Justice & Correctional Services

Services and programs offered by the Department of Justice and Correctional Services.

Community Justice Committees

A Community Justice Committee is an independent body composed of community members. It exists to improve judicial outcomes and community safety for all people in the community. Each committee assists in the administration of justice at the community level. By helping youth and adult offenders take responsibility for their actions and repair harm, we can reduce overall crime and victimization.

A Justice Committee is recognized by community leaders as an independent non-political entity responsible for aiding resolution. Some Justice Committees have entered into an agreement with the crown prosecutor in the judicial district for the diversion of certain criminal cases.

Justice Committees are designed to complement the criminal justice system by incorporating Cree values and approaches in the process. For some criminal acts, traditional justice system approaches are best handled at the community level to address all aspects of the act, and those affected. Sometimes, the intervention of the judicial system alone does not end conflict. The justice committees further prepare Gladue Reports and develop local programs for community members who may come in contact with the justice system. Read more here.

Cree Reintegration, Education and Employment (C.R.E.E.) Program

The purpose of the C.R.E.E. Program is to help individuals who have a criminal record and who are facing significant employment barriers to successfully reintegrate into Cree society. The idea is to empower them so they may stop their cycle of criminal behaviour and go on to lead productive lives. Individuals including youth and adults 18 years and older are eligible to participate and must either be living in a Cree community or will gain soon-to-be-released status in a detention center.

As a part of the program, community reintegration officers will work with the CHRD, the Cree School Board and the business community to assist these individuals in receiving training and finding work. An affected community member may also obtain a record suspension to increase chances of finding employment and reflect a new path he or she has embraced. In detention, participants can also get involved in the Traditional Food Program, an initiative that brings staff and affected community members together with each change of season. There is also the Elder Program where Crees who are in detention can request a visit from an Elder to guide them in their healing process. Read more on C.R.E.E. support services.


Record suspension program

A record suspension (formerly a pardon) allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but who have completed their sentence and demonstrated that they are law-abiding citizens for a certain number of years, to have their criminal record “sealed” and kept separately from active criminal records stored in the RCMP database. This helps them to access employment and educational opportunities and to reintegrate into society.

If you are eligible for a record suspension, you can apply directly to the Parole Board of Canada. If you need help preparing your application, your local Community Reintegration Officer can help assess your eligibility and organize the required paperwork. Through the Cree Nation government process, your application will be sent to the National Pardon Centre to be completed and submitted to the Parole Board of Canada on your behalf.

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services also offers financial assistance to individuals who demonstrate that they cannot afford the costs associated with the preparation and submission of a record suspension application. This financial assistance is based on eligibility criteria that are similar to the legal aid program of the Province of Quebec. Read more on the Record Suspension Program here.


Gladue Reports

The Department’s justice officers, reintegration officers, justice committee members and native parajudicial workers have all taken part in training programs to prepare Gladue Reports for Cree people who were convicted of a criminal offence. The Gladue decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, along with Criminal Code provisions, require judges to look at the history, experiences and realities of Indigenous offenders when determining appropriate sentences. The purpose is to reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous People in detention across the country. The Department when requested by the court produces a Gladue report along with recommendations. Although they are labour intensive to produce, the reports are an invaluable contribution to the legal process previously missing. These reports lead to greater awareness of issues past and present facing Indigenous Peoples. They also start the dialogue with local support services and organizations that will be necessary for the healing of the harm caused. Gladue Report writers are compensated by the Ministry of Justice of Quebec for their time and expenses.


Cree Justice Funds

The purpose of the Cree Justice Funds is to create natural partnerships with Cree entities, youth organizations, band councils and Cree beneficiaries for initiatives related to crime prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration, and youth engagement.

Crime prevention initiatives include:

  • Raising awareness through education
  • Creating safer communities
  • Using community based approaches to justice and healing


The reintegration and rehabilitation projects are about:

  • Healing transitions back into communities
  • Addressing underlying needs and issues of each person concerned
  • Improving community safety
  • Reducing recidivism
  • Supporting positive changes in individuals

The youth engagement fund works with youth leadership to empower them in their work and help to develop initiatives that address social issues. It’s about building capacity, and creating relationships to work together on key issues in the communities. Read more about the Cree Justice Funds here.


Cree CAVAC services

Cree Cavac Officers provide a number of essential services including:

  • Referral to post-trauma and/or psycho-social counselling or intervention
  • Referral to specialized services such as the appropriate legal, medical, social and community resources capable of assisting victims as they attempt to deal with the problems they face
  • Accompaniment to court or other aspects of trial/judicial process (e.g., examination for discovery) as well as to supporting community services as required (e.g., medical, housing, etc.)
  • Technical assistance such as filling out required forms to enable victims to comply with all the formalities associated with their situation
  • Advice on court process, referrals to counselling or social services and support before, during and after their involvement with the criminal justice system
  • Information on crime victims’ rights and remedies which encompasses the main stages of the judicial process, compensation program, INFOVAC-Plus and any financial assistance measures to which victims may be entitled.


Read more on Cree CAVAC services here.


Youth Programs

The Department works collaboratively with a number of Cree organizations, and other partners, to deliver a variety of programs dedicated to children and youth.

The programs and services reach over 2000 children and youth per year and propose:

  • Teaching life skills
  • Raising awareness
  • Engaging in dialogue
  • Addressing underlying identity needs & behaviour issues
  • Promoting core Cree values
  • Working with learning disabilities
  • Healing, and establishing diversions and protocols

Central to these youth programs and essential for a child to develop and adapt are Cree values, culture and language. Partnerships with schools, communities, local businesses, and on the land make these programs possible. The land-based program is unique as it is based on the Cree belief that the land is a healer, Results have been astounding.

Read more about our SNAP program.

For more information about our Alternative Suspension Program, see here.


301 Queen Street, Mistissini, QC G0W 1C0, Canada

Contact Us

These front-line services are free of charge and strictly confidential. To reach a CAVAC professional nearest you, please contact one of our main CAVAC offices:


Cree Inland CAVAC (Ouje-Bougoumou, Mistissini, Waswanipi)
301 Queen Street, Mistissini, QC G0W 1C0
Toll Free: 1 (855) 603-6137



461 Wolverine Road, QC J0M 1E0, Canada


Cree Northern Coastal CAVAC (Whapmagoostui, Chisasibi, Wemindji)
461 Wolverine Road, Chisasibi, QC J0M 1E0
Toll Free: 1 (855) 603-6136


31 Mewaben Meskino, Eastmain, QC J0M 1W0, Canada


Cree Southern Coastal CAVAC (Eastmain, Waskaganish, Nemaska)
31 Mewaben Meskino, Eastmain, Qc. J0M 1W0
Toll Free: 1 (855) 603-6168