Homicide, Sex, Robbery and Drug Offenders in Federal Corrections: An End-of-2008 Review

Key Words

homicide, sex, robbery, drug, population trends, serious and violent offenders

Why we did this study

Reviews of homicide, sex, robbery and drug offenders incarcerated and under supervision have been completed eleven times previously by Research Branch. The current report presents updated statistics on these groups of offenders to end-of-year 2008.

Changes in the Correctional Service of Canada’s (CSC) offender population may be due to a combination of factors including legislative changes, police discretion, changes in crime trends, and National Parole Board practices. These changes will shape the types of correctional interventions that are developed and delivered to offenders within institutions and when they return to the community.

What we did

Federal offenders who were incarcerated or supervised in the community on December 31st, 2008 (n = 22,445) were compared on a number of demographic variables. More than 95% of CSC offenders had at least one conviction for a homicide, sex, robbery, or drug offence.

What we found

The following changes occurred in the CSC offender population from 1998 to 2008:

  • The number of homicide and drug offenders increased by 18% each, while the number of sex and robbery offenders decreased by 14% and 8% respectively.
  • The number of homicide and drug offenders supervised in the community increased by 25% and 4% respectively, while there were decreases in the number of sexual (22%) and robbery offenders (18%).
  • The number of in-custody offenders in maximum security increased for all offence types. Homicide (31%) and robbery (29%) offenders were more often housed in maximum security than drug and sexual offenders (23% each).
  • The proportion of supervised offenders on statutory release increased for all offence types.
  • With the exception of involvement in robbery, which nearly doubled in the ten-year period, the proportion of women convicted of homicide, sexual, and drug-related offences were stable.

What it means

Examining changes in correctional populations is important for forecasting and planning correctional interventions. For example, identifying increases in the population of homicide offenders may signify the need for a greater number of intervention programs for these offenders. As the majority of federal offenders have been convicted of a homicide, sex, robbery or drug offence, changes in these populations will alter the federal offender profile. CSC will continue to monitor these trends.

For more information

Axford, M. (2011). Homicide, sex, robbery and drug offenders in federal corrections: An end-of-2008 review. Research Report R-234. Ottawa: Correctional Service of Canada.

A PDF version of the full report can be obtained by emailing: research@csc-scc.gc.ca.

Prepared by: Marsha Axford


Research Branch
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