Tontakaiê:rine (TJC)offers programs and services intended to assist Indigenous people who have come into conflict with the law. Furthermore, the TJC is guided by a committee of volunteer community members who are trained and certified to facilitate RJ forums, and are passionate about community and peace building.
Programs and Services:
First Nations/Métis/Inuit Court Worker
The Court Worker is the first point of contact for Indigenous accused. The Court Worker provides opportunities for Indigenous peoples to gain access to support systems, liaison services, resources and information on matters relating to the judicial system. The Court Worker maintains a presence in bail, remand and sentencing courts to provide navigation and liaison assistance for both the judicial system and Indigenous people to ensure fair, culturally appropriate and restorative outcomes when possible.
Youth Restorative Initiatives
Tontakaêi:rine’s Youth Restorative Initiatives is an alternative to the mainstream justice system, with a focus on youth ages 12-17. The forum brings Yakokarewáhtonh (those who have been harmed), Yontatkarewáhtonh (those who have caused harm), their supporters and community members together in a safe, controlled environment. The goal is to discuss the incident, its effects, and to decide collaboratively how to right the wrong that has been done.
Restorative Justice, not to be confused with “sentencing circles”, emphasizes the harm crime does to the community and how the community, rather than the court system, can respond to crime in more satisfactory ways.The focus of the Restorative Circle is on repairing the harm, healing and providing an opportunity for all parties to find some closure to the incident. It may incorporate a variety of approaches, which could be applied at either the pre-, or post-charge stage of the criminal justice process. The TJC Coordinator reviews all pre-charge cases to assure that they are eligible for the program and works in conjunction with the Crown Attorney in post-charge diversion matters under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Extra Judicial Measures Worker
The main objective of the Aboriginal (EJM) Youth Justice Worker is to provide culturally relevant pre-charge programming by developing individualized measures to reflect the unique needs of each youth. In addition, the Youth Justice Worker will promote and recommend alternative methods of conflict resolution within the community of Tyendinaga and surrounding areas. The Youth Justice Worker ensures the objectives of the program are being met by:
Tontakaêi:rine’s Adult Diversion Program is intended for the qualifying First Nation/Métis/Inuit adult population who are in conflict with the law. The adult diversion worker can provide culturally relevant methods of intervention and services to address the needs of the client and courts. By using restorative processes and focusing on the needs of the victim(s), clients will be supported in their healing and reintegration back into the community.
Tontakaêi:rine Diversion Benefits
Restorative Practises, not to be confused with “Sentencing Circles”, emphasize the harm crime does to the community and how the community, rather than the court system, can respond to crime in more satisfactory ways. Additional benefits are:
The Gladue Case Writer supports Indigenous accused (adults and youth) and justice personnel in applying sentencing principals. The Gladue Case Writer provides the court with a confidential report on the offender that contains a comprehensive picture of both the life circumstances of the offender and the options available to the court in sentencing. The Gladue Writer compiles this information by conducting interviews with the offender, family members and other people who know the offender.
A Gladue report, as offered by the TJC can only be ordered by the court (i.e. Judge or Crown).
Gladue Aftercare Caseworker
The Gladue Aftercare Caseworker is responsible for providing case and file management by assisting Indigenous clients to follow through with recommendations of their Gladue Report upon sentencing. The Gladue Aftercare Worker provides direct services, and makes necessary referrals to programs and services within surrounding areas, corrections and in the community to ensure that clients receive services in a timely fashion.
What is Gladue?
Gladuerefers to a right that Indigenous People have under section 718.2 (e) of the Criminal Code and section 38(2)(d) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Gladueis also a sentencing principle which recognizes that Indigenous People face racism and systemic discrimination in and out of the criminal justice system, and attempts to deal with the crisis of overrepresentation /inequities of Indigenous Peoples in custody, to the extent possible, through changing how judges sentence. Gladue instructs judges, when sentencing or setting bail, to consider: “all available sanctions other than imprisonment that are reasonable in the circumstances, with particular attention to” the circumstances of Indigenous people.
(“What is Gladue” www.NWAC.ca)