Community impact statements
A community impact statement is a written statement made by a person on behalf of a community. It describes the harm or loss suffered by that community as a result of an offence. If a community chooses to submit a community impact statement, the Court must take it into account when an offender is sentenced.
Community impact statements realize that the effects of crime can be far-reaching. An offence can affect not only an individual, but an entire community. They allow the community to take part in the sentencing of the offender by explaining to the Court and the offender how the crime has affected the community.
If a community decides to write a community impact statement, the community representative can present the statement at the sentencing hearing by:
- reading it aloud in the courtroom;
- reading it aloud in the courtroom with a support person of choice nearby;
- reading it outside the courtroom or behind a screen or other device so that the victim cannot see the offender; or
- presenting it in any other way the Court thinks is suitable.
The community representative must be prepared to tell the Court why he or she is speaking for the community. For example, did the community have a meeting to choose the best person to present the statement?
Community impact statements must be prepared on a standard community impact statement form which is used in all provinces and territories. The form (FORM 34.3 COMMUNITY IMPACT STATEMENT) provides examples of information that the community representative can include in the statement. Victim services can help the community representative obtain a form and provide more information about community impact statements.
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