Aboriginal Courtworker Program (ACP)
Goals of the Program
The goals of the Aboriginal Courtworker Program (ACP) are to assist Aboriginal adults and youth charged with a criminal offense under the Criminal Code of Canada, separating couples and parents involved in child welfare matters to better understand their rights, options and responsibilities when appearing before the courts.
The Aboriginal Courtworker provides advocacy to Aboriginal people involved in the Canadian justice system to better understand their rights, options and responsibilities when appearing before the Ontario Courts of justice.
- Assist Aboriginal people to understand their right to speak on their own behalf or to request legal counsel, to better understand the nature of the charges against them and the philosophy and function of the criminal justice system.
- Provide Aboriginal cultural sensitivity awareness education on the values, customs, languages and socio-economic conditions of Aboriginal people on the part of those involved in the administration of the criminal justice system.
- Respond to the problems and special needs caused by communication barriers, which exist between Aboriginal people and those who are involved in the administration of the justice system.
- Ensure Aboriginal people in Ontario have access to the best available legal and justice-related services prior to, during and following a court appearance.
In Ontario, the Aboriginal Courtwork Programs are available to all Aboriginal people who are in contact with the legal system, who are status, Non- Status, Métis or Inuit in strict confidentiality.