Media Advisory: Supreme Court to rule on validity of risk assessment tests for Indigenous prisoners

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For immediate release

OTTAWA – Tomorrow, June 13, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada will release its decision in Ewert v. Canada, a case challenging the use of prisoner risk assessment tests that can be culturally biased against Indigenous prisoners.

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) and BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) co-intervened in the case to ask the Court to require, for the first time within prison walls, that decision-makers follow the Gladue framework by taking into account the unique circumstances of Indigenous people that come into contact with the criminal justice system.

The psychological risk assessment tests at issue have serious impacts on how a prisoner is treated while incarcerated, as well as the timing of their release. A bad risk assessment rating can mean an Indigenous prisoner is less likely to get parole, access to programs, early or temporary release, and more likely to experience solitary confinement and a maximum security setting.

UBCIC and BCCLA’s full written argument can be found here.

UBCIC and BCCLA are represented in this case by Paul Champ and Christine Johnson of Champ and Associates, Ottawa.

WHAT:            Supreme Court of Canada to release its decision in the case of Ewert v. Canada

WHEN:            Wednesday, June 13 at 6:45 am PT/9:45 am ET

WHERE:          Supreme Court of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)

CONTACT:      Andrea Glickman, Policy Director for UBCIC, at [email protected]  ;Jay Aubrey, Counsel for BCCLA, at [email protected]