The New-Brunswick Aboriginal Duty Counsel Project


The number of offences with which the offender is charged, the number of prior offences, more specifically the number of related prior offences, and whether the offender is in breach of a judicial order are all indicators of the seriousness and complexity of offences. The following is a profile of these case characteristics for the duty counsel client population.

According to these data, the majority of the Aboriginal offences were charged with only one offence. A substantial number of offenders were facing two charges. About eighty percent of the population were charged with only one or two charges.

Table 11.1: Number of Criminal Charges
Number of Charges Number Percent
One 83 58.0 %
Two 38 26.6 %
Three 12 8.4%
Four or More 10 6.9 %
N/A 3 0.1 %
TOTAL 146 100.0 %

Most of the offenders in the sample had an offence history.

Table 11.2: Prior Offences
Prior Offences Number Percent
Yes 58 40.1 %
No 49 34.0 %
N/A 39 25.9 %
TOTAL 146 100.0 %

Forty percent of the population reported to the duty counsel lawyer that they had committed prior offences. About 34 % reportedly had no prior record. Unfortunately, the data are not complete for about 25 % of the population.

Among those who had a prior record, 61. % had committed a related offence.

Table 11.3: Related Prior Offences
Related Priors Number Percent
Yes 31 21.3 %
No 95 65.0 %
N/A 20 13.7 %
TOTAL 146 100.0 %

According to the duty counsel records, about one fifth of the population with prior offences, 21.3 %, had prior offences that were unrelated to the current charges.

Finally, 18.7 % of the population of clients were in breach of a judicial order at the time of, or as a consequence of, the current offence.