The Aboriginal Justice Strategy

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The Aboriginal Justice Strategy (AJS) supports Aboriginal community-based justice programs that offer alternatives to mainstream justice processes in appropriate circumstances.

Objectives of the AJS:

  • To contribute to a decrease in the rates of victimization, crime and incarceration among Aboriginal people in communities with AJS programs
  • To assist Aboriginal people in assuming greater responsibility for the administration of justice in their communities
  • To provide better and more timely information about community-based justice programs funded by the AJS
  • To reflect and include Aboriginal values within the justice system

The Aboriginal Justice Strategy consists of two funding components:

1. The Community-Based Justice Fund

The Community-Based Justice Fund supports community-based justice programs in partnership with Aboriginal communities. Programs are cost-shared with provincial and territorial governments and designed to reflect the culture and values of the communities in which they are situated.

The AJS currently funds approximately 275 community-based justice programs that serve over 800 communities.

Community-based justice programs use various approaches to make the justice system more responsive and effective and to address the justice needs of the community or communities they serve, such as:

  • diversion;
  • the development of pre-sentencing options;
  • sentencing alternatives (for example, circles);
  • family and civil mediation; and
  • additional community justice services, including victims support or offender-reintegration services that support the overall goals of the AJS.

Activities can fall at any point along the justice continuum, including prevention, pre-charge, post-charge and reintegration.

2. The Capacity-Building Fund

The Capacity-Building Fund supports Aboriginal communities in developing the knowledge and skills needed to establish and manage community-based justice programs.

The Fund does this by supporting:

  • the training and/or developmental needs of Aboriginal communities that currently do not have community-based justice programs;
  • ongoing needs of current community-based justice programs, including training, evaluation activities, data collection, sharing of promising practices and useful models;
  • activities to improve reporting and the development of data management systems in AJS programs;
  • the development of new community-based justice programs; and
  • one-time or annual events and activities that build bridges, trust and partnerships between the mainstream justice system and Aboriginal communities.

Depending on departmental priorities and resources, certain eligible initiatives or activities may be emphasized more than others at different times.

How to Contact us:

The Aboriginal Justice Strategy
Department of Justice
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
Tel: 1-866-442-4468
Fax: (613) 957-4697

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