Community Impact Statement

When a community suffers harm or loss as a result of an offence, a community impact statement may be considered in the sentencing process.  Victim Services staff will help an individual prepare the statement on behalf of the community and file it with the clerk of the court for use during sentencing.

What information is included in a community impact statement?

The statement describes how the offence has impacted the community including physical or emotional harm to citizens, property damage or economic loss. 

  • A community impact statement:
  • Reflects the views of the community submitting the statement;
  • Should be directed to the judge, not the offender; 
  • Refers only to the offence(s) for which the accused person has been charged;
  • States only the impact of the crime on the community, not what happened or the facts of the case.

The statement must not include any:

  • Statement about the offence or the offender that is not relevant to the harm or loss suffered by the community;
  • Unproven allegations;
  • Comments about any offence for which the offender was not convicted;
  • Comments or criticisms about the offender’s character; 
  • Complaint about any individual, other than the offender, who was involved in the investigation or prosecution of the offence; or
  • Opinion or recommendation about the sentence, except with the court's approval.

What if information needs to be added after the statement is filed?

If you wish to add information to your community impact statement after it has been filed with the court, contact Victim Services to request that new information be prepared and filed.

How is a community impact statement used in court?

The clerk of the court will keep the community statement in a sealed envelope and it will not be opened unless the accused person is found guilty of the offence to which the statement relates. 

  • If the accused person is found not guilty, the judge will not read the community impact statement.
  • If an accused person pleads guilty or is found guilty after a trial, the judge, the crown attorney, the offender, and his or her counsel will receive copies of the community impact statement.  If a pre‑sentence report is ordered, Probation Services will also receive a copy of the statement.

The Judge will consider the community impact statement as one of the factors in determining sentence.

Is a community impact statement confidential?

When the court has considered a community impact statement, it is no longer confidential.  After sentencing, it becomes part of the court file and public information.  As such, the public, including the media, will be able to see and refer to your community impact statement at that point.

After sentencing, the appropriate correctional authority will receive a copy of the community impact statement for use in dealing with the offender.

Will I have to present the community impact statement in court?

Copies of the written statement will be distributed to the judge, the crown attorney, the offender, and his or her counsel. 

You may read aloud the community impact statement you prepared and filed with the court or you may be permitted to present the statement in any other manner that the judge considers appropriate.  Discuss your presentation options with Victim Services before the community impact statement is typed.

If the offender or the offender’s lawyer disagrees with the contents of a community impact statement, a community representative may be called upon to testify at the sentencing hearing.

How do I get help preparing a victim impact statement?

Contact Victim Services in your area:

Victim Services: Queens and Kings County
1 Harbourside Access Road
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368‑4582                

Victim Services: Prince County
263 Heather Moyse Drive
Suite 19, 2nd Floor
Summerside, PE   C1N 5P1
Telephone: (902) 888‑8218
                

Published date: 
June 23, 2016
Justice and Public Safety department logo

General Inquiries

Community and Correctional Services Division
4th Floor South, Shaw Building
95 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8
Phone: (902) 620-3115
Fax: (902) 368-5283

cfhandrahan@gov.pe.ca