Informed Consent and Release of Information


If you work for an agency, it will have policies regarding the setting up of interviews. Here are some general guidelines: 

When setting up interviews you want to assure it is at a time and location that will assure enough time and safety for obtaining the information you will need.

Do not take a list of prewritten questions, this does not allow you to respond to what you are being told. Feel free to take a small checklist, but it is best if you let the Offender and others talk, just let people talk.

How much detail?

As much detail as the person is prepared to give you.

BUT, this is personal; it is a person’s story, so ask how much they are prepared to share?

As a general rule, the more the better.

The Aboriginal offender is part of the Gladue Report writing process and will have to:

Be interviewed, perhaps more than once.

Aboriginal Justice Workers will likely in the course of their investigation have to obtain some information to verify what the Court is being told.

It is a general principle that ‘consent to release’ information is generally required by those who control various sources of information, which could include justice records, medical records, employment records and such.

SUGGESTION: The most efficient way to obtain the information often is to get the Offender to obtain records or protected information directly, and then provide it to you. Otherwise you  have to provide consent forms signed by the offender or any other person who the information is regarding.

If you were unable to obtain consent – you need to tell the Court why.

If you were unable to verify information, you must preface your comment with "It was reported to me . . . "

Download Worksheet

» Beatrice DeCoste Interview Questions (Block 1) (PDF)