Aboriginal Legal Services

COMMUNITY COUNCIL PROGRAM

The Community Council is a criminal diversion program for Aboriginal offenders - adult and youth - who live in Toronto. The project takes Aboriginal offenders out of the criminal justice system and brings them before members of the Aboriginal community. The members of the Council are men and women who represent a cross-section of Toronto's Aboriginal community. The focus of the Community Council is to develop a plan by consensus that will allow the offender to take responsibility for his/her actions, address the root causes of the problem, an reintegrate him/her into the community in a positive way.

The concept of the Community Council is not new -- it is the way justice was delivered in Aboriginal communities in Central and Eastern Canada for centuries before the arrival of Europeans to North America and also the way that disputes continue to be informally resolved in many reserve communities across the country. This is the first project to apply these principles in an urban setting.

The project takes Aboriginal offenders out of the criminal justice system and brings them before members of the Aboriginal community.