Aboriginal Offenders – Overview

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There is a current and increasing over-representation of Aboriginal offenders.

Introduction:

  • Aboriginal peoples represent 2.8% of the Canadian population, but account for 18% of the federally incarcerated population.
  • Aboriginal-specific and culturally appropriate programs and services are required to address the needs of Aboriginal offenders.

Overview:

  • The Solicitor General released the Federal Task Force Report on Aboriginal Peoples in Federal Corrections in 1989.
  • The Corrections and Conditional Release Act provided for Aboriginal-specific provisions 79-84 in 1995.
  • These developments provided structure to the development of a specific policy on Aboriginal programming in CSC.
  • A National Strategy on Aboriginal Corrections was developed by CSC in 1997 to provide some concentrated focus on Aboriginal programs, Aboriginal community developments, Aboriginal Employment/Recruitment and Partnerships on Aboriginal issues.
  • CSC has the following Aboriginal-specific programs, services and initiatives targeted towards the safe and successful reintegration of Aboriginal offenders:
    • Aboriginal Treatment and Healing Programs
    • Aboriginal-specific health strategies in HIV/AIDS, FAS/FAE and traditional healing
    • Research projects on Aboriginal Reintegration
    • Aboriginal Healing Lodges (currently 8 across Canada)
    • Halfway Houses for Aboriginal offenders (currently 24 across Canada
    • Agreements with Aboriginal Communities to offer services to Aboriginal offenders
    • A National Aboriginal Employment/Recruitment Strategy
    • Elders working in institutions and in the community
    • Aboriginal Liaison Services in federal institutions
    • Support to Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood Groups
    • Aboriginal Offender Employment and Job Placement
    • An Aboriginal Gangs Reintegration Project

Future:

CSC is currently developing a new National Strategy that will further expand and focus its efforts to ensuring an Aboriginal-specific correctional process is in place throughout an Aboriginal offender's sentence.