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)

The statement:

  • 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:

  • letter
  • poem
  • drawing

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:

  • email
  • mail
  • delivery

Send it to one of these places:

Resources

Contact

Connect with a Victim Services Unit:

View all contact options