Profile of Aboriginal Offender Warrant of Committal Admissions to Federal Custody

Key Words

Profile, Aboriginal offenders, warrant of committal, sentence, offence, risk, dynamic need, motivation, reintegration potential, engagement


  • In 2014/15 there were 1047 Aboriginal offenders admitted to federal custody on a warrant of committal (WOC). This number has decreased over the past five fiscal years, from 1197 offenders in 2010/11.
  • In 2014/15, 11% of Aboriginal offender WOC admissions were women.
  • The largest proportion of Aboriginal offenders admitted were under the age of 30 (50%) followed by those between 30 and 49 years of age (42%) and those over the age of 50 (8%).

Sentence and Offence Information

  • Just over half (52%) of the Aboriginal offenders admitted on a WOC were sentenced to less than three years. Thirty-seven percent of Aboriginal offenders were sentenced to three to six years, 6% were sentenced to six to ten years, 4% were given indeterminate sentences, and 1% were sentenced to ten or more years. This pattern has remained consistent across the past five years.
  • The most common major offences among Aboriginal offenders admitted in 2014/15 were assault (20%), robbery (17%), sexual (16%), and drug (14%).  A small proportion of major offences involved homicide (10%), property (10%), other non-violent (8%), and other violent (5%).


  • Three-quarters (74%) of WOC admissions were initially classified as medium security, followed by minimum (17%) and maximum security (9%). Over the past five years, this pattern has remained relatively stable. 
  • Upon admission, most Aboriginal offenders were assessed as having high static risk (54%; measured using their criminal history, offence severity, and sex offence history) or medium static risk (40%), and only 6% were assessed as having low static risk.
  • The majority of Aboriginal offenders were rated as having low (49%) or medium (42%) reintegration potential upon admission, 9% were rated as having high reintegration potential.

Dynamic Need

  • Upon admission, the majority of Aboriginal offenders were considered to have high (73%) and moderate (25%) levels of need in areas amendable to intervention.
  • More than half of the Aboriginal offenders admitted in 2014/15 were considered to have moderate or high needs in the following domains: personal/emotional (90%), substance abuse (84%), attitudes (75%), employment (73%), associates (72%), and marital/family (50%).

Correctional Plan Involvement Indicators

  • Overall, 78% of Aboriginal offenders were considered to be engaged in their correctional plan upon admission. To obtain this rating, the offender had to be rated as medium or high on motivation (77% and 12%, respectively) to follow their correctional plan and on accountability (i.e., accepting responsibility and recognizing problems; 73% and 8%, respectively).

For more information

Please e-mail the Research Branch or contact us by phone at (613) 995-3975.

You can also visit the Research Publications section for a full list of reports and one-page summaries.

Prepared by: Keown, L.A., Wardrop, K., & Cousineau, C.

Data retrieved on April 19th 2015 from CJIL year-end snapshot databases.