The Bear's Den - Gladue Reports Guide Now Available from BearPaw Education

May 26, 2015

A Gladue Report is a sentencing report that helps tell the story of an Aboriginal offender to a judge and the courts. The report includes details of their lives including history with residential school and child welfare, abuse experienced, history of addiction and substance use, and many others.

Gladue Reports developed as a result of section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code and the 1999 Supreme Court case, R. v. Gladue. Both made it clear that judges must address specific considerations when sentencing an Aboriginal person. .

Read the original Gladue Decision here

Many of these considerations relate to the circumstances of an Aboriginal offender’s background and whether a restorative approach to sentencing (and justice) may be more helpful for an Aboriginal offender than spending time in custody. Restorative approaches emphasize healing rather than serving a sentence in jail.

If you are an individual interested in having a Gladue Report written, you can contact your lawyer or an NCSA courtworker to make a request.

Order up to 50 Free copies of Writing a Gladue Report email stefanie-varze@ncsa.ca

Download BearPaw Educations booklet, Writing a Gladue Report

Check out Gladue Sentencing Principles, produced by Achimok Film and TV

Who can use a Gladue Report?

Gladue Reports can be used for Aboriginal offenders, particularly because of the historic trauma and complex circumstances that many Aboriginal offenders experience. Gladue Reports are available to ALL Aboriginal people in Canada, including:

  • First Nation
  • Inuit
  • Métis

As well, it doesn’t matter if you are:

  • status
  • non-status
  • living on
  • living off reserve,
    You are still able to request a Gladue Report

How is a Gladue Report used?

Gladue Reports are usually researched and written by specially trained Gladue writers. They conduct interviews with appropriate contacts, including the offender and their family, friends, and people from their community.

A Gladue Report can be requested by an individual, a lawyer, or a courtworker (i.e. an NCSA courtworker). It is up to the offender to waive the Gladue Report.
Depending on the circumstances, a short or long report can be written. Often a short report is written for less serious crimes, while a longer report is written for more serious crimes.

Why are Gladue Reports important?

Gladue Reports are very important. They help inform the judge of the circumstances of an Aboriginal offender’s life, often information they would not be exposed to otherwise. They also explain how an offender can best experience healing, transformation, and change, including what steps the offender can take to help facilitate this (i.e. participating in programs, ceremony, etc.). They can ultimately play a part in helping an Aboriginal offender experience life on a new path of healing and wholeness.

Have an idea for The Bear’s Den? Email greg-miller@ncsa.ca