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What is a community
A community is a group of people with something in common:
- anyone from the same place – like a town or neighbourhood
- professional colleagues
- religious organizations
- cultural groups
- other diverse groups – like the LGBTQ community
Why make a statement
A community impact statement is a chance to let the judge know how your community has been hurt because of a crime. The judge will consider a statement:
- if the accused is found guilty
- when sentencing the offender(s)
- is voluntary
- is submitted by your community’s representative
- can be read out in court when the offender is sentenced
What it can say
The community impact statement can talk about how the crime:
- physically damaged your community
- caused problems for your community
- changed feelings in or about your community
- cost money to your community
What it cannot say
It cannot be used to:
- ask for financial help
- talk about other crimes
- support the offender(s)
- make unproven accusations
- complain about the police or the legal system
- suggest what the sentence should be – unless approved by the judge, first
- make statements about the offender(s) or the crime which are not related to the community’s suffering
How to make the statement
After the accused is charged
Get your statement ready as soon as possible because:
- they may plead guilty right away
- the judge must have the statement before sentencing
If there is more than one offender, you can either:
- name all the offenders on one form, or
- fill out one form for each offender
Your statement can include other ways to tell your community’s story, like with a:
Step 1. Pick a community representative
Pick one person from your community who will:
- submit the community impact statement
- read the statement in court – if they want
Step 2. Fill out the form
Download and fill out the Community Impact Statement form.
Check the box at the end of the form if you want to read the statement in court.
Step 3. Submit the form
Keep a copy for your records.
Remember, the judge must receive the statement before the offender is sentenced. Allow enough time for the court to get the Community Impact Statement form.
You can send the statement by:
Send it to one of these places:
- the clerk at the courthouse where the trial will be
- your local victim services unit
- the local police service or RCMP detachment
Connect with a Victim Services Unit:
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