The Saskatchewan Aboriginal Courtworker Program provides important services that assist Aboriginal adults and youth in conflict with the law. Courtworkers help to ensure that Aboriginal people who are alleged to have committed a criminal offence receive fair and just treatment before the courts.
There are 35 full and part-time Courtworkers working for 15 agencies in Saskatchewan. These include tribal councils, friendship centres and other organizations contracted to provide the Aboriginal Courtworker Program.
Courtworker services are provided for 76 per cent of all places in the province where court is held.
- explain the reason for the charges to the accused;
- provide general information about legal rights and responsibilities;
- help the accused get legal counsel;
- act as a liaison between the accused and the police, defence lawyers, the court or the Crown prosecutor;
- ensure the accused understands all court proceedings;
- translate court proceedings for the accused if he or she is not fluent in English; and
- appear with the accused in court.