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Aboriginal Sentencing

            What is your perception on an Aboriginal offender/non-offender? How does the society portray Aboriginals? How does the Criminal Justice System sentence an Aboriginal? The Criminal Code of Canada has made a lot of adjustments. Generations continue, and society changes furthermore. Sentencing has been changed beneficially over the years for Aboriginals offenders, to have a different outlook on society, and for society to have a restored outlook on Aboriginals; whether they be offenders or non-offenders. Even though there are still some major alterations to be made in the criminal justice system on behalf of the Aboriginals, Gladue has been one of those changes that could be the answer to all problems. .
             Through the process of the courts and the Canadian Criminal Justice system it's required that the cultural considerations be a focus when sentencing offenders. Specifically in the case of Aboriginal offenders, Aboriginal peoples backgrounds such as history regarding residential schools, child welfare removal, physical or sexual abuse, and underlying developmental or health issues such as anxiety and/or abuse should be taken into account before the courts when it comes to appropriate sentencing. (Nwac.ca, 2013) The court system applies this to all offenders equally and considers the offenders cultural values and norms before sentencing them. In the Criminal Code of Canada, in the year 1996, Gladue was recognized in section 718.2 so that when sentencing an aboriginal offender, the judge must consider: 1. the unique systemic or background factors which may have played a part in bringing the particular aboriginal offender before the courts and 2.the types of sentencing procedures and sanctions which may be appropriate in the circumstances for the offender because of his or her particular aboriginal heritage or connection. (Supreme Court, 2013) This does not mean that all Aboriginal offenders automatically qualify for lighter sentences than non-Aboriginal offenders.

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