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Aboriginal People and Sentencing

In recognition of the drastic over representation of Aboriginal people in Canadian prisons and of distinct Aboriginal perceptions of justice that differ from the conventional view, Aboriginal offenders found guilty of a crime are entitled to have a court pay particular attention to their special cultural circumstances in deciding their sentence.

These cultural circumstances include the adverse social conditions that affect Aboriginal people and contribute to their overrepresentation in prisons.  They also include a recognition of the Aboriginal view of justice as a healing process as opposed to deterrence and denunciation as in some conventional sentences.  A restorative justice sentence will often reflect this Aboriginal idea of justice and provide an alternative remedy to prison.  For these reasons, a restorative justice approach will in many cases be more appropriate for Aboriginal offenders.