The Yukon Community Wellness Court
The Yukon Community Wellness Court (CWC) is an innovative therapeutic court designed to contribute to the building of safer Yukon communities through crime reduction. It does this by working with offenders in the criminal justice system on the root causes of their criminal behaviour. The court officially opened in April 2007 and it accepted its first referral in June 2007.
The court targets individuals with addictions, mental health problems, and/or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Participants work with a coordinated team of professionals and community supports to develop and follow a holistic wellness plan.
The Community Wellness Court is a response to the high percentage of cases before Yukon criminal courts with offenders that have significant wellness-related issues and problems. The court recognizes that these problems, including addictions, historical trauma, and poverty, are deeply embedded in the fabric of many Yukon families and communities. Holistic and culturally relevant approaches to working with offenders on the underlying issues that lead to their criminal behaviour are required in order for positive changes to occur in Yukon recidivism rates.
The CWC is a collaborative project that involves a partnership among the following:
- Yukon Territorial Court
- Yukon Department of Justice
- Public Prosecution Service of Canada
- Yukon Legal Services Society
- Council of Yukon First Nations
- Yukon Department of Health and Social Services
The Community Wellness Court receives funding from the Government of Yukon.
The Community Wellness Court is being evaluated and the evaluation will fully document the program’s activities, development, and outcomes.