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Statistical Profiles of Homicide, Sex, Robbery and Drug Offenders in Federal Corrections

No. B-11

By:
Laurence L. Motiuk
Raymond L. Belcourt

Research Division
Correctional Service of Canada

April, 1995

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION

II. HOMICIDE OFFENDERS

III. SEX OFFENDERS

IV. ROBBERY OFFENDERS

V. DRUG OFFENDERS

VI. SUMMARY TABLES

I: INTRODUCTION

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) routinely collects sentence administration and demographic information on offenders under federal jurisdiction. In 1993, the CSC converted from the Offender Information System (O.I.S.) to the Offender Management System (O.M.S.). The Service had historically reported offender population statistics through quarterly publications and monthly snapshots using the Offender Population Profile System. Therefore, caution should be taken when comparing data derived from O.M.S. to data from previous years.

This report summarizes data gathered on homicide, sex, robbery and drug offenders under the jurisdiction of the Correctional Service of Canada on 31 December 1994. These numbers reflect the prevalence or the number of offenders who have these types of crimes under federal jurisdiction. While the total number of offenders with these crimes is likely to be an underestimate, the statistical profiles generated in this report may be seen to provide general indicators of the extent and nature of these types of offenders. More specifically, distributions with respect to security level and release status as well as region are given. Further, descriptive statistics in relation to gender, age, ethnicity and nature of offence are also provided.

Note: Selection criteria used to define the current federal offender population excluded the following O.M.S. Offender Current Status Table codes: deceased, on bail, sentence completed, suspended unlawfully at large, and suspended temporary detained.

II: HOMICIDE OFFENDERS

BACKGROUND

In Canada, the crimes classified as homicide include: first degree murder, second degree murder, manslaughter and infanticide. Deaths caused by criminal negligence, suicide, accidental or justifiable homicide are not included.

Although homicides represent less than 1% of all violent crimes, criminal justice agencies have been collecting homicide statistics since 1961 to closely monitor the extent and trends of such offenses.

The following is an overview of some of the statistical information available on homicide offenders currently under federal jurisdiction.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

Total Homicide Population

  1. On 31 December 1994, a review of CSC's offender management system yielded a total of 4,393 homicide offenders under federal jurisdiction and comprise one-fifth (20%) of the total federal offender population.

Incarcerated Homicide Population

  • On 31 December 1994, there were 2,896 homicide offenders incarcerated in federal institutions and comprise about one-fifth (21.8%) of the federal incarcerated population.
  • About 947 of these federally incarcerated homicide offenders were in maximum security institutions, 1,572 were in medium security institutions, and 331 were in minimum security institutions. More specifically:
    • minimum security:
      • 11.6% of all homicide offenders;
    • medium security:
      • 55.2% of all homicide offenders;
    • maximum security:
      • 33.2% of all homicide offenders; and
    • [regional psychiatric & treatment centres]:
      • 4.8% of all homicide offenders.

Conditional Release Homicide Population

  • On 31 December 1994, there were 1,497 homicide offenders on conditional release and comprise 17% of the federal conditional release population.

    More specifically:

  • 215 or 14.4% were on day parole;
  • 1,193 or 79.7% were on full parole; and
  • 89 or 5.9% were on statutory release

REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF HOMICIDE OFFENDERS

  • Regionally, the Ontario and Quebec regions have the most homicide offenders, each being responsible for slightly more than one quarter of the homicide offender population, respectively.
  • In a comparison of the proportion of homicide offenders in each region with the proportion of general offenders, the Pacific and Ontario regions have more homicide offenders relative to their proportion of general offenders.

    More specifically:

    • Atlantic:
      • 6.8% of homicide offenders, and 9.9% of all offenders (proportionately fewer homicide offenders);
    • Quebec:
      • 27.2% of homicide offenders, and 28.9% of all offenders (proportionately fewer homicide offenders);
    • Ontario:
      • 29.9% of homicide offenders, and 27.6% of all offenders (proportionately more homicide offenders);
    • Prairies:
      • 18.8% of homicide offenders, and 20.2% of all offenders (proportionately fewer homicide offenders); and
    • Pacific:
      • 17.4% of homicide offenders, and 13.4% of all offenders (proportionately more homicide offenders).

CHARACTERISTICS OF HOMICIDE OFFENDERS

Gender

  • On 31 December 1994, a review of CSC's offender management system revealed that the majority of homicide offenders listed to date are male (96%).There were 176 (4%) cases of a female offender for whom a homicide offence was listed.

Age

  • On 31 December 1994, the average age of homicide offenders under federal jurisdiction was almost 42 years old. The oldest homicide offender was 89 years old and the youngest was 18 years old.
  • Homicide offenders as a group appear to be aging. The average age of homicide offenders at admission was about 36 years old. The oldest homicide offender admitted was 87 years old and the youngest was 16 years old.

Ethnicity

  • On 31 December 1994, the majority of homicide offenders (78.9%) were Caucasian.
  • In a comparison of the proportion of homicide offenders in each ethnic group with the proportion of general offenders, there was somewhat of a larger proportion of Native homicide offenders relative to their proportion of general offenders. More specifically:
    • Caucasian:
      • 78.9% of homicide offenders, and 78.3% of all offenders (about the same proportion);
    • Native:
      • 13.0% of homicide offenders, and 10.5% of all offenders (proportionately more homicide offenders);
    • Black:
      • 3.1% of homicide offenders, and 5.5% of all offenders (proportionately fewer homicide offenders);
    • Asiatic:
      • 1.0% of homicide offenders, and 1.9% of all offenders (proportionately fewer homicide offenders); and
    • Other:
      • 4.0% of homicide offenders, and 3.8% of all offenders (about the same proportion).

Nature of Offence

  • Categorizing homicide offenders by actual conviction, one finds the following:
    • 651 cases of first degree murder, and 14.8% of all homicide offenders;
    • 2,422 cases of second degree murder, and 55.1% of all homicide offenders;
    • 1,320 cases of manslaughter, and 30.0% of all homicide offenders; and
    • 0 cases of infanticide, and 0.0% of all homicide offenders.

III: SEX OFFENDERS

BACKGROUND

The following is an overview of some of the statistical information available on sex offenders currently under federal jurisdiction.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

Total Sex Offender Population

  • On 31 December 1994, a review of CSC's offender management system yielded a total of 3,748 sex offenders under federal jurisdiction and comprise (17%) of the total federal offender population. However, these figures understate the actual number of sex offenders because current computer systems do not identify all previous convictions for a sex offence (e.g., provincial sentences); anyone who has committed a sexually-related offence; and anyone who has previously committed a sex offence but was never convicted. A National Sex Offender Census which was conducted in March 1991, identified all sex offenders. The census found about 85% of the sex offender population could be accounted for by the computer systems. Therefore, using a correction factor (1.173), it is estimated that on 31 December 1994 there were actually 4,396 sex offenders under federal jurisdiction. This adjusted number comprises about 20% of the total federal offender population.

Incarcerated Sex Offender Population

  • On 31 December 1994, there were 2,703 sex offenders incarcerated in federal institutions and comprise about one-fifth (20%) of the federal incarcerated population. Using a correction factor, it is estimated that on 31 December 1994 there were actually 3,170 sex offenders in federal institutions. This adjusted number comprises 23.8% of the total federal incarcerated population.
  • About 600 of these federally incarcerated sex offenders were in maximum security institutions, 1,768 were in medium security institutions, and 310 were in minimum security institutions. More specifically:
    • minimum security:
      • 11.6% of all sex offenders;
    • medium security:
      • 66.0% of all sex offenders;
    • maximum security:
      • 22.4% of all sex offenders; and
    • [regional psychiatric & treatment centres]:
      • 4.7% of all sex offenders.

Conditional Release Sex Offender Population

  • On 31 December 1994, there were 1,045 sex offenders on conditional release and comprise about (12%) of the federal conditional release population. Using a correction factor, it is estimated that on 31 December 1994 there were actually 1,225 sex offenders under community supervision. This adjusted number comprises about 14% of the total federal conditional release population.

    More specifically:

    • 159 or 15.2% were on day parole;
    • 439 or 42.0% were on full parole;
    • 446 or 42.7% were on statutory release; and
    • 1 or 0.1% other.

REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF SEX OFFENDERS

  • Regionally, the Prairies and Ontario regions have the most sex offenders, each being responsible for slightly more than one-quarter of the sex offender population, respectively.
  • In a comparison of the proportion of sex offenders in each region with the proportion of general offenders, the Quebec region has fewer sex offenders relative to their proportion of general offenders.
  • More specifically:
    • Atlantic:
      • 13.0% of sex offenders, and 9.9% of all offenders (proportionately more sex offenders);
    • Quebec:
      • 20.1% of sex offenders, and 28.9% of all offenders (proportionately fewer sex offenders);
    • Ontario:
      • 26.9% of sex offenders, and 27.6% of all offenders (about the same proportion);
    • Prairies:
      • 27.3% of sex offenders, and 20.2% of all offenders (proportionately more sex offenders); and
    • Pacific:
      • 15.5% of sex offenders, and 13.4% of all offenders (proportionately more sex offenders).

SEX OFFENDER POPULATION TRENDS

  • The sex offender population has continued to grow rapidly and disproportionately to the total offender population over the last two years - particulary in federal institutions. Over a two year period (31 December 1992 to 31 December 1994) the total sex offender population has increased by 17%, the sex offender population in institutions has increased by 24% and the sex offender population under community supervision has increased by 3%.

RECIDIVISM AND RETURN RATES

  • A recent follow-up study of federal sex offenders (average 3.5 years) revealed that during the post-release period, about one-third of the sex offenders were convicted of a new criminal offence, nearly one-fifth for violent crimes and less than one in ten for a new sexual offence.

CHARACTERISTICS OF SEX OFFENDERS

Gender

  • On 31 December 1994, a review of CSC's offender management system revealed that the majority of sex offenders listed to date are male (99.5%). There were 17 (.5%) cases of a female offender for whom a sex offence was listed.

Age

  • On 31 December 1994, the average age of sex offenders under federal jurisdiction was almost 41 years old. The oldest sex offender was 86 years old and the youngest was 19 years old.
  • Sex offenders as a group appear to be aging. The average age of sex offenders at admission was about 39 years old. The oldest sex offender admitted was 85 years old and the youngest was 15 years old.

Ethnicity

  • On 31 December 1994, the majority of sex offenders (76.2%) were Caucasian.
  • In a comparison of the proportion of sex offenders in each ethnic group with the proportion of general offenders, there was somewhat of a larger proportion of Native sex offenders relative to their proportion of general offenders. More specifically:
  • Caucasian:
    • 76.2% of sex offenders, and 78.3% of all offenders (proportionately fewer sex offenders);
  • Native:
    • 16.5% of sex offenders, and 10.5% of all offenders (proportionately more sex offenders);
  • Black:
    • 4.5% of sex offenders, and 5.5% of all offenders (proportionately fewer sex offenders);
  • Asiatic:
    • 0.4% of sex offenders, and 1.9% of all offenders (proportionately fewer sex offenders); and
  • Other:
    • 2.5% of sex offenders, and 3.8% of all offenders (proportionately fewer sex offenders).

IV: ROBBERY OFFENDERS

BACKGROUND

In Canada, the crimes classified as robbery include: armed robbery and robbery with violence, threats or use of a weapon. Break and enter with intent to commit robbery is not included.

Although robberies represent less than 10% of all violent crimes, criminal justice agencies regularly collect robbery statistics to monitor the extent and trends of these offenses.

The following is an overview of some of the statistical information available on robbery offenders currently under federal jurisdiction.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

Total Robbery Population

  • On 31 December 1994, a review of CSC's offender management system yielded a total of 7,408 robbery offenders under federal jurisdiction and comprise one-third (33.5%) of the total federal offender population.

Incarcerated Robbery Population

  • On 31 December 1994, there were 4,824 robbery offenders incarcerated in federal institutions and comprise more than one-third (36.3%) of the total federal incarcerated population.
  • About 1,359 of these federally incarcerated robbery offenders were in maximum security institutions, 3,024 were in medium security institutions, and 384 were in minimum security institutions. More specifically:
    • minimum security: 8.1% of all robbery offenders;
    • medium security: 63.4% of all robbery offenders;
    • maximum security: 28.5% of all robbery offenders; and

Conditional Release Robbery Population

  • On 31 December 1994, there were 2,584 robbery offenders on conditional release and comprise 29.3% of the total federal conditional release population.

    More specifically:

  • 557 or 21.6% were on day parole;
  • 1,073 or 41.5% were on full parole;
  • 949 or 36.7% were on statutory release; and
  • 5 or 0.2% other.

REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF ROBBERY OFFENDERS

  • Regionally, the Quebec and Ontario regions have the most robbery offenders, each being responsible for slightly more than one-third and one-quarter of the robbery offender population, respectively.
  • In a comparison of the proportion of robbery offenders in each region with the proportion of general offenders, the Quebec region has more robbery offenders relative to their proportion of general offenders.
  • More specifically:
    • Atlantic:
      • 6.7% of robbery offenders, and 9.9% of all offenders (proportionately fewer robbery offenders);
    • Quebec:
      • 37.6% of robbery offenders, and 28.9% of all offenders (proportionately more robbery offenders);
    • Ontario:
      • 24.6% of robbery offenders, and 27.6% of all offenders (proportionately fewer robbery offenders);
    • Prairies:
      • 18.0% of robbery offenders, and 20.2% of all offenders (about the same proportion); and
    • Pacific:
      • 13.1% of robbery offenders, and 13.4% of all offenders (about the same proportion).

CHARACTERISTICS OF ROBBERY OFFENDERS

Gender

  • On 31 December 1994, a review of CSC's offender management system revealed that the majority of robbery offenders listed to date are male (99%). There were 89 (1%) cases of a female offender for whom a robbery offence was listed.

Age

  • On 31 December 1994, the average age of robbery offenders under federal jurisdiction was almost 34 years old. The oldest robbery offender was 78 years old and the youngest was 16 years old.
  • Robbery offenders as a group appear to be aging. The average age of robbery offenders at admission was about 31 years old. The oldest robbery offender admitted was 65 years old and the youngest was 16 years old.

Ethnicity

  • On 31 December 1994, the majority of robbery offenders (82.4%) were Caucasian.
  • In a comparison of the proportion of robbery offenders in each ethnic group with the proportion of general offenders, there was somewhat of a larger proportion of Caucasian robbery offenders relative to their proportion of general offenders. More specifically:
    • Caucasian:
      • 82.4% of robbery offenders, and 78.3% of all offenders (proportionately more robbery offenders);
    • Native:
      • 9.3% of robbery offenders, and 10.5% of all offenders (proportionately fewer robbery offenders);
    • Black:
      • 5.4% of robbery offenders, and 5.5% of all offenders (about the same proportion);
    • Asiatic:
      • 1.1% of robbery offenders, and 1.9% of all offenders (proportionately fewer robbery offenders); and
    • Other:
      • 1.8% of robbery offenders, and 3.8% of all offenders (proportionately fewer robbery offenders).

V: DRUG OFFENDERS

BACKGROUND

In Canada, the crimes classified as drug offenses include those under the Food and Drug Act (FDA) and the Narcotics Control Act (NCA).

The following is an overview of some of the statistical information available on drug offenders currently under federal jurisdiction.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

Total Drug Offender Population

  • On 31 December 1994, a review of CSC's offender management system yielded a total of 5,117 drug offenders under federal jurisdiction and comprise almost one-quarter (23.1%) of the total federal offender population.

Incarcerated Drug Offender Population

  • On 31 December 1994, there were 2,540 drug offenders incarcerated in federal institutions and comprise about one-fifth (19.1%) of the federal incarcerated population.
  • About 566 of these federally incarcerated drug offenders were in maximum security institutions, 1,530 were in medium security institutions, and 412 were in minimum security institutions. More specifically:
    • minimum security:
      • 16.4% of all drug offenders;
    • medium security:
      • 61.0% of all drug offenders;
    • maximum security:
      • 22.6% of all drug offenders; and
    • [regional psychiatric & treatment centres]:
      • 1.4% of all drug offenders.

Conditional Release Drug Offender Population

  • On 31 December 1994, there were 2,577 drug offenders on conditional release and comprise 29.2% of the federal conditional release population.

    More specifically:

    • 383 or 14.9% were on day parole;
    • 1,671 or 64.9% were on full parole;
    • 521 or 20.2% were on statutory release; and.
    • 2 or 0.1 % other

REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF DRUG OFFENDERS

  • Regionally, the Quebec and Ontario regions have the most drug offenders, each being responsible for slightly more than one-third and one-quarter of the drug offender population, respectively.
  • In a comparison of the proportion of drug offenders in each region with the proportion of general offenders, the Quebec region has more drug offenders relative to their proportion of general offenders.

    More specifically:

    • Atlantic:
      • 7.2% of drug offenders, and 9.9% of all offenders (proportionately fewer drug offenders);
    • Quebec:
      • 37.8% of drug offenders, and 28.9% of all offenders (proportionately more drug offenders);
    • Ontario:
      • 27.9% of drug offenders, and 27.6% of all offenders (about the same proportion);
    • Prairies:
      • 16.1% of drug offenders, and 20.2% of all offenders (proportionately fewer drug offenders);
    • Pacific:
      • 10.9% of drug offenders, and 13.4% of all offenders (proportionately fewer drug offenders).

CHARACTERISTICS OF DRUG OFFENDERS

Gender

  • On 31 December 1994, a review of CSC's offender management system revealed that the majority of drug offenders listed to date are male (97%). There were 163 (3%) cases of a female offender for whom a drug offence was listed.

Age

  • On 31 December 1994, the average age of drug offenders under federal jurisdiction was almost 36 years old. The oldest drug offender was 81 years old and the youngest was 18 years old.
  • Drug offenders as a group appear to be aging. The average age of drug offenders at admission was about 34 years old. The oldest drug offender admitted was 74 years old and the youngest was 17 years old.

Ethnicity

  • On 31 December 1994, the majority of drug offenders (81.1%) were Caucasian.
  • In a comparison of the proportion of drug offenders in each ethnic group with the proportion of general offenders, there was somewhat of a larger proportion of Caucasian, Black and Asiatic drug offenders relative to their proportions of general offenders. More specifically:
    • Caucasian:
      • 81.1% of drug offenders, and 78.3% of all offenders (proportionately more drug offenders);
    • Native:
      • 4.8% of drug offenders, and 10.5% of all offenders (proportionately fewer drug offenders);
    • Black:
      • 8.3% of drug offenders, and 5.5% of all offenders (proportionately more drug offenders);
    • Asiatic:
      • 3.8% of drug offenders, and 1.9% of all offenders (proportionately more drug offenders); and
    • Other:
      • 2.0% of drug offenders, and 3.8% of all offenders (about the same proportion).

VI: SUMMARY TABLES

DISTRIBUTION OF FEDERAL OFFENDERS BY STATUS

Table 1

(as of 31-12-94)

DISTRIBUTION OF FEDERAL OFFENDERS BY SECURITY LEVEL

Table 2

(as of 31-12-94)

DISTRIBUTION OF FEDERAL OFFENDERS BY RELEASE STATUS

Table 3

(as of 31-12-94)

DISTRIBUTION OF FEDERAL OFFENDERS BY REGION

Table 4

(as of 31-12-94)

DISTRIBUTION OF FEDERAL OFFENDERS BY GENDER

Table 5

(as of 31-12-94)

DISTRIBUTION OF FEDERAL OFFENDERS BY AVERAGE AGE

Table 6

 

DISTRIBUTION OF FEDERAL OFFENDERS BY ETHNICITY

Table 7

(AS OF 31-12-94)