Indigenous Federal Admissions and Release: 2000-01 to 2019-20

Research Highlights: Increasing Indigenous federal custody representation is largely due to proportionally more newly sentenced admissions.

Publication

No RIB-21-01

April 2021

Research in Brief- PDF

Indigenous Federal Admissions and Release: 2000-01 to 2019-20

Why we did this study

Over the past twenty years, there has been a steady increase in the number of Indigenous offenders under federal jurisdiction [from 3,058 at year-end in 2000-01 to 6,027 in 2019-20]. While the representation of Indigenous offenders in federal custody has changed from 17.1% at year-end 2000-01 to 30.2% in 2019-20, there has also been steady growth in the conditional release supervision population [from 11.8% at year-end in 2000-01 to 20.2% in 2019-20]. A broader understanding of the sources for growth can facilitate the effective allocation of resources.

Indigenous Offender Population: 2000-01 to 2019-20
Fiscal Year 00-01 04-05 09-10 14-15 19-20
Custody 2,162 2,433 2,916 3,657 4,135
Community 896Footnote1 1,016 1,095 1,352 1,892
Total 3,058 3,449 4,011 5,009 6,027

What we did

Historical year-end institutional and community supervision counts and profiles for all federal offenders are recorded as standardized reports in CSC's Corporate Reporting System-Modernized (CRS-M). Similarly, historical counts of federal admissions and releases are recorded in CRS-M. Data was extracted from CRS-M (December 15, 2020) movement module to establish a twenty-year trend (2000-01 to 2019-20) of the flows in and out of federal custody.

What we found

As reflected in the following table, new admissions to federal custody for Indigenous offenders have risen from 786 in 2000-01 to 1,303 in 2019-20; a substantial difference of +517 (or +65.8%). Unpacking new federal admissions by administrative region, it is notable that there has been a new admission decline in the Pacific region. However, in all other regions there has been an increase. In 2019-20, the Prairies region accounted for two-thirds of all new Indigenous admissions to federal custody.

Importantly, relative to 2000-01 Indigenous federal re-admissions due to revocation of conditional release appear to have increased as well. However, in recent years this trend has changed direction to fewer revocationsFootnote2.

Indigenous Admissions: 2000-01 to 2019-20
  Newly Sentenced Revocations
2000-01 2019-20 2000-01 2019-20
Atlantic 26 68 29 36
Quebec 56 79 50 51
Ontario 105 224 76 103
Prairies 486 823 380 607
Pacific 113 109 82 92
Total 786 1,303 617 889
National 4,153
(18.9%)
4,646
(28.1%)
2,696
(22.9%)
2,297
(38.7%)

With respect to Indigenous population flows out of custody, discretionary releases have increased from 395 in 2000-01 to 539 in 2019-20; a difference of +144 (or +36.5%). Also noteworthy, the Prairie region now accounts for one-half of this type of release for Indigenous offenders.

Indigenous Releases: 2000-01 to 2019-20
  Discretionary Non-discretionary
2000-01 2019-20 2000-01 2019-20
Atlantic 13 57 43 73
Quebec 18 55 79 147
Ontario 48 64 162 225
Prairies 262 276 643 1,024
Pacific 54 87 109 214
Total 395 539 1,036 1,682
National 2,650
(14.9%)
2,706
(19.9%)
4,498
(23.0%)
4,545
(37.0%)

What it means

The result that newly sentenced admissions of Indigenous offenders to federal custody continue to exceed the rate of discretionary releases points to the intersection between Canadian society, criminal justice policy and corrections.

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: Larry Motiuk and Andre Arnet-Zargarian

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