Correctional Watchdog Says Prison Population All-Time High

In the annual report of Correctional Investigator of Canada, Howard Sapers, it has been pointed out that the number of visible minorities in Canadian prisons has increased by 75 per cent in the past decade, despite the significant decrease in the number and proportion of Caucasian inmates. In addition to that, it was highlighted that Canada’s prison population has increased to its highest level ever, even though the crime rate lessened over the past two decades.

The report to be presented in Parliament by Sapers on Tuesday is expected to include more scornful indictment of federal correctional policy. While giving a speech at a church in Toronto on Sunday, Sapers stated that “you cannot reasonably claim to have a just society with incarceration rates like these.” He added that almost a quarter of all inmates are aboriginal even though they make up only four per cent of the population.

Elaborating his concerns, Sapers underlined that the rate of incarceration of aboriginal women has increased by extraordinary 80 per cent in the past decade. He alleged that the situation is even worse for black and aboriginal inmates, as he alleged that “these groups are over-represented in maximum security institutions and segregation placements. They are more likely to be subject to use of force interventions and incur a disproportionate number of institutional disciplinary charges. They are released later in their sentences and less likely to be granted day or full parole.”

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