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The Police and Court Support Program specializes in providing services to any client that is a victim of sexual violence going through the judicial system. Those referred to the program are connected with a Court Advocate. They advocate for the client with key partners in the justice field as they navigate court preparation and potential trial dates. The Court Advocate provides 6 to 8 court preparation sessions focused on definition of terms, justice processes, heathy coping strategies, follow-up care, accompaniment, and emotional support during court proceedings. Court advocates, alongside their assigned Crisis Interventionist, accompany the client and their supports on the day of the court proceedings. Clients are given tools, resources, fidgets, snacks, and activities as forms of support during the day of court.

Court Preparation:

One of the key components of the Specialized Police and Court Support Program are the Court Preparation sessions that aid and equip clients with knowledge and tools in the pre-, during, and post- court process. Outlined is a sample overview of the court preparation process:

Session 1:

Introduction session covers your Court Liaison’s roles and responsibilities, information gathering, and feelings surrounding the judicial process.

Session 2:

Details of the court flow process will be discussed, along with the timelines and what is to be expected during the process.

Session 3:

The court process will be discussed. Clients will be equipped with tools on being a witness/testifying, how to prepare themselves for trial outcomes, and their victim rights.

Session 4:

Forms and other technical information will be discussed such as Victim Impact Statements, Financial Assistance Forms, Restitutions, and Community Impact Statements, to name a few.

Session 5:

Stress and anxiety about testifying and court proceedings will be explored.  Different relaxation techniques and possible court outcomes will also be discussed.

Session 6:

Check in post-court proceedings focus on the emotional debrief, self care tips, possible referrals, and sentencing outcomes.

Forms of Oath

In November 2019, individuals making an oath in civil, criminal, or family matters in Alberta could swear on Eagle feathers in all proceedings as a traditional Indigenous form of conscience binding. In court, witnesses were commonly offered the Bible or the choice of affirmation before their testimony. Now, eagle feathers are made available in all Alberta courthouses.

Special Thanks

Thank you to the Border City Rotary Club for funding the development and production of age-appropriate Court Preparation Books that are provided to clients during their Court Preparation sessions.

Current Supports (Covid-19 Restrictions)
The Specialized Police and Court Support Program is continually providing services to their clients with respect to the safety guidelines provided by the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Court preparation programs are currently being provided virtually.

In-person police or court accompaniments as still available, with respect to provincial safety guidelines.

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