What To Expect:

Frequently Asked Questions

Gladue Reports


Where do Gladue rights come from?

  • The Canadian Criminal Code and Case Law.

  • Due to the R. v. Gladue decision, Judges now have a duty to review information coming from a Gladue Report (or made through Gladue Submissions) that outlines the unique systemic or background factors which may have played a part in bringing the particular individual before the Court.

  • ​The Canadian Criminal Code under s718.2(e) states "all available sanctions, other than imprisonment, that are reasonable in the circumstances and consistent with the harm done to victims or to the community should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders." 

  • ​Judges have a duty to apply Gladue principles, irrespective of the charge and regardless of which court the offender appears in. 

What is a Gladue Report?

  • A report prepared for a sentencing or bail hearing that provides the court with comprehensive information on the offender, the offender’s community and a plan that looks at realistic and viable alternatives to prison time (also called 'non-custodial options').

What are Gladue Principles?

  • R. v. Gladue is the 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision which recognized the need to deal with the crisis in Canada - the high rates of Aboriginal people in jails from coast to coast to coast.

What is a Gladue Report for?

  • The goal of a Gladue report is to increase rehabilitation, prevent future offences, promote community safety and prevent victimization (people being harmed).

  • Gives the court a complete picture of your life (timeline of events and experiences).

  • Gives the court information about your unique “background factors” or “Gladue Factors” in your life, your family’s life, and your community.  (eg. Gladue Factors include: Impacts of colonization, discriminatory policies, Indian Residential school, displacement, addictions, violence, poverty, child welfare, jail, 60s scoop). 

  • Lists the possible causes of your offence cycle in order to help the court determine opportunities that help you achieve progress and healing. 

  • Sets out a customized Healing and Restorative Justice Plan (community-based options that do not involve jail-time) made with you, for you.


Who will read the Gladue Report?

  • You, your lawyer, the judge, crown counsel, your probation officer or bail supervisor, corrections services Canada staff (intake team and your case management team), and community Indigenous justice program staff where they have been included in a diversion or alternative measures plan (a process to address your offence without jail time). 

Consent (Permission) 

What will a Gladue Report Writer do after this form is signed?

  • The Writer will contact what is called “collaterals” such as your family members, your community, or program managers who can inform me of options for you to serve your sentence in the community (by email, in person or by phone).

  • The Writer needs to find out information about the impacts of colonization on you, your family and your community, with your consent.

  • The Writer needs to interview family members, community members and other professionals.

  • The Writer needs your permission to get information and/or copies of these reports, with your consent.

What happens after the Gladue Report is completed?

  • The Writer will use this information to complete your Gladue report.

  • The Writer will go over the draft copy with you, to get your feedback and ensure accuracy.

  • The Writer will send a copy of your Gladue Report to your lawyer and/or the crown counsel, at least one week before your sentencing hearing or bail hearing.


  • The Writer will talk with your lawyer, if you have one.  The Writer may talk with your outreach worker or restorative justice worker, if there is one.

  • The Writer will receive information from Crown Counsel on the initial sentencing position.  The Writer may have to speak with Crown if their position changes.

  • Out of respect for your privacy, the Writer will provide you with an opportunity at the end of the first interview to tell you how much information you are comfortable with the Writer sharing, with your family and community.  (eg. your name, your charges, your social circumstances) and who you suggest is contacted.

  • The Writer will contact your Nation or Aboriginal organizations to find out information about general programs and services, and possible diversion options.  The Writer will not identify you by name, but might have to discuss some of the details of your offence to determine eligibility to programs.  

  • The Writer will keep a copy of your Gladue Report for their records, in a secure, encrypted, confidential archive system. 

  • The documents used to complete the report and any notes taken, will be safely destroyed if sent by email or returned to the lawyer (if sent by mail).


  • The Writer to you:
    The Writer is responsible to you as the subject of the Gladue Report to be accountable, transparent and respect confidentiality.  The Writer is independent from the courts or lawyers or criminal justice representatives. Gladue Report writers are neutral.  Our job is to bring forward your voice and your story and provide non-jail options for the court to consider.   

  • The Writer to Legal Services Society (BC):
    For information about Gladue Report Writer Policy Guidelines:

  • The Writer will follow the Standards of Conduct and Standards of Confidentiality  (LSS). 

You give the Writer permission to:

1. Communicate with your lawyer and/or crown counsel;

2. Interview you (the subject of the Gladue Report);

3. Request & review documents and records about you;
4. Interview & obtain information from your family, friends and professionals in your circle;
5. Research your community (programs and services, and effects of colonization);
6. Write a Gladue Report;
7. Send your report to an independent legal reviewer (contractor with Legal Services Society).
(The editor will maintain confidentiality.  The editor will review the report to ensure it is in keeping with standards required for Gladue Reports in BC);
8. Request records about you (e.g. medical, police, corrections, legal, psychiatric, psychological, educational, social and family information, adoption records).


Steps you can take to inform yourself:

Please ask your Writer about what steps they will take at the start of your interview.


Please pay close attention to your consent form you sign. The form you sign is the one that has obligations placed on yourself and the Writer.  



This information is provided as a guide to inform you of your rights and to give you a heads up about what to expect.  The Gladue Writers Society recommends all Gladue Writers follow the above listed guide.


As Gladue Report writers are independent contractors, they are not part of a regulated profession (such as doctors or lawyers).  They are on a roster with LSS BC and/or work independently from another institution. 


Each Writer will provide you with a unique consent form and go about the Gladue Report process with their own steps.

© The Gladue Writers Society of British Columbia 2019