship to access to justice and sexual violence; 2 case law review and analysis; 3 barriers to justice; 4 an intersectional analysis of the needs of survivors; 5 defining access to justice within and beyond the justice system; 6 promising practices and innovative models, and; 7 gaps and areas for future research.

In order to understand the relationship between sexual violence and access to justice in the lives of Indigenous peoples, this report provides a contextual account of the historic and ongoing role of sexual violence and law in settler colonialism. The imposition of patriarchy and racism through the Indian Act and residential schoolswas key to colonization in Canada.

The Indian Act legislated Indigenous rights through a gender binary which replaced culturally-distinct understandings of gender, erasing gender diversity from legal and policy frameworks while imposing a hierarchy which devalues women and girls. The ongoing marginalization of Indigenous women resulting from governmentally legislated patriarchal models of leadership is a key factor in shaping access to justice and sexual violence today, Further, widespread abuse and family and cultural breakdown resulting from the residential school system continues to be widely understood as a root cause of sexual violence among Indigenous people today.

These impacts are evident in state-run child welfare regimes into the present day. Sexual violence is understood to be part of a continuum of colonial violence. Sexual assault is often treated as expected in the lives of Indigenous people, particularly women and girls, through stereotypes which blame survivors themselves for the violence. Due to its proliferation and naturalization, naming sexual violence as violence has been a key site of mobilization for Indigenous women.

The ubiquity of this continuum of violence, together with the role of law in processes of colonization, necessitate a decolonial approach and an understanding of intergenerational trauma within justice systems and processes. Just as colonization is understood to be the key health determinant for Indigenous peoples today Greenwood et al , we understand colonization to be the key factor shaping justice today, including access to justice for Indigenous survivors of sexual violence.

Possibilities of achieving justice for Indigenous survivors is and will continue to be constrained by colonial violence which is structural in nature. A review and analysis of Canadian case law was conducted in order to attempt to determine what, if any, strategies and approaches are being utilized in legal cases prosecuting those charged with sexual offences against Indigenous adults.

As most sexual assaults of Indigenous adults are against women, an analysis of how Canadian courts deal with Indigenous women was instructive in assessing the ongoing needs of Indigenous women, and, to the extent it is possible, trans and Two-Spirit, survivors of sexual assault and violence when these matters come before the courts. In most cases, where courts considered the specific circumstances of Indigenous adult victims of sexual assault, it was revealed that ongoing and pervasive attitudes and beliefs informed by systemic colonialism, racism, and sexism negatively impact the way that Indigenous adult survivors of sexual assault are treated within the Canadian justice system.

Where courts have noted the complex lived realities of Indigenous people in Canada, these observations rarely include the ways that colonization naturalizes violence against Indigenous people, families and communities. The distinct history of legal violence enacted through the imposition of Canadian law is ignored. Canadian courts are not successfully addressing the concerns and needs of Indigenous adult survivors of sexual assault. Rather, court decisions seem to reaffirm the racist, sexist, and colonial narratives that create persistent access to justice issues for Indigenous peoples within the court system.


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The unfortunate reality for Indigenous adult survivors of sexual assault is that justice is very rarely accessed through the formal Canadian justice system. While barriers to accessing justice are significant and multiple for Indigenous peoples in Canada, this report highlights the following four pervasive issues that form substantial barriers for justice for Indigenous adult survivors of sexual assault: 1 the colonial culture of the Canadian justice system; 2 racism; 3 fear and mistrust; and 4 individualized approaches to violent crime.

Our analysis of barriers to access to justice for Indigenous sexual assault survivors is informed by a critical assessment of what justice means in this context. As the case law review and analysis indicates, the formal justice system does not appear to be the place that provides the most meaningful access to justice for adult Indigenous survivors. In fact, formal court systems appear to do more harm than good in perpetuating racist, sexist, and colonial stereotypes about how and why Indigenous peoples come to experience violence.

Our analysis identifies connections between the failure of the justice system to provide a meaningful space for accessing justice and the historical and ongoing failure of the Canadian government to address how settler colonial injustice directly impact the rates at which Indigenous peoples experience sexualized violence. Given their various encounters across a spectrum of life experiences with state institutions and actors, whose approach is informed by such inherent racism, Indigenous peoples develop fear and mistrust based on the ongoing discrimination they face.

These individual negative experiences add to a collective historical record of everyday colonial violence experienced by Indigenous peoples, families, and communities. Even when brought to light, the lack of accountability within Canadian institutions buttresses systems that maintain the status quo.

With respect to access to justice for adult Indigenous survivors of sexual assault, there cannot be justice without state accountability for the colonial violence of the past and present. This can only occur through recognition of the impact of settler colonial violence as a root cause of sexualized violence against Indigenous peoples. However, at present the Canadian justice system focuses on the individual crimes of individual offenders and treats the circumstances brought forward by every individual complainant as separate. This is not to suggest that individual accused, crimes, or complainants should not be considered as unique as per the evidence or facts of each case, but rather that the fundamental underlying root causes of over representation of Indigenous peoples in the justice system, whether as victims or offenders, must be acknowledged.

North American literature on sexual violence tends to frame the issue through a feminist lens which understands sexual violence as the gendered phenomenon of male violence against women. In such frameworks, Indigenous women are often portrayed solely through their increased vulnerability to victimization. Without consideration of the foundational role of settler colonialism and systemic violence, vulnerability is naturalized as inherent to being an Indigenous woman or girl.

However, Indigenous scholars and anti-violence advocates have argued for intersectional approaches which view the structural intersections in Indigenous peoples lives as a form and source of violence that cannot be separated out from individual incidents of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and childhood sexual abuse. Rather than separating out sexual violence from other aspects of Indigenous peoples lives —as is often the case when prevalence of violence is documented solely through statistics of individual incidents of victimization—this report argues that sexual violence must be viewed as interrelated with other forms of violence, including interpersonal and systemic marginalization.

The individual needs of survivors are, consequently, understood as inseparable from community, systemic, and historic factors. An Indigenous intersectional approach to access to justice for Indigenous sexual assault survivors is advanced through five principles: 1 respecting sovereignty and self-determination; 2 local and global land-based knowledge; 3 holistic health within a framework that recognizes the diversity of Indigenous health; 4 agency and resistance, and; 5 approaches that are rooted within specific Indigenous nations relationships, language, land and ceremony.

Shame and secrecy is also experienced by Indigenous people who are sexually assaulted during adulthood, due to shame, embarrassment, and a fear of not being believed or of suffering targeted backlash for disclosing their abuse. Within these complex conditions of silencing, Indigenous survivors need approaches in which they can tell their stories on their own terms. The role of storytelling within Indigenous cultural practices of justice and resurgence is key to an intersectional approach to access to justice, attuned to the specific needs of marginalized Indigenous people such as sex workers, people with addictions and Two-Spirit and trans people.

It has been argued that Indigenous people are represented either through their victimization or their criminalization in most Indigenous justice paradigms. Moving beyond criminal-victim paradigms in which Indigenous people are either criminals or victims requires ideological and systemic shifts toward paradigms rooted in Indigenous self-determination. This section further discusses the importance of moving beyond state apologies to fostering accountability for systemic harms of colonization, including police abuses of power.

Additionally, the report argues the necessity of an Indigenous gender analysis that considers both the gendered nature of sexual offences, which are predominantly targeted at women, and the reality that Indigenous people of all genders experience sexual violence.

Further themes include localized approaches, health and harm reduction, and moving beyond colonially-defined justice approaches in order to imagine a world without sexual violence. An Indigenous intersectional analysis of access to justice for Indigenous survivors of sexual violence reveals that systemic violence has been, and continues to be, a key barrier to justice for Indigenous people and communities.

While critics both within and outside the justice system recognize systemic gaps and failures in addressing sexual violence towards Indigenous peoples, many continue to advocate for a blended model in which justice institutions work alongside Indigenous communities.

Victims’ Resources

Others are rightfully wary of Canadian legal systems, defining justice as necessarily obtained beyond the judicial system, particularly when sexual violence occurs within Indigenous families. Many efforts to define access to justice for Indigenous survivors have sought to contend with the impossibility of true justice for Indigenous people whose lives are always bound up in colonial systems and ideologies.

Rather, access to justice has been defined through the lens of avoiding the perpetuation of trauma through actively centering Indigenous knowledge, perspectives and voice. The report further discusses efforts to define access to justice for Indigenous adult survivors of sexual violence within these systemic and historic tensions.

This report identifies some promising practices and innovative models within and outside of the justice system that may provide some guidance for furthering access to justice for Indigenous adult survivors of sexual assault. Three areas of interest are identified: 1 community and grassroots justice and healing; 2 supportive police practices; and 3 alternative and restorative justice models. With proper support and resources, grassroots initiatives that are informal justice models at this time, could be built up into formal community-led, community-specific, and culturally appropriate justice processes that have capacity to respond directly to the needs of Indigenous adult survivors.

Such models, various and community-specific as they are, must also account for sexism, homophobia and transphobia if they are to be successful. Because justice is relational, any agenda to create supportive police practices must go beyond policy to implementation. Consultations with Indigenous peoples lays out three important focuses for police forces in Canada in building supportive police practices: 1 police accountability; 2 relationship-building; and 3 Indigenous lead community policing initiatives.

It is of fundamental importance that all of these initiatives be informed by decolonial anti-racism education and cultural competency training for police that leads to the implementation of trauma-informed approaches and culturally safe practices. Restorative Justice RJ processes have the following broad goals: 1 making offenders accountable to both victims and the community; 2 increasing the role of victims and community in ensuring that accountability; and 3 repairing the harm and restoring relationships that have been damaged as a result of crime.

The same colonial, sexist, and racist attitudes that underlie the Canadian justice system broadly do and will continue to interfere with the appropriate use of RJ mechanisms in sexual assault cases. Unless the fundamental issues of colonial, sexist, and racist attitudes that inform formal justice processes in Canada are directly addressed the use of RJ will in most cases be unlikely to accomplish its main goals.

Further, RJ processes must provide for an increased and meaningful role of survivors, families, and communities in ensuring accountability of the offender or repairing the harm and restoring relationships that have been damaged as a result of a sexual assault. In many cases this may not be possible. First Nations Courts FNC , Gladue courts, and Indigenous courts are usually referred to as forms of problem-solving or specialized courts.

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Criminal Justice: Statistics

These formal alternative courts operate within the Canadian justice system and only deal with sentencing Indigenous offenders who have pleaded guilty. In addition, alternative sentencing processes, such as sentencing circles, operate by way of the common law powers of judges to alter the format of the court. The use of sentencing circles in cases of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence has been researched to some extent; however, there is a lack of data on the degree to which Indigenous adult survivors of sexual assault, or their families, may find these models useful for their healing and to hold perpetrators accountable.

Even if these courts or sentencing circles will deal with sexual assault, a further limitation of such alternative sentencing processes is that participation may not be in the best interests of complainants, especially if the crime is particularly violent or is a sexual assault. Defendants convicted of misdemeanor crimes are not supervised while on probation but defendants convicted of felony crimes are supervised by the Department of Corrections. A defendant who violates probation may be brought back before the court on a Petition to Revoke Probation.

Under the Victim Rights Act, the victim has the right to notice and opportunity to speak at any probation revocation proceeding involving conditions of release or sentencing called "disposition" in probation proceedings. Victims are entitled to address the court at a defendant's request to modify or reduce their sentence. Upon request and providing address information to the Department of Correction, the Department shall provide notice of the prisoner's request and send the victim a copy of any motions to modify or reduce sentence and inform the person of his or her:. Upon request, the Department of Corrections shall notify the victim of hearings to consider or review discretionary parole.

Victims must notify the Parole Board of their address information. Victims may write to the Parole Board or attending the hearing. Before granting probation to persons convicted of domestic violence, the court shall consider the safety and protection of the victim and any member of the victim's family. The court may impose any other conditions of probation necessary to protect the victim and any members of the victim's family or to rehabilitate the defendant.

If the victim has specific concerns or requests for probation conditions, the victim should contact the District Attorneys' Office in advance of the sentencing [AS In legislation was passed which requires the governor to refer applications for executive clemency including pardons to the state parole board at least days prior to any grant of clemency.

The parole board is required to notify the Department of Law, the Office of Victims' Rights and the victim of a crime involving domestic violence, arson in the first degree, or a crime against a person. Crimes against a person include homicides, assaults, sexual offenses and all other crimes set forth in title 11, chapter 41 of the Alaska statutes. Alaska's public record law states that "unless specifically provided otherwise, the public records of all public agencies are open to inspection by the public. This same provision also protects from disclosure of information that "could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of a victim, or witness," [AS One of the goals of the Juvenile Justice System is to ensure that victims of crimes committed by juveniles are afforded the same rights as victims of crimes committed by adults [AS So victims generally have the same legal rights and should refer to the rights outlined above.

But the procedure and terms are different in a juvenile justice case; special provisions for victims' legal rights in juvenile proceedings are described below. When the defendant is under 18 years of age, the case is called a juvenile delinquency proceeding [AS The defendant is referred to as the "minor" [AS The case is confidential, but the victim may attend and participate at all the proceedings that the minor has the right to attend [Alaska Constitution Art.

The court may order the minor and the minor's parent to make suitable restitution to the victim [AS The court may not refuse to make an order of restitution to the victim [AS An order of restitution by the minor or minor's parents to the victim becomes enforceable as a civil judgment even after the period of probation or commitment has expired similar to an adult court judgment [AS Victims of crimes committed by minors are eligible for Violent Crimes Compensation to the same degree as those victims of adult defendants because the award is based on the crime and the losses incurred not the age or status of the defendant [AS Alaska Department of Public Safety; coordination of statewide services, education, grants to organizations.

Victim impact statements information, information and referral, notification of release, transfer, or escape of offenders.

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Register for notification of release; check on convicted defendant custody location and incarceration status VINE www. Statewide free legal assistance to low-income Alaskans, senior citizens, and Native allotment applicants. Full range of services in areas of family law, housing, consumer, public benefits, health issues, income maintenance, protection from abuse, Native law, and wills.

ALSC offers free legal clinics throughout the state and legal self-help and referral information online at: www. Legal assistance for crime victim advocacy and for crime victims whose rights have been denied by a justice agency. The Alaska Immigration Justice Project is a non-profit agency that provides low-cost immigration legal assistance to immigrants and refugees in all immigration applications including citizenship, permanent resident status, work permits, asylum, family-based petitions and immigration petitions for immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

Immigration problems resulting from domestic violence, divorce, and criminal proceedings. Criminal prosecutions, victim-witness coordinators, Booklets on sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, victims' rights, and safety planning. Domestic violence: crisis intervention, information and referral, telephone language translation and translated materials.

Provides court appointed defense attorneys for criminal defendants who cannot afford to hire an attorney, and who for some reason cannot be represented by the Public Defender Agency. Provides court-appointed defense attorneys for criminal defendants who cannot afford to hire an attorney. Violent crime: advocacy, grief support, crisis intervention, assistance for homicide and assault survivors. Domestic violence: shelter, counseling, advocacy, crisis line, children's services, batterer's counseling.

Business Line: Crisis Line: www. Tribal consortium to promote self-determination, temporary assistance for essential needs shelter, food, clothing, burial. Business line: Crisis line: , Social Services strives to improve the family base by providing services to meet the basic needs, including: general assistance, energy assistance, older Americans, and advocacy. Business line: Crisis Line: , www. Behavior Health Administrator: Emergency Services: ; www. Business line: Crisis line: www. Domestic violence: prevention, advocacy, information and referral, village outreach.

Business line: hour Crisis line: ; Business line: Crisis line: , www. Business line: hour Crisis line: www. Social Services section provides domestic violence and batterer's intervention programs. Business line: www. Comprehensive intervention and prevention, outreach and education regarding domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Business line: Crisis line: Business Line: hour Crisis line: , Business line: Crisis Line: www.

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