Ethnocultural Offenders in Federal Custody: In-Custody Indicators among Men

Research Highlights: This study identified differences across various in-custody measures for ethnocultural men.


No R-446_IM


A full PDF is also available for download on the Government of Canada Publications.

ISBN: 978-0-660-46170-0
Cat. No.: PS83-5/R446E-5-PDF

Research at a Glance: PDF

Why we did this study

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has an ethnoculturally diverse offender population. Study 2 of a three-part study examined differences with respect to in-custody indicators among ethnocultural, White, and Indigenous offenders. It is important to identify differences as they can inform CSC of areas for further examination and action to support a diverse offender population.

What we did

Study 2 examined the profile and select in-custody measures for all federally sentenced offenders admitted into CSC custody between April 1, 2016 and September 30, 2018 (N = 10,249 men), with some outcomes examined prior to Day Parole Eligibility Date (DPED; N = 9,064 men). Ethnocultural groups with over 20 individuals were examined, with the remaining groups categorized as 'Other'. Offender ethnocultural group is based on self-reported data collected as part of an intake assessment.

What we found

Table 1. In-Custody Results Summary among Men
  Arab/ West Asian Black Chinese Filipino Latin American South Asian Southeast Asian Other Indigenous White (%)
OSL at Min - --- +++ +++ + +++ -- --- 37
Incs. I/A ++ +++ --- - +++ + +++ +++ 44
Any Visit +++ --- +++ +++ +++ +++ --- 54
ETA +++ +++ + ++ 7
Ed. Ach. +++ + +++ -- 38
CSC Emp. ++ + +++ + ++ +++ - + 73
CORCAN - - - - - -- -- -- --- 29
VOC ++ + + +++ + ++ + - -- 37
Pgm. Comp. + ++ --- -- + -- 38
Note. Symbols denote trends in relation to comparison group (White offenders). ○ = +/-2%. - = -2% to -5%. -- = -5% to -10%. --- = -10% or less. + = +2% to +5%. ++ = +5% to +10%. +++ = +10% or more. † = Information suppressed due to n less than 5. OSL at Min = Initial Placement in Minimum Security. Incs. I/A = Incidents as Instigator/Associate. ETA = Escorted Temporary Absence by DPED. Ed. Ach. = Educational achievements by DPED of those without a high school education. CSC Emp. = CSC Employment by DPED. VOC = Vocational Certifications by DPED. Pgm. Comp. = Moderate or high intensity program completions by DPED among those enrolled.

As per Table 1, among men, some ethnocultural groups (Arab/West Asian, Black, 'Other' ethnocultural and Indigenous) had higher  initial security ratings than White offenders, while others (Chinese, Filipino, Latin America and Southeast Asian) had lower initial security ratings, as indicated by overall proportion placed in minimum security. With respect to institutional incidents, men identifying as Arab/West Asian, Black, South Asian, Southeast Asian, 'Other' ethnocultural and Indigenous identities were more likely to have an incident as an instigator/associate.

Men from most ethnocultural groups had a comparable or greater proportion with at least one visitor than White men, except Chinese and Indigenous men. All groups also had a comparable or greater proportion with an Escorted Temporary Absence by DPED. Among men without a high school education, most groups demonstrated comparable or greater educational achievements by DPED than White men. All groups except 'Other' ethnocultural and Indigenous men also had higher vocational certificate completions by DPED. Furthermore, all groups except 'Other' ethnocultural had comparable or greater participation in CSC employment by DPED, but all groups had lower CORCAN participation. However, this lower CORCAN participation may be due to a number of factors, including participation in other interventions and activities identified in offenders' correctional plans (such as related employment programs or correctional programs) and different availability of CSC and CORCAN employment in institutions. Regarding moderate or high correctional program participation, Arab/West Asian, Black and South Asian men had higher completion rates by DPED among enrolled participants relative to White men.

What it means

CSC's offender population continues to be increasingly diverse. Understanding differences across various indicators, including those related to in-custody experiences, can identify opportunities for CSC to enhance the support of offenders from different ethnocultural groups.

For more information

Correctional Service of Canada. (2022). Ethnocultural Offenders in Federal Custody: An Examination of Admission, In-Custody, and Community Supervision Indicators (Research Report R-446). Ottawa, Ontario: Correctional Service of Canada.

To obtain a PDF version of the full report, or for other inquiries, please e-mail the Research Branch.

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

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