Identified Needs of Federal Offenders in Custody: 2020
Research Highlights: Upon admission to federal custody, Indigenous offenders have greater needs for intervention than non-Indigenous.
Research in Brief- PDF
Why we did this study
At time of admission to federal custody, the individual needs (e.g., education, employment, etc.) of offenders are systematically recorded. Internationally, these variables are contained in objective assessment procedures for classifying criminal offenders and formulating individualized intervention plans.
What we did
The Correctional Service of Canada’s intake assessment and correctional planning process standardizes the recording of a set of individual case needs previous exposure to the criminal justice system and corrections in the Offender Management System (OMS). Data were drawn from the Dynamic Factors and Identification section of OMS at mid-year 2020-21 for the entire federal in-custody population. Indicators were available for the majority of Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders. Missing data are due to legacy and in-progress cases.
What we found
OMS-reported data show that both Indigenous men and women in federal custody have higher rates of identified needs for intervention than non-indigenous. Indicators where the difference between the two groups are large (see Tables 1 and 2) appear to have significant overlap with identified Indigenous Social History factors.
|Less than high school diploma or equivalent||77.7%||60.5%|
|Unemployed at time of arrest||79.2%||63.5%|
|Limited family attachment childhood||51.5%||25.7%|
|Suspected affiliation with street gang / organized crime||23.5%||13.3%|
|Early age drug use||85.9%||55.4%|
|Alcohol or drug use has resulted in law violations||91.0%||63.7%|
|Alcohol and/or drug use is part of the offence cycle||88.2%||59.7%|
|Less than high school diploma or equivalent||68.1%||49.0%|
|Unemployed at time of arrest||92.7%||69.8%|
|Limited family attachment childhood||53.0%||36.2%|
|Suspected affiliation with street gang / organized crime||27.4%||3.2%|
|Early age drug use||84.3%||51.2%|
|Alcohol or drug use has resulted in law violations||94.9%||60.6%|
What it means
The disproportionate representation of Indigenous people in federal custody is being manifested at the tail end of the criminal justice system. The differences shown in these analyses highlight the greater need for targeted and culturally sensitive interventions that take into account Indigenous Social History factors. More program development and community support work is required to mitigate against the social determinants of exposure to the criminal justice system.
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 Leslie-Anne Keown
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