The New-Brunswick Aboriginal Duty Counsel Project

18. USE OF COMMUNITY SERVICES IN DISPOSITIONS

There are five community organizations in the Big Cove First Nation community. These are: The Big Cove Lone Eagle Treatment Centre (drug and alcohol), The Big Cove Alcohol and Drug Prevention Program, The Big Cove Anger Management Course, parenting classes, and The Big Cove Alcoholics Anonymous program.  Some form of community-based treatment or activity was included in the dispositions of clients 71 times. Some dispositions included more than one activity. Therefore, the totals in the table below do not represent clients. Types of treatment or activity are identified rather than organizations. A large number of community service activities were ordered. Unfortunately, no details were captured.

Table 18.1: Community-Based Elements of Dispositions
Community-Based Solution Number
Drug or Alcohol Treatment 12
Anger Management 3
Parenting Skills 1
Other Community Service 55

Non-legal elements were used frequently in dispositions. This indicates that there is an existing practice of frequently using community service as a part of the disposition. There is some use of treatment as an element of dispositions to prevent re-offending.  This suggests that there is already a good foundation to move beyond traditional individual case advocacy, which is the core of legal aid, to a broader "holistic services" aspect of legal aid service delivery.[9] The project was conceived as a preliminary effort, and the research was a monitoring exercise using data that were reasonably easily available. Thus this aspect of the project has been identified in a very cursory manner.  However, the potential and value of this approach for this Aboriginal clientele should be explored more fully.


[9] A. Currie, Meeting the Needs of Legal Aid Clients, Department of Justice, Ottawa,1999.

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