Making Recommendations or Providing Options to the Court

 Now that you have gathered all of the relevant Gladue information and presented it to the Courts there may be an opportunity to provide a sentencing recommendation or option to the presiding Judge. It is important to understand the difference in these two terms in how this information is offerred to the Court.

 Recommendation is defined as the act of saying that someone or something is good and deserves to be chosen; a suggestion about what should be done

Option is defined as something that may be chosen as in an alternative course of action

So as the above definition implies when a Justice Worker recommends a particular course of action for the courts to take. A recommendation asks the Courts endorse this action as the best way to proceed in sentencing the offender. This requires the Justice Worker to take on some responsibility for the success or the failure of the offender to successfully complete the program or task as you recommended. Success or failure can either increase or decrease you credibility with the Courts so some caution is advised when making a "recommendation " to the Court.

Providing options allows the Judge to consider a range of alternatives that can meet the needs of the offender and the Court.  While you may not be making a recommendation or pointing out the value of one strategy over another, the Judge will find it extremely helpful if he/she is informed about a variety of programs or services to address the offender's behavior. This is also a good opportunity to introduce restorative justice programs or services.

Gladue Tip: providing options to the Court helps the Judge to determine a just sentence for the offender

don’t stray into area regarding lengths of sentence, supervision condition or mandatory participation in programs or treatment, this is solely the Judge’s decision

it is equally important to inform the Court about the lack of availability of a program or service in the offender’s community; the Judge is less likely to impose a condition(s) with a low likelihood of the offender compliance

remember you are relaying information to the court not "advocating” for the offender

since the the offender has been found guilty the purpose of the submission is not to re-open the discussion around guilt or innocence