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THE EFFECT OF FAMILY DISRUPTION ON ABORIGINAL AND NON-ABORIGINAL INMATES

Shelley Trevethan, Sarah Auger & John-Patrick Moore

Correctional Service Canada
Michael MacDonald
Department of Justice Canada
Jennifer Sinclair
Assembly of First Nations
September, 2001

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This project began in the summer of 2000, as a joint effort between Correctional Service Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, the Department of Justice Canada, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Native Counselling Services of Alberta and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. The project involved conducting an offender survey in correctional facilities in the Prairie region to examine the effect of family disruption and attachment on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates.

The study found that larger proportions of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates were involved in the child welfare system when they were children. Approximately two-thirds of Aboriginal inmates said they had been adopted or placed into foster or group homes at some point in their childhood, compared toabout one-third of non-Aboriginal inmates.

An important question, particularly for Aboriginal inmates, was whether children who were born in the 1960's or earlier were more often involved in the child welfare system. The answer to this question appears to be no. Among Aboriginal inmates, there were no significant differences based on age of those adopted, or placed into foster or group homes.

The report confirms other research, demonstrating that Aboriginal inmates had amore extensive history in the criminal justice system and less stability while growing up than non-Aboriginal inmates. However, this appears to be less the case when they were young children than when they were adolescents. Furthermore, when involvement in the child welfare system is examined, no significant differences exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders on perceptions of stability. Since larger proportions of Aboriginal inmates were involved in the child welfare system, this seems to contribute to the differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates in childhood stability. However,it is not clear whether placement in the child welfare system caused instability or whether placement in the child welfare system was a result of other factors in the home or involvement in the criminal justice system.

Most inmates said they were attached to their primary caregiver even though many reported a great deal of instability in their childhood home life. However,those who reported an unstable childhood were less attached to their primary caregiver than those who reported a stable childhood.

Attachment to a primary care giver during childhood does not appear to impact on criminal risk indicators, such as youth or adult criminal history, risk to re-offend,or needs. However, stability of adolescence appears to be related to some criminal risk indicators, but primarily for non-Aboriginal inmates. This is somewhat surprising since one may expect that an unstable childhood or lack of early attachments may lead to more involvement in crime and greater needs later on in life. However, all respondents were currently incarcerated in a federal penitentiary and large proportions have would have various risk factors related to criminality. Perhaps other factors contributed to criminal risk indicators for these offenders.

Adolescent stability does not seem to affect the current relationship with a spouse or children. Among both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates, those with stable and unstable adolescent experiences had a similar amount of contact with, and attachment to, their spouse and children. However, an unstable adolescence may affect the current relationship the inmate has with other family members, such as mother, father and siblings. This may be the result of less contact with these people during childhood and the relationship may have remained distant through adulthood. Interestingly, among Aboriginal inmates, those with an unstable adolescence reported more regular contact with their grandmother than those with a stable adolescence. This may be because as a child they often lived with their grandmothers and maintained this relationship.

Almost three-quarters of the Aboriginal inmates said that they were currently attached to Aboriginal culture, that is, they considered it part of their everyday life and they felt a sense of belonging. Further more, 80% said that they were currently involved in Aboriginal activities, such as circles, ceremonies, sweat lodges and smudges. Interestingly, attachment to Aboriginal culture seems to bere-developed upon entry into the federal correctional system.

Approximately one-fifth of the Aboriginal respondents reported attending a residential school. It is likely that the small number of inmates who reported attending residential schools is due to the age of the inmate population, most of who were too young to be involved in residential schools at the time they were operating. It is clear that those who attended residential school described their experience as very negative. Most said they had no access to cultural or spiritual activities while they were attending the residential school. Further, more than three-quarters said that they had experienced physical and/or sexual abuse atthe school.

The results from this research can be used in a number of ways. It provides Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) with information on issues facing the inmate population, which can be used to develop appropriate programs. Withsuch a large proportion of offenders, particularly Aboriginal offenders, who have been involved in the child welfare system, this appears to be an area that needs further attention. It was clear from the interviews that many inmates felt that nobody had ever asked them questions about their childhood. Further more, the desire of these people to see a better life for the next generation of children was obvious.

The Department of Justice Canada can benefit from this research in terms of assisting the development of criminal law and youth justice policy, justice and community-based program funding, as well as furthering an understanding of the devastating effects of witnessing family violence. Other federal and provincial/territorial departments can use the information to aid in policy and program decisions. For instance, it provides evidence of the importance of focusing on the child welfare system and issues children are facing. There search also confirms what some Aboriginal organizations have been saying concerning the importance of addressing child welfare legislation, and issues of poverty and street youth.

Finally, this research emphasizes the importance of federal and provincial governments and non-governmental organizations working together to address issues relating to the child welfare system. It is important for government and Aboriginal organizations to begin developing integrated approaches between the policy and program silos that compartmentalize the way we deal with issues relative to children, youth and offenders. From program restructuring within federal correctional institutions to the way we approach youth justice and the population we target as at risk, positive outcomes depend on the development of policy along side the understanding of what is occurring in the communities.This study is a stepping stone for better understanding of youth initiatives that can impact the lives of Aboriginal youth. Because it focuses on offenders serving time in federal correctional facilities, it is not surprising that a great deal of disruption or negative childhood experiences is evident. Therefore, it is important to examine this issue in the broader community. In-depth research on childhood attachment and stability among a non-offending population is necessary for a greater understanding of this issue.

With ever increasing numbers of Aboriginal people being incarcerated, it is important to look at ways to keep families and children/youth together. If we can identify when youth are being put into care and their first involvement with the criminal justice system then we can look at the times when preventative measures can best be utilized. It is vitally important that departments who focuson crime prevention, corrections and youth justice use the findings of this research to influence the work that they are doing with Aboriginal youth.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This project was made possible through the combined efforts of a working group comprised of representatives from various federal departments and non governmental organizations. Members of the working group included: ShelleyTrevethan, John-Patrick Moore, Paul Sonnichsen, Randy Mason (Correctional Service Canada); Michael MacDonald (Department of Justice Canada); DanBeavon, John Clement, Sheila Van Wyck, Bruno Steinke (Department of IndianAffairs and Northern Development); Jennifer Sinclair, Mike O'Brien, Karri-LynnPaul (Assembly of First Nations); Sarah Auger, Patti Laboucane (NativeCounselling Services of Alberta); and Gail Valaskakis (Aboriginal HealingFoundation). The working group members helped to guide the research and provided valuable expertise and advice on the project.

A number of different sources of funding were used for this project, including theResearch Branch of CSC, the Women Offenders Branch of CSC, the Research and Statistics Division of Justice Canada, and the Youth Justice Branch ofJustice Canada.

In addition to some of the working group members who conducted interviews, the authors would like to thank the other interviewers, including Douglas Turkington,Amey Bell, Gloria Lee, and Susanna Steinitz.

Other people who contributed to this project include: Gerry Cowie, Larry Motiuk,Kelley Blanchette, Gina Wilson, Hilda Vanneste, Doreen Sterling (CSC);Lawrence Ellerby (Native Clan of Manitoba); Giselle Lavalley (Federation of Saskatchewan Indians); Holly Johnson (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics).The authors would also like to thank the staff from Stony Mountain,Saskatchewan Penitentiary, Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, Drumheller Institution,Edmonton Institution and the Edmonton Institution for Women for all of their assistance. This project could not have been completed successfully without thehelp of the Assistant Wardens of Correctional Programs, the native liaison officers, elders, parole officers, psychologists and other staff.

The Native Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods and other inmate committees were also extremely helpful in getting the inmates to participate in the interviews.Their support of this project encouraged many people to become involved.Finally, we would like to thank the inmates who took the time to tell us the stories of their lives while growing up. We appreciate their candour and openness about some sensitive areas of their lives.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

INTRODUCTION

This project began in the summer of 2000, as a joint effort between Correctional Service Canada (CSC), the Assembly of First Nations, the Department of JusticeCanada, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, NativeCounselling Services of Alberta and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. The project involved conducting an offender survey in seven federal correctional institutions in the Prairie region to examine the effect of family disruption and attachment on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates.

Over-Representation of Aboriginal People in the Canadian Criminal Justice System

The disproportionate involvement of Aboriginal persons in the Canadian criminal justice system has been recognized for some time. Various inquiries and reports have noted that Aboriginal people are over-represented in virtually all aspects ofthe criminal justice system (Correctional Service of Canada, 2000; Henderson,1999; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996; Saskatchewan IndianJustice Review Committee, 1992; Solicitor General Canada, 1988; Solicitor General Canada and Attorney General of Alberta, 1991; Task Force on theCriminal Justice System and its Impact on the Indian and Métis people of Alberta,1991). As reported by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996)"Reports and inquiries… have not only confirmed the fact of over-representation of Aboriginal offenders in the criminal justice system] but, most alarmingly, have demonstrated that the problem is getting worse, not better".

Similarly, research at various stages of the justice system has demonstrated the over-representation of Aboriginal people. For instance, Doob, Grossman andAuger (1994) found that Aboriginal people were over-represented as homicide victims and suspects in Ontario. Two studies (Quann & Trevethan, 2000; Wolff,1991) examined differences between charge rates on and off reserve in Saskatchewan. These reports found that crime rates on reserves were substantially higher than rates in rural or urban areas of the province. Similarly,research has found Aboriginal persons were over-represented among those charged in selected urban areas (Quann & Trevethan, 2000; Trevethan, 1993).Finally, research has clearly demonstrated an over-representation of Aboriginal people in the correctional system (e.g., Trevethan, Carrière, MacKillop, Finn,Robinson, Porporino & Millson, 1999; Trevethan, Tremblay & Carter, 2000).Further research is necessary to examine the specific reasons for the over representation of Aboriginal persons. LaPrairie (1997) discusses four possible causes of Aboriginal over-representation in the criminal justice system. These include: differential criminal justice system processing as a result of cultural conflict and racial discrimination; higher Aboriginal offending rates; the commission of offences that are more likely to result in custodial sentences by Aboriginal people; and, criminal justice policies and practices that have a differential impact on Aboriginal offenders due to their socio-economic conditions.Although some reports discuss differential treatment of Aboriginal persons by criminal justice personnel, according to Tonry (1994) "the evidence… strongly suggests that differences in offending patterns, not racial animus, are the primary cause of justice system disparities". A substantial number of reports have no teda link between various disadvantaged socio-economic conditions and the proportion of Aboriginal persons in the criminal justice system (e.g., Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 1990; LaPrairie, 1997; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996; Trevethan et al., 2000). There are a number of risk factors that appear to provide clues as to why Aboriginal people are over-represented, for example, age, unemployment and poverty. These reports have also identified a larger proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal people living under these conditions.

Family Disruption/Attachment

An important, and often neglected, area for examination is the effect that family disruption and attachment have on criminal behaviour. More broadly, to what extent does lack of attachment or lack of stability within a family affect criminal behaviour and future relationships? In 1978, Cernkovich and Giordano argued that the study of the relationship between the family and delinquency lagged far behind other areas of research and theory development, with the prevalent view being that family variables are not as important as peer, school and various structural factors in understanding delinquent behaviour patterns. For instance,they noted that much of the research in this area turns to a dichotomous, structural variable - broken/unbroken home, with little data on the nature and quality of these relationships. In recent years, more attention has been paid tofamily-related factors.

Attachment theory was originally developed by Bowlby (1969, 1973, 1980) to explain emotional regulation in infants. According to this theory, the first stage ofthe attachment process involves the development of bonds to a care taker during the early years of life. Whether positive or negative, attachment in childhood is considered to provide children with a template for the development of their future relationships. In addition, infants develop expectations about the roles of themselves and others in their relationships. The person therefore develops an internal working model about the relationship, built around expectations, beliefs and attitudes resulting from early attachment experiences. Bowlby notes that the attachment system is only one of several behavioural systems that regulate an infant's behaviour. However, according to attachment theory, the quality of aperson's attachment to a primary caregiver is crucial to the development of interpersonal attachment style.

Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters and Wall (1978) expanded on Bowlby's original theory by adding the notion of the caregiver as a secure base from which an infant explores surroundings. They argued that a responsive, sensitive caregiver was critical to the development of a secure attachment pattern. Ainsworth (Ainsworth,1989; Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991) suggested three types of attachment: secure, anxious/ambivalent, and avoidant. Bartholomew (1990) extended this using atwo-dimensional model that results in four attachment styles: secure (positive view of self and others), preoccupied (negative view of self but positive view ofothers), dismissing (positive view of self but negative view of others), and fearful(negative view of self and others). Research has found a relationship between attachment styles observed in infants and those observed in adults, with between55% and 65% of adults being classified as securely attached.

The research concerning family attachment, particularly to a primary caregiver, shows that lack of attachment often results in maladaptive and antisocial behaviour among children and adolescents (Cernkovich & Giordano, 1987;Loeber, 1991; Paolucci, Violato & Schofield, 1998; Sim & Vuchinich, 1996;Towberman, 1994; Widom, 1991). According to Hirschi (1969) "the more strongly a child is attached to his parents, the more strongly he is bound to their expectations, and therefore the more strongly he is bound to conformity with the legal norms of the larger system". According to Rankin and Wells (1990), in addition to Hirschi's parental bonding theory, there are a number of other the oretical perspectives that attempt to explain the relationship between delinquency and the family. These include: modelling, where children imitate deviant parental behaviours; discipline or direct control, where parents use reinforcement techniques to influence children's behaviours; parental conflict which produces stress in the child resulting in behavioural problems; and disruptions to family functioning, such as the loss of a parent.

Research has demonstrated that family disruption due to placement in a foster orgroup home can have negative effects on children and adolescents (Blome,1997; Brand & Brinich, 1999; Kendrick, 1990; Kim, Zrull, Davenport & Weaver,1992; McMillen & Tucker, 1999; Roy, Rutter & Pickles, 2000; Westad, 1994).Placement in foster or group homes typically occur after a period of neglect,abuse, exposure to violence, or multiple changes in caregivers either within the natural family or in prior foster or group homes (Chinitz, 1995; Kufeldt, Vachon,Simard, Baker & Andrews, 2000). Negative effects can take various forms, suchas externalizing problems, intellectual and academic functioning, and internalizing behaviours.

However, the effects of growing up in foster care are disputed among the social scientific community. Some argue that foster care graduates are better off than ifthey had been left in their biological homes. For example, Festinger (1983)completed a study of over 2,000 children who had been in foster care for at least five years in New York and found that the majority had grown into mature, well adapted and law-abiding citizens. However, admission into foster care at a younger age and for a longer period of time, with fewer placements was usually associated with better outcomes. A study conducted by Widom (1991) of cases of abuse and neglect between 1967 and 1971 found that placement in foster care itself was not positively related to later criminality. However, she found that children placed at a later age had higher rates of delinquency and adult criminality. As well, a clear relationship was established between the number of moves a child made and later delinquency and adult criminality. While the outcomes for the participants in these studies were, for the most part, positive, there appears to be a connection between age at placement, number of moves,and later criminality. According to Kufeldt et al. (2000), there are growing indications that, contrary to the current bias in favour of family preservation, the reception into care was the appropriate plan for most children served.Other studies have examined the relationship between behaviours that would be considered maladaptive and foster care experience. Dumaret, Coppel-Batschand Couraud (1997) interviewed a sample of adults who had come from severely dysfunctional families and had been raised in foster families for at least five years. They found that the majority had overcome early childhood hardships, butthat many had difficulties upon exit from foster care. Problems finding employment, financial difficulties, hospitalizations and psychosomatic problems were numerous. Blome’s (1997) study of a matched group of foster and non fostercare youth found that the educational prospects of the foster care youth who aged out of the system were significantly lower than those of the non-fostercare youth. She found that foster care youth dropped out of high school at a higher rate, and were less likely to have completed a General Education Diploma(GED). In addition, the foster care youth that did graduate from high school wereless likely to receive financial assistance to further their education. They experienced more discipline problems in school and reported more disruption due to numerous school changes. Roy, Rutter and Pickles (2000) found that characteristics of children reared in foster and institutional care included behavioural difficulties, unsociability, disruptive behaviour, hyperactivity, and emotional disturbance. McMillen and Tucker (1999) found low educational attainment, low job skills, substance abuse and increased risk of psychiatric careto be among the effects of being reared in foster care.

According to Nye (1958), it is not the structure of the family per se which is causally related to delinquency, but the actual relationships and interaction patterns that are the key variables. There are many factors that may have an impact on the effect of foster or group homes, such as the number of foster/group home placements, number of caregivers, and histories of abuse and/or neglect inthe biological home.

Adoption studies have also identified some of the same negative effects as there search examining foster/group homes, although not to the same extent.According to Brand and Brinich (1999), while children in foster care have significantly more behavioural problems, the vast majority of adopted children showed patterns of behaviour problems similar to those of non-adopted children. Similarly, studies of adoptees in the Netherlands (Verhulst, Althaus & VersluisdenBieman, 1992) and Sweden (Cederblad, Hook, Irhammer & Mercke, 1999)reported that children adopted in these countries do not run a greater risk forlater criminality than the general population. These studies found that the majority of their subjects were well-adjusted at the time of the interviews. However, they note that certain factors can contribute to maladjustment later inlife. Verhulst et al. found that adopted children from developing countries were atrisk when there was a history of abuse prior to adoption. Cederblad et al. found that negative conditions prior to being placed for adoption led to damaging behaviours. It appears that adopted children who have been placed at a laterage, and have subsequently been exposed to early environmental risks, encounter greater difficulties. However both studies reported that attachment tothe adoptive family could help the child overcome these earlier negative experiences.

There is not a great deal of information on the number of children involved in the child welfare system in Canada, in particular the number of Aboriginal children. Hepworth (1980) provided an in-depth examination of foster care and adoption inCanada. He found that, among those aged 0-14, 1.3% of children overall and4.3% of registered Indian children were in the care of provincial child welfare services. He noted that the number of children in care stabilized between themid-1960's and the late 1970's. However, the number of registered Indians incare increased. In the late 1970's, about 20% of all children in care wereAboriginal. Loucks and Timothy (1981) found similar proportions of children incare (1.3% of all children and 3.5% of Aboriginal children). In Alberta, Johnston(1983) found that 42% of children in care were Aboriginal. According to the Special Committee on Indian Self-Government (1983), the likelihood of Native children being taken out of their family and community and placed under the careof a child welfare agency is five times higher than for non-Native children. More recently, Anglin (1999) found that approximately 7% of all children in Canada were in care.

In terms of the offending population, Johnston (1997) found that non-relativeshad raised 23% of adult Aboriginal offenders. Grant, Motiuk, Lefebvre and Couturier (1996) found that 50% of Aboriginal adult offenders on day parole hadchild welfare or training school placements before the age of 16. MacDonald(1997) found that 44% of the Aboriginal young offenders interviewed in British Columbia had been foster home residents at some point in their lives. Finally,Skoog, Hamilton and Perrault (2001) found that, among a sample of inmates interviewed in Manitoba, 88% of Aboriginal and 65% of non-Aboriginal inmates were not living at home by the age of 18.

There is also a lack of information on attachment and family relationships as it relates to Aboriginal people. While some cross-cultural studies have been done,the research has been primarily with African-American or Hispanic populations.However, some inferences can be made with regard to Aboriginal people in examining the experiences of other marginalized populations. For example, one study by Matuseda and Heimer (1987) found that the effects of a disrupted family were much worse for a sample of black males as compared to their cohort ofnon-black males. The results for Aboriginal people in a similar study may be similar. Among Aboriginal children, adoption or foster care may lead to more negative effects because it may involve separation from the family unit as well as separation from the Aboriginal culture and community. Skoog et al. (2001) foundthat Aboriginal youth are placed at higher risk for failure to develop strong bonds to family and others than non-Aboriginal youth.

Assembly of First Nations

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is attempting to examine First Nation children and families affected by historical and current federal and and foster care policies. In approaching government to participate in this research project, the AFN was asking itself, as well as federal and provincial government departments, "what has happened to our children?" The over representation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in the justice and correctional systems is the middle of a story. It is important to understand the steps that brought Aboriginal children to this fate in order to develop policies that will end the story favourably.

When Canada creates a law, such as the Indian Act, there can be no doubt that the lives of children will be affected. Rarely, in any society, have children been asked to cope with policies to the extent that Aboriginal children in Canada have been forced to. Yet Aboriginal children are the least researched or understood population in Canada. Aboriginal problems have often been dealt with by removing children from parents and communities and placing them outside of Aboriginal control and influence. There have been more than 100 years of policies that have removed and continue to remove Aboriginal children from their families, communities and societies. Still, one must ask what has happened and continues to happen - to these children. Where have they gone? The AFN decided it must examine the economies in Aboriginal communities froma social perspective rather than from infrastructure or ability to access capital.

They began from the basic social principle that healthy people are vital to a healthy economy. Therefore, healthy economies in First Nation communities are dependent upon the social well-being of First Nations peoples. This research is about how some Aboriginal children have coped, or have not coped, with the Indian Act policy in their childhood.The AFN approached CSC to help with this research. They had heard stories that up to 95% of Aboriginal peoples in jails had been institutionalized by child welfare agencies at some point in their lives. What better place to find some ofthe missing children, and to start asking questions, than inside a federal correctional facility? In support of this, a snapshot of the federal inmate population demonstrates substantial differences in family needs among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates (Correctional Service Canada, 2000). Forinstance, significantly larger proportions of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates have a childhood lacking in family ties, mother and/or father absent,negative maternal and/or paternal relations, dysfunctional parental relationship, spousal abuse, and other family members involved in crime.

Present Study

The present study was conducted to examine Aboriginal inmates living situations while growing up including adoption, foster care, and group home experiences.This includes information on family disruption, attachment to caregivers, stabilityof home life, as well as current relationships. The study also examines whether Aboriginal inmates were raised in Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal cultures. Finally,the study attempts to gather some general information on residential schools and inter-generational issues.

This study is meant to be a preliminary examination of the issue of family disruption and attachment. Since it focuses on offenders serving time in federal correctional facilities, it is likely that a great deal of disruption or negative childhood experiences will be evident. However, the study aims to examine whether Aboriginal inmates differ from non-Aboriginal inmates in terms of childhood experiences. In future studies, it will be important to examine childhood attachment and stability among a non-offending population.

The major research questions for this study include:

  1. To what extent have Aboriginal inmates in federal facilities in the Prairie Region been involved in the child welfare system?
  2. Did Aboriginal inmates have a more unstable childhood than non-Aboriginal inmates?
  3. Were Aboriginal inmates less attached to caregiver(s) during childhood than non-Aboriginal inmates?
  4. Do inmates with little attachment and/or an unstable childhood have more criminal risk indicators than inmates with a great deal of attachment or a stable childhood?
  5. Are Aboriginal inmates with little attachment and/or an unstable childhood more detached from Aboriginal "culture" than Aboriginal inmates with a great deal of attachment or a stable childhood?
  6. How many Aboriginal inmates attended residential school and how do they describe their experiences?
  7. Do Aboriginal inmates with an unstable childhood currently have unstable or negative relationships with their family more so than Aboriginal inmates who had a stable childhood?

METHOD

This project is a comparative study of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates in federal institutions in the Prairies. The Prairies has a large population of Aboriginal people and its correctional institutions are imprisoning a disproportionate number of Aboriginal offenders. For instance, although less than 10% of the adult population of Manitoba and Saskatchewan are Aboriginal(Statistics Canada, 1996), about one-half of the inmate population is Aboriginal(Correctional Service Canada, 2000). Although the proportion of Aboriginal people is smaller in Alberta, a similar over-representation pattern exists.In order to gather the necessary information, two data sources were utilized personal interviews and offender files. Interview data provided personal information not available in offender files, and allowed for more in-depth discussions about family-related issues.

Personal Interviews

An interview tool was developed in consultation with an advisory team, which consisted of representatives from several different partners (Correctional Services Canada, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development,Justice Canada, Assembly of First Nations, and Native Counselling Services ofAlberta). In addition, input on the questionnaire was sought from a number ofother organizations (such as the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, etc.).Interview questions were designed to determine the extent of child welfare involvement in the lives of the inmates, their sense of attachment and stability,and in the case of Aboriginal offenders, whether they were raised outside their culture. The questionnaire was sent out numerous times to the advisory team for suggestions before a final draft was approved and pre-tested. The interview questions are included as Appendix B.

Subjects were individually interviewed by trained interviewers. The structured interviews included both closed and open-ended questions. Both Aboriginal andnon-Aboriginal interviewers conducted interviews. While both male and female interviewers completed interviews with male respondents, after discussions with the institutions, it was decided that only female interviewers would interview female respondents.

The interview took anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours to complete, dependingon the amount of information provided. An average interview took about 45minutes. All interview data sheets were sent back to CSC Headquarters for data coding and analysis.

Since this study focused on family attachment and disruption, perceptions of attachment and stability were examined. In order to adequately measure attachment and stability, it was necessary to develop clear operational definitions of the terms. The respondents were asked to rate their level of attachment and stability on likert scales based on personal experiences and perceptions.However, interview prompts were developed to help the respondents quantify and qualify the terms. The term "attachment" was operationally defined as attachment to primary caregiver(s) and included feelings of love, caring, trust, support and belonging. The term "stability" was operationally defined as a senseof stability in the home environment and included security, consistency, reliability and routine. In addition to the likert scales, respondents were asked to describ etheir feelings of attachment and stability by giving examples.

Offender Files

A review of offender case files, using CSC's Offender Management System(OMS), was conducted to supplement the information from the interviews (seeAppendix C). These were used to determine the extent that family disruption and lack of family attachment may have contributed to the criminal activity of Aboriginal offenders through an analysis of offence characteristics and previous youth and adult court involvement, as well as gang activity.

Process

Interviews were conducted in seven federal prairie institutions. In Manitoba,Stony Mountain (a medium security institution for men). In Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Penitentiary (medium and maximum for men), and Okimaw OhciHealing Lodge for women. In Alberta, Drumheller Institution (a medium security institution for men); Edmonton Institution (a maximum security institution for men)and Edmonton Institution for Women. Team leaders were assigned to each ofthe three provinces to co-ordinate the data collection process.

The Assistant Warden of Correctional Programming of each Institution was contacted to set up interview dates and to organize any information sessions that they felt should take place. Therefore, pre-interview information sessionsdiffered across institutions. For instance, at Saskatchewan Penitentiary, two weeks prior to the interviews, two of the team leaders held an information session for staff, as well as an information session for elders and inmate representatives. At Stony Mountain, numerous information sessions occurredthe week preceding the commencement of interviews (with inmate representatives, native brotherhood, staff, elders, etc.). At Drumheller, an information session was held in the cultural centre the evening prior to the commencement of interviews. At Edmonton Institution, information was provided to staff and inmates on a one-to-one basis, in each of the units.

Edmonton Institution for Women presented particular challenges that the other institutions did not. An information session with the inmate committee and the native sisterhood was held, and each house representative posted an information sheet in their house. However, there was little interest in participation on the partof the women. The women who attended the information session had several concerns about the content of the interviews, particularly the sensitive nature of some of the questions. They felt that many of the women would not want todelve that deep into their childhood, and revisit any abuse that they had suffered.It was decided that the interviewers would go to each house with the native liaison to explain the project in more detail and to reassure the women that theycould decide not to answer any questions that they did not feel comfortable answering. This course of action was successful in getting much more participation from the women, with the majority deciding to take part in the interviews.

It was mentioned at each of the Institutions that there may be an opportunity for the interviewers to return to each institution at the conclusion of the study to share the results with the participants. The inmates felt that this was an excellent idea and noted that they were very interested in hearing the results of the study.

Subjects

The sample for this study consisted of male and female offenders incarcerated at selected federal institutions in the Prairie region. Approximately 30 Aboriginaland 30 non-Aboriginal male respondents were selected through systematic random sampling of all inmates who were "on-count" in each institution at thetime of the study1. Due to the small number of female inmates, all females at each of the two institutions were approached with an invitation to participate inthe study.

As indicated in Table 1 (see Appendix A), Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal respondents were fairly similar in terms of the offences for which they were currently incarcerated. Approximately one-quarter of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates were incarcerated for homicide or attempted murder (23%and 22%, respectively). Similar proportions were also incarcerated for sexual assault (14% and 12%, respectively). However, larger proportions of Aboriginal inmates were incarcerated for assault (46% versus 28%), while larger proportions of non-Aboriginal inmates were incarcerated for drug-related offences (28% versus 18%).

Overall, the participation rate was fairly good considering the sensitive nature of the subject matter. Among Aboriginal inmates, the participation rate was low at 1 Due to a lock-down in Saskatchewan Penitentiary - maximum during the time the interviewers were on-site, it was not possible to interview the intended 30 Aboriginal and 30 non-Aboriginal inmates.

Okimaw Ohci (32%), perhaps due to a number of other interviews and visits that had been occurring near the time of the interviews and due to difficulty in circulating the project information to inmates. For the other institutions, it rangedfrom 55% to 84%. Among non-Aboriginal inmates, the participation rate was 46% at Saskatchewan Penitentiary (maximum), most likely due to tensions froma lock-down during the interview period. For the other institutions, it ranged from 53% to 82%.

During the interviews, a few respondents recorded as non-Aboriginal in the files said that they were Aboriginal. It was decided to include them within the Aboriginal sample if they self-identified as being Aboriginal. Therefore, the total male sample included 148 Aboriginal males (50 from maximum security and 98 from medium security) and 124 non-Aboriginal males (32 from maximum securityand 92 from medium security). The female sample included 27 Aboriginal and 24 non-Aboriginal females. The following indicates the breakdown of interviews conducted at each institution chosen:

Province Institution Sex Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
Manitoba Stony Mountain (medium) M 32 31
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Penitentiary (maximum) M 16 5
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Penitentiary (medium) M 34 30
Saskatchewan Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge (minimum/medium) F 9 2
Alberta Edmonton Institution (maximum) M 34 27
Alberta Drumheller Institution (medium) M 32 31
Alberta Edmonton Institution for women (multi) F 18 22
TOTAL     175 148

The following indicates the breakdown by Aboriginal status:

Aboriginal Status Male Female
First Nations 106 18
Métis 39 9
Inuit 3 0
Non-Aboriginal 124 24

FINDINGS

As previously described, the study sample consisted of male and female offenders incarcerated at selected federal institutions in the Prairie region.Among the males, interviews were conducted in medium- and maximum-security institutions. The institutions for the women were multi-security. Preliminary analyses examined whether differences existed between the groups on various socio-demographic characteristics and criminal history. It was discovered that no significant differences were found between the characteristics of male inmates in the three medium-security institutions (Stony Mountain, Saskatchewan Penitentiary - medium, Drumheller) or in the two maximum-security institutions(Saskatchewan Penitentiary - maximum, Edmonton Institution). Similarly, no significant differences were found in the characteristics between the females inthe two institutions (Okimaw Ohci, Edmonton Institution for Women).

Between-group differences were also examined for male and female inmates. As illustrated in Table 2 (Appendix A), a smaller proportion of females than males were single at the time of admission (35% versus 62%). Further, the mean age when first questioned by police was older for females than males (18.1 versus13.4), as was the mean age when they first went to court (19.6 versus 16.2).Smaller proportions of females than males were involved in youth court (40%versus 64%) and spent time in youth custody (38% versus 61%). In terms of offences, a larger proportion of females were currently incarcerated for drug related offences (48% versus 18%), while a larger proportion of males were incarcerated for assault (42% versus 15%), sexual assault (15% versus 4%),robbery (38% versus 12%) and other property-related offences (53% versus35%). Finally, the mean aggregate sentence length for females was shorter than for males (4.2 versus 5.7 years).

Some significant differences were also found between inmates in medium- and maximum-security institutions. The mean age when admitted to the institution was older for those in medium- than maximum-security institutions (31.5 versus26.2). In addition, the mean age when first questioned by police was higher for those in medium- than maximum-security institutions (14.3 versus 11.4), as was the mean age when they first went to court (17.4 versus 13.5). Smaller proportions of those in medium-security facilities were involved in youth court(56% versus 81%) and spent time in youth custody (74% versus 55%). Larger proportions of those in maximum security were currently incarcerated for robbery compared to those in medium security (49% versus 33%).

The following describes the specific analyses examining the seven research questions described earlier. Because of the differences found between males and females, and between inmates in medium and maximum-security facilities,the initial analyses were conducted separately for each group. However, it was discovered that, for the most part, the results for each group were similar to the overall findings. Therefore, the report focuses on the findings among all inmates and notes any significant differences between groups. On the major research questions, sub-analyses were conducted to examine differences between First Nations and Métis inmates 2. However, a full examination of these sub-groups was not undertaken for this paper.

Involvement in Child Welfare System

The first research question asked "to what extent have Aboriginal inmates infederal facilities in the Prairie Region been involved in the child welfare system".Overall, one-half (51%) of all respondents reported that they had been involved in the child welfare system at some point in their childhood, including adoption, foster care and group home placements.

As illustrated in Figure 1, a larger proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates were involved in the child welfare system when they were children.Overall, 63% of Aboriginal inmates said they had been adopted or placed infoster or group homes at some point in their childhood, compared to 36% of non-Aboriginal inmates.

Due to the small number of Inuit offenders, a separate analysis is not possible.

Figure 1: Involvement in Child Welfare System

As can be seen in Table 3, about one-half (49%) of the Aboriginal inmates had been placed in foster care, compared to about one-quarter (24%) of non-Aboriginal inmates. In addition, 16% of Aboriginal inmates were placed for adoption, compared to 6% of non-Aboriginal inmates. Although larger proportions of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates were placed into group homes, the differences were not statistically significant (34% and 27%,respectively).

A comparison between First Nations and Métis inmates revealed similar results. Similar proportions of First Nations and Métis inmates were placed into foster care (51% and 46%, respectively) and group homes (33% and 34%,respectively). However, a larger proportion of First Nations than Métis inmates reported being adopted (19% versus 6%).

A few questions come to mind concerning involvement in the child welfare system. For example, were those who grew up in urban areas more often placedin the child welfare system because of easier access to services? The analysis for this question demonstrated that basically the same proportions of Aboriginal inmates who grew up in urban and rural areas were involved in the child welfare system (65% and 66%, respectively). However, larger proportions of non-Aboriginal inmates who grew up in urban areas said they were involved in the child welfare system (42% versus 24%). So, among non-Aboriginal inmates, some characteristic of living in the city appears to make a difference in involvement in the child welfare system, perhaps greater availability of social services.

Another question, particularly for Aboriginal inmates, relates to their age were children who were born in the 1960's or earlier more likely to be involved in the child welfare system? The answer to this question appears to be no. Among Aboriginal inmates, there were no significant differences based on age of those adopted, or placed into foster or group homes. Among non-Aboriginal inmates, in fact, larger proportions of those who are younger were placed into group homes (35% versus 21%).

Finally, what were the circumstances surrounding the placement into the child welfare system for the respondents? For those who were adopted, the averageage of adoption was about 4 years old. For those who were placed in fostercare, the average age of first placement was 8 years of age and for those who were placed into a group home, the average age of first placement was about 12years of age. These findings were similar for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates.

No significant differences were found between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates in the number of foster or group homes they lived in. Large proportions of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates said they had been placed in two or more foster homes (64% and 55%, respectively). Similar proportions of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates were placed in two or more group homes(43% and 41%, respectively).

Larger proportions of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates said they were placed into care by the province rather than their parents. Approximately one half(48%) of Aboriginal inmates were placed for adoption by the province,compared to 11% of non-Aboriginal inmates. Similarly, 82% of Aboriginal inmates were placed into foster care by the province, compared to 63% of non-Aboriginal inmates.

Aboriginal inmates who were placed in the child welfare system were also asked whether they were placed in Aboriginal homes or had access to Aboriginal culture. Generally speaking, the largest proportion of Aboriginal inmates who were adopted (41%), placed in foster care (54%), or placed into a group home(78%) said they were not placed in homes with Aboriginal caregivers. Similarly,most of the respondents said that they were not provided with access to their Aboriginal culture while growing up (63%, 80%, 70%, respectively).The findings from this study are similar to other studies that have found large proportions of inmates previously being involved in the child welfare system (e.g.,Johnston, 1997; MacDonald, 1997). It is not easy to find recent comparable information on the number of children involved in the child welfare system inCanada. However, the proportions of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates who had been involved in the child welfare system appears to be substantially higher than among those outside the criminal justice system.According to studies conducted in the 1980's (e.g., Hepworth, 1980; Loucks & Timothy, 1981; Special Committee on Indian Self-Government, 1983), approximately 1% of children overall and about 4% of Aboriginal children are involved in child welfare services. As illustrated in this study, among the inmate population, about one-third of non-Aboriginal and two-thirds of Aboriginal inmates were involved in the child welfare system.

Stability of Childhood

The second research question asked whether "Aboriginal inmates had a more unstable childhood than non-Aboriginal inmates"? A few different indicators of stability were used to address the above question. First, inmates' mean perceived stability score during childhood was examined, as well as the proportion that said they had a stable or unstable childhood. Respondents were asked "On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being 'not at all stable' and 5 being 'verystable', how would you rate the stability of your home life while you were growing up"? In addition to an overall rating, stability was also examined during early childhood (up to age 11) and during adolescence (ages 12-18).

It is important to remember that the analyses derived from the perceptions of stability may not necessarily reflect reality. Therefore, other measures of stability such as home environment and involvement in crime were examined in order to confirm the respondents' perceptions. An initial analysis examined whether those who said they had an unstable childhood tended to have other indicators of instability. It was found that those who said they had an unstable childhood were significantly different than those with a stable childhood on all the other indicators of stability.

Overall, inmates said their childhood was some what stable, with the mean scoresaround 3. They also tended to say that their early childhood experience was more stable than their adolescent experience (mean of 3.4 versus 2.9). Overtwo-thirds (68%) of inmates said they had a stable childhood overall.Approximately three-quarters (73%) said they had a stable early childhood and 58% said they had a stable adolescence. To illustrate this, on a scale of 1 to 5,one respondent rated his early childhood as a 5 (very stable) and his adolescence as a 1 (not at all stable). He says:

[When I was young] my grandparents loved and cared for me. They worshipped me. They treated me like I was their own child. When I was a teenager, I moved from home to home. I was in lots of foster homes. I felt unloved.

Two components to this question were examined. Firstly, did Aboriginal inmates have a more unstable childhood than non-Aboriginal inmates. Secondly, do those who were involved within the child welfare system say they had a more unstable childhood than those who were not involved in the child welfare system?

Did Aboriginal inmates have a more unstable childhood than non-Aboriginal inmates?

Aboriginal inmates had significantly lower self-reported stability ratings during adolescence than non-Aboriginal inmates (mean of 2.6 versus 3.2). This wasalso the case among male inmates in medium-security institutions (mean of 2.8versus 3.3). There were no significant differences among those in maximum security facilities or among females.

As indicated in Figure 2 (also see Table 4), one-half (50%) of Aboriginal inmates reported an unstable adolescence (rating of 1 or 2), compared to one-third (32%)of non-Aboriginal inmates. There were no significant differences in perceived stability during early childhood - 30% of Aboriginal and 25% of non-Aboriginal inmates said it was unstable.

Figure 2: Stability of Childhood

Similar results were found among males in medium-security institutions.Although similar trends were noted, no significant differences were found between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates in maximum-security institutions.Among females, significant differences were only found for overall childhood stability, with a larger proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal females reporting an unstable childhood (48% versus 13%).

One inmate who said he had a very unstable childhood notes:

I moved around a lot - between aunts, uncles, grandfather and boy's school. There was no security or regular meals. I couldn't trust people to be there for me. I lost my self-esteem and my ability to care for others.

In contrast, one inmate said he had a very stable childhood:

[We] have a very loving, close family. There are no drugs or alcohol in the home. We always had everything we needed.

Other indicators of stability included family violence and drug/alcohol problems in the home environment. As illustrated in Figure 3, a larger proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates reported that they witnessed or experienced physical or emotional violence during their childhood (78% versus57%). Similarly, a significantly larger proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates reported the use of drugs and/or alcohol within the home environment(70% versus 54%) (also see Table 5).

Figure 3: Home Environment and Crime

A few "stability-related" needs variables were also examined. As can be seen,larger proportions of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates had negative relationships with mothers (41% versus 25%) and other relatives (24% versus8%) during their childhood. In addition, a larger proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates had an absent mother (43% versus 22%) and/or an absent father (58% versus 38%) during their childhood. Finally, a larger proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates had dysfunctional parents(68% versus 52%).

Changes in residence and economic situation while growing up were also examined during the personal interviews. There were no significant differences found in the number of communities lived in while growing up. However,Aboriginal inmates rated their economic situation while growing up worse than non-Aboriginal inmates (mean of 3.2 versus 3.5).

Another measure of childhood stability is involvement in crime. Generally, Aboriginal inmates reported more areas of disruption in their childhood than non-Aboriginal inmates. Aboriginal inmates were first questioned by the police at an earlier age than non-Aboriginal inmates (mean age of 12.5 versus 16.1) and went to court at an earlier age (mean age of 14.5 versus 19.4). In addition, a significantly larger proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal male inmates reported being placed in youth custody (69% versus 43%). Finally, a significantly larger proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates reported that family members were involved in crime (80% versus 43%).

First Nations and Métis inmates were fairly similar on measures of stability. There were no significant differences on overall childhood stability (37% and 35% rated it unstable, respectively) and early childhood stability (26% and 38%,respectively). There were also no significant differences on family violence, drug/alcohol use in the family while growing up, relationship with family members or involvement in crime. However, a larger proportion of Métis inmates said theyhad unstable adolescence (65%), compared to First Nations inmates (44%). Furthermore, a larger proportion of Métis said they had a low economic situation while growing up (36% versus 18%). This was somewhat surprising, however, itshould be remembered that this relates to the respondents perception of poverty. It is possible that Métis inmates had higher standards of living in mind when answering this question.

Confirming what has been documented in other reports (e.g., Royal Commissionon Aboriginal Peoples, 1996), these findings indicate that Aboriginal inmates hadmore extensive history in the criminal justice system and less stability while growing up than non-Aboriginal inmates. However, this study has found that this appears to be less the case when they were young children than when they were adolescents.

Did those involved in the child welfare system have a more unstable childhood?

The preceding analyses demonstrate that Aboriginal inmates tended to have less stable environments while growing up than non-Aboriginal inmates. However, itis also clear that a larger proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates were involved in the child welfare system while growing up. Therefore, it is unclear whether involvement in the child welfare system impacted on the unstable environment. The second set of analyses attempted to examine this question. It examined whether those who were involved in the child welfare system said that they had a more unstable childhood than those not involved(Table 6). Overall, inmates who had been involved in the child welfare system during their childhood reported a less stable childhood than those not involved inthe child welfare system. Forty-one percent of those who had been involved inthe child welfare system reported an unstable childhood overall, compared toless than one-quarter (21%) of those not involved in the child welfare system.This was the case for stability during early childhood (33% versus 21%) as wellas during adolescence (55% versus 28%). One respondent said the following:

[I was involved in] institutional life, foster homes where a lot of abuse occurred. It's been a very bad childhood. Turning 16 and going to prison was a goal we worked to reach.

Similar results were found among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates (Figure4). Larger proportions of those involved in the child welfare system (43% ofAboriginal and 40% of non-Aboriginal) reported an unstable childhood overall. Incontrast, smaller proportions of those not involved in the child welfare system reported an unstable childhood (25% of Aboriginal and 18% of non-Aboriginal inmates). When involvement in the child welfare system is examined, no significant differences exist on perceptions of stability between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates.

Figure 4: Effect of Child Welfare System on Stability of Childhood

When examining those involved in the child welfare system compared to those not involved, again significant differences were found in other indicators of stability, such as conditions while growing up and involvement in crime (Table 6).This was similar among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates, except for family involvement in crime, drug/alcohol use and economic situation while growing up.For these three areas, there were no significant differences among Aboriginal inmates.

These analyses appear to demonstrate that involvement in the child welfaresystem is related to instability during childhood and adolescence. This is thecase for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates. Since larger proportions of Aboriginal inmates were involved in the child welfare system, this seems to contribute to the differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates instability of childhood. However, it is important to note that it is not clear whether placement in the child welfare system caused instability or whether placement inthe child welfare system was a result of other factors in the home or involvement in the criminal justice system.

Attachment to Primary Caregiver during Childhood

The third research question asked whether "Aboriginal inmates were less attached to caregiver(s) during childhood than non-Aboriginal inmates". Differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates in their perceived attachment to their primary caregivers were examined. Respondents were asked who their primary caregiver was while they were growing up and "On a scale of 1to 5, with 1 being 'not at all attached' and 5 being 'very attached', how would you characterize your attachment to your primary caregiver(s) while you were growing up".

Almost two-thirds (63%) of inmates said that their primary caregiver during their childhood was a biological parent, most often their birth mother (45%) (see Table7). As illustrated in Figure 5, although the largest proportion of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates said that their primary caregiver was a parent, this was much more often the case among non-Aboriginal inmates (80% versus50%). A larger proportion of Aboriginal inmates were cared for by other relatives(29% versus 9%), such as a grandmother (also see Table 7).

Figure 5: Primary Caregiver

Most inmates reported a great deal of attachment to their primary caregiver during childhood, with no significant differences found between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates. Out of a high of 5, the mean score was 4.2 forAboriginal inmates and 4.3 for non-Aboriginal inmates. As can be seen in Table 8, 90% of Aboriginal inmates and 91% of non-Aboriginal inmates said that they were attached to their primary caregiver while growing up. A significantly larger proportion of First Nations than Métis inmates said they were attached to their primary caregiver during childhood (94% versus 81%). One respondent said that he was very attached to his grandparents who were his primary caregivers while growing up:

My grandparents were very loving and very caring. They gave us anything we wanted. [My grandmother] wanted the two older boys to get educated. They taught us so much. She encouraged me to change but never rubbed in my mistakes. They gave me things I needed. Lots of love and laughter.

There were no significant differences in attachment to primary caregiver between those involved in the child welfare system versus those not involved in the child welfare system. As illustrated in Table 8, 90% of those involved in the child welfare system and 91% of those not involved in the child welfare system said they were attached to their primary caregiver. These findings were similar among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates (see Figure 6). It is possible that the respondents chose the person they felt the closest to as their primary caregiver, so the primary caregiver may not have been someone within the child welfare system.

Figure 6: Attachment to Primary Caregiver

Inmates reported being attached to their primary caregiver even though many inmates reported a great deal of instability in their childhood home life. However, those who reported an unstable childhood appeared to be less attached to their primary caregiver than those who reported a stable childhood. Seventy-eight percent of those who reported an unstable childhood said they were attached totheir primary caregiver, whereas 96% of those who reported a stable childhood said they were attached to their primary caregiver. This was also the case among Aboriginal (82% versus 94%) and non-Aboriginal inmates (71% versus98%).

Relationship of Attachment/Stability to Criminal Risk Indicators

The fourth research question asked whether "inmates with little attachment and/or an unstable childhood have more criminal risk indicators than inmates with a great deal of attachment or a stable childhood". An examination was conducted of those who reported little attachment compared to those who reported a great deal of attachment to their primary caregiver. Similarly, an examination was conducted of those who reported an unstable childhood compared to those who reported a stable childhood in terms of criminal risk indicators. Variables examined included the criminal histories, current offences,risk and need upon admission to the federal penitentiary. It was anticipated that those with low attachment to their primary caregiver during their childhood or withan unstable childhood would have more extensive criminal histories, more violent offences, have higher needs and be at a higher risk to re-offend.

Overall, no significant differences were found between those with little attachment to their primary caregivers during childhood compared to those with a great deal of attachment on most of the criminal risk indicators examined. As illustrated in Table 9, those who said they were attached and not attached to their primary caregiver during childhood currently were incarcerated for similar offences. They were also similar in criminal history, with the exception of aprevious federal term. A larger proportion of those with low attachment had aprevious federal term (58% versus 26%). Similar proportions were rated as highrisk to re-offend, and they scored similarly on needs. Fairly similar findings wereevident for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders.

In contrast to attachment, some criminal risk indicators appear to be related to instability during childhood. As shown in Table 10, larger proportions of those who reported an unstable adolescence were assessed at the maximum level of security (25% versus 16%). In addition, those who had an unstable adolescence were rated as higher need overall (76% versus 60%), as well as in the marital/family domain (60% versus 45%). No significant differences were found between those with unstable and stable adolescence experiences on offence type or adult criminal history. However, those who reported an unstable adolescence had more extensive youth criminal histories.

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates differ with respect to which criminal risk indicators relate to instability during childhood. Among Aboriginal inmates, the only criminal risk indicator related to an unstable adolescence was involvement in secure youth custody. No significant differences were found for other measures. There were no substantial differences between First Nations and Métis inmates. Among non-Aboriginal inmates, those who had an unstable adolescence were rated as higher need overall, as well as in the area of marital/family and community domains. Larger proportions of non-Aboriginal inmates with an unstable adolescence were currently incarcerated for sexual offences. Finally, those who reported an unstable adolescence had more extensive youth criminal histories.

The above analyses appear to demonstrate that attachment to primary caregiver during childhood did not have an impact on criminal risk indicators later on in life for the respondents. However, stability of adolescence was related to some criminal risk indicators later in life, but primarily for non-Aboriginal inmates.Among Aboriginal inmates, only involvement in secure custody was related to an unstable adolescence.

Attachment to Aboriginal Culture

The fifth research question asked whether "Aboriginal inmates with little attachment and/or an unstable childhood were more detached from Aboriginal culture than Aboriginal inmates with a great deal of attachment or a stable childhood". According to Waldram (1997), many Aboriginal offenders lack any knowledge of their Aboriginal cultures or languages as a result of residential school or foster home/adoption experiences. For many, the Elders within correctional facilities are able to begin the process of cultural education.Overall, almost three-quarters (74%) of the Aboriginal inmates said that they were currently attached to Aboriginal culture, that is, they considered it part oftheir everyday life and they felt a sense of belonging. Similar to a study by Johnston (1997), 80% said that they were currently involved in Aboriginal activities, such as circles, ceremonies, sweat lodges and smudges. According toone respondent:

[I'm] more into Aboriginal culture while inside [the institution]. It helps maintain sanity. I go to sweats a couple times a week. They make you understand the importance of life, and help maintain self-esteem and respect. [Outside the institution] Aboriginal culture keeps a focus on goals, priorities, alternatives to parties, etc. Respect to self and others. I learned from my grandfather.

A larger proportion of First Nations than Métis inmates said they were currently attached to Aboriginal culture (78% versus 64%). However, the same proportions said they were currently involved in Aboriginal activities (81% each). An examination of Aboriginal inmates who were attached to their primary caregiver compared to those who were not attached to their primary caregiver was undertaken (Table 11). No significant differences were found in understanding or speaking Aboriginal language, current attachment to Aboriginal culture, current involvement in Aboriginal activities, or involvement in Aboriginal activities when growing up between those who were attached and those who were not attached to their primary caregiver. It may not be the attachment per sey that influences the cultural attachment, but more so who the inmate was living with. If the person was living in a home without access to traditional activities -there may be less attachment to Aboriginal culture. Since large proportions of Aboriginal inmates who were put in care were placed with non-Aboriginal families- they may not have had access to Aboriginal culture.

An examination of Aboriginal inmates who had a stable childhood compared tothose who had an unstable childhood was undertaken (Table 12). No significant differences were found in understanding or speaking an Aboriginal language,current attachment to Aboriginal culture, or current involvement in Aboriginal activities between those who had stable and unstable childhood experiences.However, fewer of those who had an unstable childhood said that they wereinvolved in traditional Aboriginal activities while they were growing up comparedto those with a stable childhood (38% versus 59%). It seems that involvement inAboriginal activities and attachment to culture may have been re-developed oncethe inmates entered the correctional facility. In support of this, 79% of theAboriginal respondents said they were attached to Aboriginal culture while inside the institution. However, only about one-half (49%) said that they were attachedto Aboriginal culture while on the outside. As noted by one respondent:I have become more attached to culture while inside the prison. [Thereis] more opportunity for participation/attachment to culture than in thecity. Outside, I lived in a city. It's hard to be involved with the culturethere.

An examination of Aboriginal inmates who had been involved in the child welfare system compared to those who had not been involved in the child welfare system was undertaken (Table 13). No significant differences were found in understanding or speaking an Aboriginal language, or involvement in traditional Aboriginal activities while growing up or currently. However, a larger proportion of those who had been involved in the child welfare system said they were currently attached to Aboriginal culture (81% versus 63%). This is the oppositeof what would be expected. It may reflect a re-development of attachment to Aboriginal culture while incarcerated among those who had been involved in thechild welfare system.

It appears that attachment to a primary caregiver during childhood does not impact on current attachment to, or involvement in, Aboriginal culture. However, those with an unstable childhood seem to be less involved in Aboriginal culture than those who had a stable childhood. Furthermore, attachment to Aboriginal culture appears to be re-established once the inmates entered the correctional facility.

Effects of Residential School

Of particular interest is the effect of residential school experiences and the family/cultural attachment. As such, the sixth research question asked "how many Aboriginal inmates attended residential school and how do they describe their experiences".

Of the 172 Aboriginal respondents who responded to the question about residential school, 35 reported attending a residential school (20%). Among theFirst Nations respondents, 29 were involved in residential schools (24%) and among the Métis respondents, 5 were involved in residential schools (11%). It is likely that the small number of inmates who reported attending residential schools is due largely to the age of the inmate population sampled, most of whom were too young to be involved in residential schools at the time they were operating.

Among those who attended a residential school, they spent an average of 31 months, over two years, within the school. While they were attending the residential school, one-quarter saw their family only once a week.When asked to rate their experience at the residential school on a scale of 1 to 5,with 1 being very negative and 5 being very positive, the average score was1.78, meaning that most saw the experience as quite negative. The majority(83%) said that they had no access to cultural or spiritual activities while they were attending the residential school. Further, 77% said that they had experienced physical and/or sexual abuse at the school. Of those who had experienced abuse, they said that the majority (87%) said that the perpetrators were staff. According to one respondent:

I was abused physically… I changed so much. I was told I was a bad girland that's what I turned out to be. I was lonely. My brothers were there for awhile, but they left when they got older. I was told "it happened to usso why should it stop". Some kids were sexually assaulted.

Another resident noted:

[It] was very de-humanizing. I felt inferior and fearful due to alcohol-reminded me of dad. I was lonely and ashamed of being Native. The morning prayers were a haunting experience as it reminded me of my own home. We ganged up on anyone who wanted to attack us - we attacked them instead.

Three Aboriginal inmates did not respond to the question.

No significant differences emerged between those who attended residential school compared to those who did not attend in terms of their youth and adult criminal history or their risk and need scores upon entry to the federal facility. Similarly, no significant differences were found in terms of current relationships with family members.

Another analysis examined whether there were differences among those who attended residential school from those who did not attend residential school in terms of involvement in traditional activities (Table 14). Overall, no significant differences appeared between those who attended residential school compared to those who did not attend residential school. Similar proportions of those who attended and did not attend residential school were currently attached toAboriginal culture (83% and 73%, respectively) and spoke an Aboriginal language (71% and 65%, respectively). In addition, similar proportions said theywere involved in Aboriginal activities while growing up (57% and 50%,respectively) and currently (74% and 81%, respectively).

Current Relationship with Family

The final research question asked if "Aboriginal inmates with an unstable childhood currently have unstable or negative relationships with their family more so than Aboriginal inmates who had a stable childhood". In examining this question, several levels of what would constitute a ‘family’ were examined:current spouse or common-law partner, children and other immediate family members. Prior to examining the effect of childhood stability, an examination of contact with, and attachment to, family members was undertaken.

Contact with Family

Approximately 34% of inmates said they were currently married or in a common law relationship. Of these, 84% said they currently have regular contact with their spouse/partner. This was similar for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal4 Regular contact was defined as seeing or talking to the person at least once every 6 months.

inmates (85% and 83%, respectively) (Table 15). Of those who had contact, the largest proportion said they had contact with their spouse/partner several times aweek (41%), followed by those who had contact once a day (20%) and once aweek (19%).

More than two-thirds (68%) of the respondents said that they had children. This was similar among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates (70% and 66%,respectively). Of those with children, 63% said they currently have regular contact with their children. This was similar for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates (61% and 66%, respectively). Some differences existed between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates in terms of their children. Forexample, fewer Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal inmates said their children lived with them prior to their incarceration (55% versus 67%). Also, more Aboriginal inmates indicated that their children had been placed in the care of social services (41% versus 19%).The final set of questions related to current relationship with other family members, such as parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, etc.Overall, 80% of inmates said they currently have regular contact with a family member other than their spouse or children. This was similar for Aboriginal andnon-Aboriginal inmates (77% and 83%, respectively). Large proportions of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates said they had regular contact with their siblings (79% and 78%, respectively) and birth mother (71% and 86%,respectively).

Attachment to Family

The majority of inmates (86%) said they were currently attached to their spouse or common-law partner (Table 15). This was similar among Aboriginal (87%)and non-Aboriginal inmates (85%). Almost all (92%) inmates said they were currently attached to their children. Again, this was similar among Aboriginal(91%) and non-Aboriginal inmates (92%).

Other than attachment to spouse and children, large proportions of inmates said they were attached to their siblings (84%) and their birth mother (82%). Smaller proportions said they were attached to their grandmothers (69%), grandfathers(59%) and birth fathers (57%). Again, this was similar among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates.

Adolescent Stability and Current Relationship

In attempting to answer the question about how an unstable adolescence may affect current relationships, no significant differences were found in current contact with a spouse/partner between those who reported a stable adolescence compared to those who reported an unstable adolescence (Table 16). Similarly,no differences were found between those with a stable and an unstable adolescence with attachment to spouse/partner. This was the case for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates.

Stability of adolescence also did not seem to affect the current relationship with children. There were no significant differences between those who reported a stable and an unstable adolescence in terms of current contact, amount of contact, or attachment to children. These results were similar among non-Aboriginal offenders. However, differences were found among Aboriginal inmates when examining contact with their children. Aboriginal offenders with an unstable adolescence reported less regular contact with their children than those who had a stable adolescence (52% versus 71%).

No significant differences were found for contact with other family members oramount of contact between those with unstable and stable adolescence.However, when examining specific family members, some differences emerged. Those who had an unstable adolescence reported less contact with their birthmother (67% versus 87%), birth father (31% versus 61%) and siblings (73%versus 83%) than those who had a stable adolescence. Those who had an unstable adolescence also reported less attachment to their birth mother (70%versus 91%), birth father (44% versus 65%) and siblings (78% versus 88%).

This may be because those from unstable home environments did not live with their parents, so did not maintain a relationship. These findings were similar for non-Aboriginal inmates (Figure 7). Those who had an unstable adolescence reported less regular contact with their birth father(35% versus 70%). Similarly, those who had an unstable adolescence reported less attachment to their birth mother (74% versus 91%), birth father (40% versus65%) and siblings (76% versus 89%).

Figure 7: Current Relationships - Non-Aboriginal

Among Aboriginal inmates, those who had an unstable adolescence reported less regular contact with their birth mother (63% versus 81%) and birth father(28% versus 50%) than those with a stable adolescence (Figure 8). Interestingly, those with an unstable adolescence actually reported more regular contact with their grandmother than those with a stable adolescence (63% versus 36%). This may be because as a child they lived with their grand mother and maintained this relationship over the years. In terms of attachment, those who had an unstable adolescence said they had less attachment to their birth mother (67% versus92%) and birth father (46% versus 66%).

Figure 8: Child Welfare and Current Relationship

In order to further an understanding of the research question, some additional analyses were performed looking at specific sub-groups of offenders and their current relationship with family members. An examination was undertaken to see whether offenders who were involved in the child welfare system during their childhood had more negative relationships currently than those who were not involved in the child welfare system.

No significant differences were found in terms of regular contact with spouse orcommon-law partner between those involved versus not involved in the child welfare system (see Table 17). Similarly, no significant differences were found when examining Aboriginal offenders or non-Aboriginal offenders. In addition, no significant differences were found in attachment to spouse/partner between those who had been involved in the child welfare system compared to those who had not been involved.

In terms of having regular contact with their children, no significant differences were found among those involved and not involved in the child welfare system.Similarly, no significant differences were found in attachment to children between those involved and not involved in the child welfare system.

Some significant differences were found for questions relating to current contact with various family members. For example, a larger proportion of offenders who were not involved in the child welfare system currently have regular contact with their immediate family compared to those who were involved in the child welfare system (85% versus 74%). In particular, larger proportions have regular contact with their birth mother (87% versus 69%) and birth father (65% versus 28%).Similarly, more Aboriginal offenders who were not involved in the child welfare system have regular contact with their immediate family than those who were not(86% versus 72%). Most noticeable were differences in contact with their birthmother (81% versus 64%) and birth father (59% versus 22%).

Finally, it was discovered that those offenders who were not involved in the childwelfare system reported being more attached to their birth mother and birth father than those offenders who were involved in the child welfare system (87%versus 76%; 68% versus 44%). A similar pattern exists for non-Aboriginal offenders, but not for Aboriginal offenders.

Attachment to Primary Caregiver and Current Relationship

Several comparisons were done relating to current relationship with family members for those offenders who reported being attached to their primary caregiver during childhood compared to those who were not (Table 18).Although some of the comparisons produced significant findings, it is important tostate that the sample sizes among those who were not attached to their primary caregiver are relatively small and results should be interpreted with caution.None the less, some interesting findings were discovered. For example, no significant differences were found among Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal offenders when examining regular contact with spouse or common-law partner. Similarly attachment to primary caregiver during childhood did not appear to influence attachment to spouse/partner currently. In fact, 100% of those claiming low attachment to their primary caregiver during childhood reported regular contact with, and attachment to, their spouse/partner currently.

Concerning current relationship with children, it was found that smaller proportions of those with low attachment to their primary caregiver during childhood have regular contact with their children than those who were strongly attached to their primary caregiver (40% versus 66%). This is also the case fornon-Aboriginal offenders (25% versus 70%). Although a similar trend appeared, the differences were not significant among Aboriginal offenders.Another interesting finding was that offenders with low attachment to their primary caregiver during childhood have a significantly higher occurrence of their children being involved with social services than those with high attachment totheir primary caregiver (53% versus 30%). However, when examining Aboriginal offenders and non-Aboriginal offenders separately, no significant differences emerged.

In terms of current contact with other family members, no statistically significantfindings were discovered. However, offenders with low attachment to their primary caregiver during childhood reported being less attached to their birth father (33% versus 60%) and siblings (65% versus 86%) than those with high attachment. This was the case among Aboriginal offenders for attachment to siblings (57% versus 86%). No significant differences were found among non-Aboriginal offenders.

Overall, it appears that adolescent stability does not seem to affect the current relationship between the inmate and his/her spouse or children. Among both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates, those with stable and unstable adolescent experiences had a similar amount of contact with, and attachment to,their spouse and children. However, an unstable adolescence may affect the current relationship the inmate has with immediate family members, such asmother, father and siblings. This may be because there was less contact with these people during childhood and the relationship may have remained distant through adulthood. Interestingly, among Aboriginal inmates, those with an unstable adolescence reported more regular contact with their grandmother than those with a stable adolescence. This may be because as a child they often lived with their grandmothers and maintained this relationship.

SUMMARY

This research has provided valuable information on the extent of inmates'involvement in the child welfare system during their childhood, as well as the characteristics of those who have been involved. The fact that about one-half ofthe inmates who participated in the project have been adopted, placed in foster care or placed into group homes indicates that this is an important area of investigation for CSC. More startling was the finding that about two-thirds of the Aboriginal inmates have been involved in the child welfare system at some pointin their lives. These discoveries confirm and expand upon other research that have found large proportions of Aboriginal inmates involved in the child welfare system (Johnston, 1997; MacDonald, 1997). The findings also support other research indicating the large proportion of Aboriginal people involved in the child welfare system generally (Hepworth, 1980; Loucks & Timothy, 1981; Special Committee on Indian Self-Government, 1983). No substantial differences in involvement within the child welfare system were found between First Nations and Métis inmates, with the exception that a larger proportion of First Nations inmates reported being adopted.

The study shows that inmates were often placed into care at a young age. The average age for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal respondents was 4 years for adoption, 8 years for foster care and 12 years for group homes. Larger proportions of Aboriginal inmates were placed into care by the province rather than by their parents. In addition, those in foster or group homes tended to have more than one placement, and Aboriginal inmates reported living in a larger number of foster homes than non-Aboriginal inmates. Placement at an older age, number of placements and the need for involvement by the province maypoint to greater instability during childhood for those who are placed.In addition to providing an indication of the prevalence of involvement in the child welfare system, this study attempted to examine the effects that such involvement had, in particular among Aboriginal inmates. Therefore, the study examined stability of childhood and attachment to primary caregiver.

When examining whether respondents said they had an unstable early childhood, about one-quarter of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates reported having an unstable early childhood. However, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal respondents differed when asked about the stability of their adolescence. One-half of Aboriginal inmates reported an unstable adolescence compared to one-third of non-Aboriginal inmates. Using other indicators of stability, such as family violence, drug/alcohol problems in the home environment, and involvement in crime as a youth, it appears that Aboriginal respondents had a more unstable childhood than non-Aboriginal respondents. It seems clear that those involved in the child welfare system had a more unstable childhood than those not involved. Among both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates, a significantly larger proportion of those who had been involved in the child welfare system reported an unstable childhood as compared to those who had not been involved in the child welfare system. Because larger proportions of Aboriginal inmates were involved in the child welfare system, this may result in more Aboriginal inmates having an unstable childhood. However, it is not clear whether the child welfare system caused the instability, or whether the home environment leading up to placement caused the instability. This area could use more in-depth examination.

The largest proportion of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates said their primary caregiver was a parent. However, this was much more often the case among non-Aboriginal than Aboriginal inmates (80% versus 50%). Larger proportions of Aboriginal inmates said other relatives, such as a grandmother, cared them for.

Interestingly, almost all respondents said they were very attached to their primary caregiver while growing up, with no significant differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal inmates or between those involved and not involved in the child welfare system. Further more, inmates reported being attached to their primary caregiver even though many reported a great deal of instability in their childhood. However, those who reported an unstable childhood tended to beless attached to their primary care giver than those who reported a stable childhood. These findings support other research, which indicate that an unstable environment results in less attachment (Ward, Hudson & McCormack,1997).

Although the primary caregiver was described as the person "who took care ofyou the most", it is possible that the respondents may have interpreted it to mean the person they cared about the most. In addition, even if someone has a very unstable childhood, this may not change the sense of attachment they feel toward a parent or other caregiver.

An examination of the relationship between attachment/stability and current criminal risk indicators revealed that attachment to the primary caregiver during childhood did not appear to impact on current criminal risk indicators later in lifefor the respondents. Stability of childhood was related to some criminal risk indicators, but primarily for non-Aboriginal inmates. Among Aboriginal inmates,only involvement in secure custody was related to an unstable adolescence.This is some what surprising since one may expect that an unstable childhood or lack of early attachments may lead to more involvement in crime and greaterneeds later on in life. However, it should be kept in mind that all respondents were currently incarcerated in a federal penitentiary and large proportions have would have various risk factors related to criminality. Perhaps other factors contributed to criminal risk indicators for these offenders.

It is clear that large proportions of Aboriginal inmates are attached to Aboriginal culture and participate in traditional Aboriginal activities, such as sweats and circles. However, attachment to primary caregiver, stability of childhood, and involvement in the child welfare system did not seem to impact on attachment to Aboriginal culture or involvement in Aboriginal activities. The one exception was that fewer of those who had an unstable childhood said that they were involved intraditional Aboriginal activities while they were growing up than those were with astable childhood. It seems that involvement in Aboriginal activities and attachment to culture may have been re-developed once the inmates entered the correctional facility.

An examination of residential school illustrates that those who attended residential school described their experience as very negative. Most said they had no access to cultural or spiritual activities while they were attending the residential school. Further, more than three-quarters said that they had experienced physical and/or sexual abuse at the school.

Finally, it appears that adolescent stability doesn't seem to affect the current relationship with the spouse or children. However, it may affect the relationship with the inmates' mother, father and siblings. This may be because there wasless contact with these people during childhood and the relationship may have remained distant through adulthood.

This research project was intended only to provide preliminary information on theeffects of family attachment/disruption. Because it focuses on offenders serving time in federal correctional facilities, it is not surprising that a great deal of disruption or negative childhood experiences is evident. It is important to examine this issue in the broader community. In-depth research on childhood attachment and stability among a non-offending population is necessary for a greater understanding of this issue. Other areas requiring more research include specifically examining Inuit offenders, and examining inmates inprovincial/territorial institutions. Similarly, it would be interesting to ask those who are currently experiencing some of these issues about what they are facing. Therefore, a project with youth would provide important information.

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APPENDIX A: TABLES

Table 1: Current Offence Type

Current Offence Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
  # %   # %   # %  
Homicide 323 65 20% 175 37 21% 148 28 19% NS
Attempt Murder 323 8 2% 175 4 2% 148 4 3% NS
Sexual Assault 323 42 13% 175 24 14% 148 18 12% NS
Assault 323 122 38% 175 81 46% 148 41 28% ***
Robbery 323 109 34% 175 67 38% 148 42 28% NS
Other Violent 323 45 14% 175 25 14% 148 20 14% NS
Other Property 323 163 50% 175 88 50% 148 75 51% NS
Impaired Driving 323 2 1% 175 2 1% 148 0 0% NS
Drug-Related Offences 323 73 23% 175 31 18% 148 42 28% *
Other Offences 323 225 70% 175 124 71% 148 101 68% NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < =.05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 2: Between Group Differences

  Males Females   Medium Maximum  
# % # % # % # %
Single 170 62% 18 35% *** 120 63% 50 61% NS
< Grade 10 114 49% 25 50% NS 76 47% 38 53% NS
Youth Court 141 64% 19 40% ** 84 56% 57 81% ***
Youth Custody 165 61% 20 38% ** 104 55% 61 74% **
Adult Court 189 83% 37 77% NS 132 85% 57 80% NS
Homicide 54 20% 11 21% NS 42 22% 12 15% NS
Attempt Murder 8 3% 0 0% NS 4 2% 4 5% NS
Sexual Assault 41 15% 2 4% * 29 15% 12 15% NS
Assault 114 42% 8 15% *** 76 40% 38 46% NS
Robbery 103 38% 6 12% *** 63 33% 40 49% **
Other Violent 42 15% 3 6% NS 25 13% 17 21% NS
Other Property 145 53% 18 35% ** 97 51% 48 59% NS
Impaired Driving 2 1% 0 0% NS 2 1% 0 0% NS
Drug-Related Offences 48 18% 25 48% *** 33 17% 15 18% NS
Other Offences 191 70% 34 65% NS 128 67% 63 77% NS
    Mean   Mean     Mean   Mean  
First Police Contact   13.4   18.1 ***   14.3   11.4 ***
First Court Appearance   16.2   19.6 *   17.4   13.5 ***
Age at Admission   29.9   31.7 NS   31.5   26.2 ***
Sentence Length   5.7   4.2 *   5.5   6.0 NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 3: Involvement in Child Welfare System

Type of Placement Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
  # %   # %   # %  
Overall Involvement 323 164 51% 175 110 63% 148 54 36% ***
Adoption 323 37 11% 175 28 16% 148 9 6% **
Foster Care 322 120 37% 174 85 49% 148 35 24% ***
Group Home 322 99 31% 174 59 34% 148 40 27% NS

 NS = Not Significant

* = p < =0.5

** = p < .01

*** = p < =.001

Table 4: Stability of Home Life during Childhood

Stability Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
Total Unstable Total Unstable Total Unstable  
# % # % # %  
Overall Stability 320 101 32% 174 63 36% 146 38 26% *
Early Childhood 318 87 27% 172 51 30% 146 36 25% NS
Adolescence 319 134 42% 173 87 50% 146 47 32% **

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 5: Stability of Home Life - Other Indicators

Indicators Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
  # %   # %   # %  
Family Violence 319 218 68% 172 134 78% 147 84 57% ***
Drug/Alcohol Use by Caregiver 320 200 63% 173 121 70% 147 79 54% **
Negative Relation - Mother 282 94 33% 152 62 41% 130 32 25% **
Negative Relation - Father 282 137 49% 152 81 53% 130 56 43% NS
Negative Relation - Other Family 282 48 17% 152 37 24% 130 11 8% ***
Absent Mother 282 95 34% 152 66 43% 130 29 22% ***
Absent Father 282 137 49% 152 88 58% 130 49 38% ***
Dyfunctional Parents 278 168 60% 149 101 68% 129 67 52% **
Family Involved in Crime 317 200 63% 171 137 80% 146 63 43% ***
Youth Custody 323 184 57% 175 121 69% 148 63 43% ***
Youth - Secure Custody 266 103 39% 142 66 46% 124 37 30% **
Youth - Open Custody 266 95 36% 142 66 46% 124 29 23% ***
Youth - Community Supervision 265 127 48% 141 79 56% 124 48 39% **
      Mean     Mean     Mean  
Age First Questioned by Police 322   14.2 174   12.5 147   16.1 ***
Age of First Court Appearance 323   16.8 174   14.5 148   19.4 ***
# of Communities Lived In 317   6.8 171   7.1 145   6.5 NS
Economic Situation 322   3.4 173   3.2 148   3.5 *

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 6: Relationship between Involvement in the Child Welfare System and Instability in Home Life

Indicators of Stability Total
Involved in Child Welfare System
Aboriginal
Involved in Child Welfare System
Non-Aboriginal
Involved in Child Welfare System
Total Yes No   Total Yes No   Total Yes No  
  # % # %     # % # %     # % # %  
Overall Stable - no 101 68 41% 33 21% *** 63 47 43% 16 25% * 38 21 40% 17 18% **
Early Childhood Stable - no 87 54 33% 33 21% ** 51 33 31% 18 28% NS 36 21 39% 15 16% **
Adolescence Stable - no 134 90 55% 44 28% *** 87 60 56% 27 42% NS 47 30 56% 17 18% ***
Youth Custody 185 130 79% 55 35% *** 121 89 81% 32 49% *** 63 40 74% 23 24% ***
Family Involved in Crime 200 118 73% 82 52% *** 137 88 83% 49 75% NS 63 30 56% 33 36% *
Family Violence 218 131 81% 87 55% *** 134 90 83% 44 69% * 84 41 77% 43 46% ***
Drug/Alcohol Use by Caregiver 200 116 72% 84 53% *** 121 78 72% 43 66% NS 79 38 72% 41 44% ***
      Mean   Mean       Mean   Mean       Mean   Mean  
Age First Questioned by Police     11.6   16.8 ***     11.6   14.0 **     11.5   18.8 ***
Age of First Court Appearance     14.5   19.1 ***     13.9   15.7 **     15.9   21.4 **
# of Communities Lived In     7.5   6.1 NS     8.0   5.6 NS     6.5   6.5 NS
Economic Situation     3.2   3.5 **     3.2   3.3 NS     3.2   3.7 **

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 7: Primary Caregiver

All Respondents
Primary Caregiver
Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
# % # % # %  
Total 322 100% 175 100% 147 100%  
Birth Mother 146 45% 60 34% 86 59% ***
Birth Father 19 6% 9 5% 10 7% NS
Both Birth Parents 39 12% 18 10% 21 14% NS
Parent(s) 204 63% 87 50% 117 80% ***
Sibling 14 4% 12 7% 2 1% *
Grandparent(s) 39 12% 29 17% 10 7% **
Other Birth Relative 10 3% 9 5% 1 1% *
Other Relative 63 20% 50 29% 13 9% ***
Self 24 7% 17 10% 7 5% NS
Child Welfare System 24 7% 17 10% 7 5% NS
Other Non-Family 7 2% 4 2% 3 2% NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 8: Attachment to Primary Caregiver

Type of Placement Total Aboriginal Aboriginal
  # %   # %   # %  
Overall 315 285 90 170 153 90 144 131 91 NS
Child Welfare System 157 142 90 106 98 92 50 43 86 NS
No Child Welfare System 158 143 91 64 55 86 94 88 96 NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 9: Relationship between Attachment to Primary Caregiver and Criminal Risk Indicators

Indicators Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
Attachment to Primary Caregiver   Attachment to Primary Caregiver   Attachment to Primary Caregiver  
Total Attached Not Attached   Total Attached Not Attached   Total Attached Not Attached  
  # % # %     # % # %     # % # %  
CRS - Maximum 56 51 19% 5 20% NS 35 34 23% 1 8% NS 21 17 14% 4 33% NS
Risk to Re-Offend - high 182 163 58% 19 63% NS 112 99 65% 13 76% NS 70 64 50% 6 46% NS
 
Overall Need - high need 203 179 64% 24 80% NS 126 111 73% 15 88% NS 77 68 53% 9 69% NS
Family/Marital - high need 161 144 51% 17 57% NS 97 86 57% 11 65% NS 64 58 45% 6 46% NS
Substance Abuse - high need 265 239 85% 26 87% NS 160 144 95% 16 94% NS 105 95 74% 10 77% NS
Community - high need 104 91 32% 13 43% NS 62 54 36% 8 47% NS 42 37 29% 5 38% NS
Personal/Emotional - high need 293 265 94% 28 93% NS 161 145 95% 16 94% NS 132 120 93% 12 92% NS
Attitude - high need 146 133 47% 13 43% NS 78 72 47% 6 35% NS 68 61 47% 7 54% NS
Associates - high need 196 178 63% 18 60% NS 117 107 70% 10 59% NS 79 71 55% 8 62% NS
Employment - high need 202 178 63% 24 80% NS 119 102 67% 17 100% ** 83 76 59% 7 54% NS
 
Homicide - Yes 63 58 20% 5 17% NS 37 34 22% 3 18% NS 26 24 18% 2 15% NS
Attempt Murder - Yes 8 6 2% 2 7% NS 4 3 2% 1 6% NS 4 3 2% 1 8% NS
Sexual Offence - Yes 41 35 12% 6 20% NS 22 18 12% 4 24% NS 18 16 12% 2 15% NS
Drug Offence - Yes 72 63 22% 9 30% NS 31 28 18% 3 18% NS 41 35 27% 6 46% NS
Assault - Yes 118 109 38% 9 30% NS 78 73 48% 5 29% NS 40 36 27% 4 31% NS
Other Offences - Yes 219 197 69% 22 73% NS 120 108 71% 12 71% NS 99 89 68% 10 77% NS
 
Youth - Comm. Supervision - Yes 122 110 47% 12 55% NS 76 69 56% 7 58% NS 46 41 37% 5 50% NS
Youth - Open Custody - Yes 90 80 34% 10 48% NS 62 56 44% 6 55% NS 28 24 21% 4 40% NS
Youth - Secure Custody - Yes 100 88 37% 12 57% NS 64 57 45% 7 64% NS 36 31 28% 5 50% NS
 
Adult - Comm. Supervision - Yes 189 173 71% 16 67% NS 100 89 69% 11 85% NS 89 84 73% 5 45% *
Adult - Prov. Term - Yes 185 170 70% 15 63% NS 106 98 76% 8 62% NS 79 72 63% 7 64% NS
Adult - Fed. Term - Yes 77 63 26% 14 58% *** 41 31 24% 10 77% *** 36 32 28% 4 36% NS

Table 10: Relationship between Stability in Adolescence and Criminal Risk Indicators

Indicators Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
Adolescent Stability   Adolescent Stability   Adolescent Stability  
Total Stable Unstable   Total Stable Unstable   Total Stable Unstable  
  # % # %     # % # %     # % # %  
CRS - Maximum 58 27 16% 31 25% * 36 15 19% 21 26% NS 22 12 13% 10 23% NS
Risk to Re-Offend - high 187 104 57% 83 62% NS 115 61 71% 54 63% NS 72 43 45% 29 62% NS
 
Overall Need - high need 210 109 60% 101 76% ** 130 66 77% 64 74% NS 80 43 45% 37 79% ***
Family/Marital - high need 162 82 45% 80 60% ** 97 49 57% 48 56% NS 65 33 34% 32 68% ***
Substance Abuse - high need 271 152 83% 119 89% NS 163 82 95% 81 94% NS 108 70 72% 38 81% NS
Community - high need 104 53 29% 51 38% NS 62 30 35% 32 37% NS 42 23 24% 19 40% *
Personal/Emotional - high need 298 169 92% 129 97% NS 164 81 94% 83 97% NS 134 88 91% 46 98% NS
Attitude - high need 149 90 49% 59 44% NS 80 46 53% 34 40% NS 69 44 45% 25 53% NS
Associates - high need 199 116 63% 83 62% NS 118 61 71% 57 66% NS 81 55 57% 26 55% NS
Employment - high need 204 112 61% 92 69% NS 120 59 69% 61 71% NS 84 53 55% 31 66% NS
 
Homicide - Yes 64 39 21% 25 19% NS 36 21 24% 15 17% NS 28 18 18% 10 21% NS
Attempt Murder - Yes 8 4 2% 4 3% NS 4 2 2% 2 2% NS 4 2 2% 2 4% NS
Sexual Offence - Yes 42 21 11% 21 16% NS 24 12 14% 12 14% NS 17 8 8% 9 19% *
Drug Offence - Yes 73 49 26% 24 18% NS 31 18 21% 13 15% NS 42 31 31% 11 23% NS
Assault - Yes 120 65 35% 55 41% NS 80 39 45% 41 47% NS 40 26 26% 14 30% NS
Other Offences - Yes 221 126 68% 95 71% NS 122 57 66% 65 75% NS 99 69 70% 30 64% NS
 
Youth - Comm. Supervision - Yes 126 64 42% 62 57% * 79 38 54% 41 60% NS 47 26 32% 21 51% *
Youth - Open Custody - Yes 95 46 30% 49 45% * 66 31 44% 35 51% NS 29 15 19% 14 34% *
Youth - Secure Custody - Yes 102 44 29% 58 53% *** 65 25 35% 40 58% ** 37 19 23% 18 44% *
 
Adult - Comm. Supervision - Yes 191 110 71% 81 70% NS 103 55 75% 48 67% NS 88 55 66% 33 77% NS
Adult - Prov. Term - Yes 186 107 69% 79 69% NS 108 58 79% 50 69% NS 78 49 59% 29 69% NS
Adult - Fed. Term - Yes 75 38 24% 37 32% NS 40 17 23% 23 32% NS 35 21 25% 14 33% NS

Table 11: Attachment of Aboriginal Culture - Attachment to Primary Caregiver

All Aboriginal Respondents
Aboriginal Culture
Attached Not Attached  
  # %   # %  
Involvement in Aboriginal Activities - Growing Up 153 78 51% 17 8 47% NS
Involvement in Aboriginal Activities - Currently 152 122 80% 17 14 82% NS
Current Attachment to Aboriginal Culture 152 117 77% 17 10 59% NS
Aboriginal Language 151 100 66% 17 10 59% NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 12: Attachment to Aboriginal Culture - Stability of Childhood Home Environment

All Aboriginal Respondents
Aboriginal Culture
Stable Unstable  
  # %   # %  
Involvement in Aboriginal Activities - Growing Up 111 65 59% 63 24 38% **
Involvement in Aboriginal Activities - Currently 110 87 79% 63 52 83% NS
Current Attachment to Aboriginal Culture 110 81 74% 63 48 76% NS
Aboriginal Language 109 68 62% 63 47 75% NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 13: Attachment to Aboriginal Culture - Involvement in the Child Welfare System

All Aboriginal Respondents
Aboriginal Culture
Child Welfare No Child Welfare  
  # %   # %  
Involvement in Aboriginal Activities - Growing Up 110 57 52% 65 32 49% NS
Involvement in Aboriginal Activities - Currently 109 89 82% 65 50 77% NS
Current Attachment to Aboriginal Culture 109 88 81% 65 41 63% **
Aboriginal Language 109 77 71% 64 38 59% NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 14: Residential School - Involvement to Traditional Activities

All Aboriginal Respondents
Aboriginal Culture
Attended Did Not Attend  
  # %   # %  
Current Attachment to Aboriginal Culture 35 29 83% 137 100 73% NS
Involvement in Aboriginal Activities - Growing Up 35 20 57% 137 68 50% NS
Involvement in Aboriginal Activities - Currently 35 26 74% 137 111 81% NS
Aboriginal Language 35 25 71% 136 88 65% NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 15: Contact and Attachment with Family Currently

Contact and Attachment Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal  
  # %   # %   # %  
Contact with Spouse 105 88 84% 52 44 85% 53 44 83% NS
Contact with Children 217 137 63% 121 74 61% 96 63 66% NS
Contact with other Family 321 256 80% 174 134 77% 147 122 83% NS
Regular Contact with Birth Mother 236 186 79% 119 85 71% 117 101 86% **
Regular Contact with Birth Father 189 93 49% 96 38 40% 93 55 59% **
Regular Contact with Siblings 261 205 79% 141 112 79% 120 93 78% NS
Regular Contact with Grandmother 146 75 51% 78 36 46% 68 39 57% NS
Regular Contact with Grandfather 119 48 40% 69 25 36% 50 23 46% NS
 
Attached to Spouse 93 80 86% 46 40 87% 47 40 85% NS
Attached to Children 142 130 92% 77 70 91% 65 60 92% NS
Attached to Birth Mother 241 197 82% 124 98 79% 117 99 85% NS
Attached to Birth Father 185 105 57% 99 56 57% 86 49 57% NS
Attached to Siblings 288 242 84% 161 134 83% 127 108 85% NS
Attached to Grandmother 96 66 69% 48 32 67% 48 34 71% NS
Attached to Grandfather 69 41 59% 38 22 58% 31 19 61% NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 16: Current Relationship to Family - Stability of Adolescent Home Environment

Current Relationship Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
Stable Unstable Stable Unstable Stable Unstable
  # %   # %     # %   # %     # %   # %  
Contact with Spouse 61 50 82% 44 38 86% NS 24 19 79% 28 25 89% NS 37 31 84% 16 13 81% NS
Contact with Children 120 80 67% 95 56 59% NS 58 41 71% 61 32 52% * 62 39 63% 34 24 71% NS
Contact with Other Family 185 152 82% 133 101 76% NS 85 68 80% 87 64 74% NS 99 84 85% 46 37 80% NS
Regular Contact with Birth Mother 138 120 87% 95 64 67% *** 58 47 81% 59 37 63% * 80 73 91% 36 27 75% NS
Regular Contact with Birth Father 115 70 61% 71 22 31% *** 54 27 50% 40 11 28% * 61 43 70% 31 11 35% ***
Regular Contact with Siblings 152 126 83% 107 78 73% * 73 62 85% 67 50 75% NS 79 64 81% 40 28 70% NS
Regular Contact with Grandmother 85 40 47% 58 34 59% NS 44 16 36% 32 20 63% * 41 24 59% 26 14 54% NS
Regular Contact with Grandfather 66 27 41% 50 20 40% NS 38 13 34% 29 12 41% NS 28 14 50% 21 8 38% NS
 
Attached to Spouse 52 45 87% 41 35 85% NS 20 17 85% 26 23 88% NS 32 28 88% 15 12 80% NS
Attached to Children 82 78 95% 59 51 86% NS 43 41 95% 33 28 85% NS 39 37 95% 26 23 88% NS
Attached to Birth Mother 136 124 91% 102 71 70% *** 59 54 92% 64 43 67% *** 77 70 91% 38 28 74% **
Attached to Birth Father 113 74 65% 71 31 44% ** 53 35 66% 46 21 46% * 60 39 65% 25 10 40% *
Attached to Siblings 162 143 88% 122 95 78% * 79 69 87% 80 63 79% NS 83 74 89% 42 32 76% *
Attached to Grandmother 50 31 62% 46 35 76% NS 23 13 57% 25 19 76% NS 27 18 67% 21 16 76% NS
Attached to Grandfather 36 21 58% 33 20 61% NS 18 9 50% 20 13 65% NS 18 12 67% 13 7 54% NS

Table 17: Current Relationship to Family - Involvement in the Child Welfare System

Current Relationship Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
In Child Welfare Not in Child Welfare In Child Welfare Not in Child Welfare In Child Welfare Not in Child Welfare
  # %   # %     # %   # %     # %   # %  
Contact with Spouse 48 37 77% 57 51 89% NS 28 22 79% 24 22 92% NS 20 15 75% 33 29 88% NS
Contact with Children 106 63 59% 111 74 67% NS 74 44 59% 47 30 64% NS 32 19 59% 64 44 69% NS
Contact with Other Family 164 121 74% 158 135 85% ** 110 79 72% 64 55 86% * 53 42 79% 94 80 85% NS
Regular Contact with Birth Mother 105 72 69% 131 114 87% ** 67 43 64% 52 42 81% * 38 29 76% 79 72 91% *
Regular Contact with Birth Father 82 23 28% 107 70 65% *** 50 11 22% 46 27 59% *** 32 12 38% 61 43 70% **
Regular Contact with Siblings 123 92 75% 138 113 82% NS 82 65 79% 59 47 80% NS 41 27 66% 79 66 84% *
Regular Contact with Grandmother 69 32 46% 77 43 56% NS 44 18 41% 34 18 53% NS 25 14 56% 43 25 58% NS
Regular Contact with Grandfather 62 25 40% 57 23 40% NS 40 15 38% 29 10 34% NS 22 10 45% 28 13 46% NS
 
Attached to Spouse 40 34 85% 53 46 87% NS 23 21 91% 23 19 83% NS 17 13 76% 30 27 90% NS
Attached to Children 68 59 87% 74 71 96% * 47 41 87% 30 29 97% NS 21 18 86% 44 42 95% NS
Attached to Birth Mother 111 84 76% 130 113 87% * 72 56 78% 52 42 81% NS 39 28 72% 78 71 91% **
Attached to Birth Father 86 38 44% 99 67 68% *** 58 29 50% 41 27 66% NS 28 9 32% 58 40 69% ***
Attached to Siblings 145 122 84% 143 120 84% NS 103 88 85% 58 46 79% NS 42 34 81% 85 74 87% NS
Attached to Grandmother 47 33 70% 49 33 67% NS 28 19 68% 20 13 65% NS 19 14 74% 29 20 69% NS
Attached to Grandfather 38 23 61% 31 18 58% NS 23 15 65% 15 7 47% NS 15 8 53% 16 11 69% NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

Table 18: Current Relationship to Family - Attachment to Primary Caregiver during Childhood

Current Relationship Total Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
Attached Not Attached Attached Not Attached Attached Not Attached
  # %   # %     # %   # %     # %   # %  
Contact with Spouse 94 77 82% 7 7 100% NS 43 35 81% 6 6 100% NS 51 42 82% 1 1 100% NS
Contact with Children 193 127 66% 20 8 40% * 107 67 63% 12 6 50% NS 86 60 70% 8 2 25% **
Contact with Other Family 284 230 81% 29 21 72% NS 152 120 79% 17 12 71% NS 131 110 84% 12 9 75% NS
Regular Contact with Birth Mother 210 168 80% 23 18 78% NS 105 76 72% 13 9 69% NS 105 92 88% 10 9 90% NS
Regular Contact with Birth Father 165 85 52% 20 8 40% NS 84 33 39% 10 5 50% NS 81 52 64% 10 3 30% *
Regular Contact with Siblings 228 180 79% 27 20 74% NS 122 98 80% 16 12 75% NS 106 82 77% 11 8 73% NS
Regular Contact with Grandmother 134 70 52% 8 4 50% NS 73 35 48% 3 1 33% NS 61 35 57% 5 3 60% NS
Regular Contact with Grandfather 107 44 41% 8 4 50% NS 62 23 37% 5 2 40% NS 45 21 47% 3 2 67% NS
 
Attached to Spouse 82 69 84% 7 7 100% NS 37 31 84% 6 6 100% NS 45 38 84% 1 1 100% NS
Attached to Children 130 120 92% 9 7 78% NS 68 62 91% 7 6 86% NS 62 58 94% 2 1 50% *
Attached to Birth Mother 214 178 83% 22 16 73% NS 108 87 81% 14 9 64% NS 106 91 86% 8 7 88% NS
Attached to Birth Father 164 98 60% 15 5 33% * 88 51 58% 8 3 38% NS 76 47 62% 7 2 29% NS
Attached to Siblings 254 219 86% 26 17 65% ** 143 123 86% 14 8 57% ** 111 96 86% 12 9 75% NS
Attached to Grandmother 89 62 70% 4 3 75% NS 46 32 70% 1 0 0% NS 43 30 70% 3 3 100% NS
Attached to Grandfather 62 39 63% 4 2 50% NS 34 21 62% 3 1 33% NS 28 18 64% 1 1 100% NS

NS = Not Significant

* p < = .05

** p < .01

*** p < = .001

APPENDIX B: INTERVIEWS

FAMILY ATTACHMENT STUDY

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

My name is (first name). I'm involved in a project that examines family attachment and the effects of family disruption among inmates in a few of the prairie institutions. You're one of a number of inmates we'll be interviewing over the next few weeks. The purpose of this interview is to discuss your family situation while you were growing up and your family connections now. For instance, I will be asking you questions about who raised you as well as relationships that you currently have with your family and community. In addition to this interview, I will be getting information from your file.

Your participation in this interview is voluntary and will be kept strictly confidential. You may stop at any time and if there are questions that you do not feel comfortable answering, please let me know and we will move on. Please feel free to ask me questions during the interview if you need further clarification on anything.

The interview will take approximately 1 to 1˝ hours to complete. Do you have any questions? Can you please sign this to indicate your agreement to participate?

I agree to participate in the interview

_________________________________ ___________________

(participant signature) (date)

MODULE 1: GENERAL INTERVIEW

Province: ____________________

Interview Date: ____________________

Institution: ____________________

Interviewer: ____________________

Respondent #: ____________________

SECTION A: BACKGROUND

I'm going to begin by asking you some general questions about yourself, where you

have lived and early involvement in the criminal justice system.

1. What is your current marital status (check one):

1 Single 4 Divorced 7 Don't Know
2 Married 5 Separated 8 Refused
3 Common-Law 6 Widowed

2. Apart from your current marital status, have you ever been (check one for each):

  Yes No Don't Know Refused
Married 1 2 7 8
Common-Law 1 2 7 8
Divorced 1 2 7 8
Separated 1 2 7 8
Widowed 1 2 7 8

3. What is your primary language (i.e., language you speak at home) (check one):

1 English 4 Other- specify: ____________________
2 French 7 Don't Know
3 Aboriginal 8 Refused

4. What, if any, is your religion or spiritual belief (check one):

1 None 5 Other (specify) _____________________
2 Protestant 7 Don't Know
3 Roman Catholic 8 Refused
4 Traditional Native

5. Are you Aboriginal (North American Indian, Métis or Inuit)?

1 Yes, NA Indian (go to follow-up questions) 4 No
2 Yes, Métis (go to follow-up questions) 7 Don't Know
3 Yes, Inuit (go to follow-up questions) 8 Refused

A. If yes, are you a Treaty Indian or a Registered Indian as defined by the Indian Act of Canada [e.g., registered with Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development]?

1 Yes 7 Don't Know 9 Not Applicable
2 No 8 Refused

B. Are you a member of an Indian Band or First Nation?

1 Yes - specify which: _______________________ 7 Don't Know
2 No 8 Refused
9 Not Applicable

C. Do you understand or speak any Aboriginal languages?

1 Yes 7 Don't Know 9 Not Applicable
2 No 8 Refused

If yes, what Aboriginal language or languages do you understand or speak:

1st language: __________________________ 7 Don't Know

2nd language: __________________________ 8 Refused

3rd language: __________________________ 9 Not Applicable

D. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all attached" and 5 being "very attached", to what extent would you say you are currently attached to Aboriginal culture (e.g., is it part of your everyday life, do you feel a sense of belonging) (circle one):

1 2 3 4 5
7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

E. Why are you attached/not attached? How would you describe your attachment to Aboriginal culture [interviewer prompts - is it part of your everyday life; give examples of attachment/non-attachment]?

Inside Institution:

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

Outside Institution:

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

F. Do you currently participate in or attend any traditional Aboriginal activities?

1 Yes (go to question G) 7 Don't Know (skip to question 6) 9 Not Applicable
No (skip to question 6) 8 Refused (skip to question 6)

G. If yes, which traditional activities do you participate in or attend (check all that apply):

01 Arts/crafts 08 Jigging 15 Talk to elder
02 Ceremonies 09 Language training Traditional dancing
03 Circles 10 Medicine bundles 17 Traditional healing
04 Drumming 11 Pow-wows 18 Other (specify)___________
05 Feasts 12 Storytelling 77 Don't Know
06 Fiddling 13 Smudges 88 Refused
07 Hunting/fishing/trapping 14 Sweat lodges 99 Not Applicable

6. How many different cities, towns or communities have you lived in during your life (i.e., not different houses within the same community):

Number: ____ (if more than one, go to follow-up questions)

77 Don't Know (go to follow-up questions) 88 Refused

A. If more than one, during your early childhood (infancy-11 years of age), what type of

community did you live in most of the time (check one):

1 Large City (e.g., 100,000+ population) 6 Other (specify) _______________
2 Small City (e.g., 10,000 to 100,000 population) 7 Don't Know
3 Rural Community (e.g., < 10,000 population) 8 Refused
4 Reserve 9 Not Applicable
5 Métis Community

B. During your adolescence (12-18 years of age), what type of community did you live in most of the time (check one):

1 Large City (e.g., 100,000+ population) 6 Other (specify) ____________
2 Small City (e.g., 10,000 to 100,000 population) 7 Don't Know
3 Rural Community (e.g., < 10,000 population) 8 Refused
4 Reserve 9 Not Applicable
5 Métis Community

7. At the time of your most recent arrest, what type of community were you living in (check one):

1 Large City (e.g., 100,000+ population) 6 Other (specify) ____________
2 Small City (e.g., 10,000 to 100,000 population) 7 Don't Know
3 Rural Community (e.g., < 10,000 population) 8 Refused
4 Reserve
5 Métis Community

8. At the time of your most recent arrest, how long had you lived in this community (check one):

1 Less than 1 year 4 11-15 years 7 Don't Know
2 1-5 years 5 16-20 years 8 Refused
3 6-10 years 6 More than 20 years

Now I'm going to ask you a few questions about your early involvement in crime.

9. How old were you when you were first questioned by the police about anything they thought you had done?

Age: _____ 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

10. How old were you when you first went to court (for something you were charged with)?

Age: _____ 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

11. Were you ever in custody as a youth (open or secure)?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know
2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, how long did you spend in youth custody (total of all sentences) (check one):

1 Less than 6 months 4 4-5 years 8 Refused
2 6 months to < 1 year 5 More than 5 years 9 Not Applicable
3 1-3 years 7 Don't Know

12. What type of offences did you commit as a youth (not necessarily charged for) (check all that apply):

01 None 09 Prostitution
02 Sexual assault 10 Drug offences
03 Assault 11 Driving-related offences
04 Robbery 12 Under-age drinking
05 Other violent (e.g., murder, manslaughter) 13 Other (specify): _____________
06 Car theft 77 Don't Know
07 Vandalism/mischief 88 Refused
08 Other property (e.g., theft, B&E)

13. How long have you spent in adult correctional facilities to date (provincial and federal - total of all sentences) (check one):

01 Less than 6 months 05 6-7 years 77 Don't Know
02 6 months to < 1 year 06 8-10 years 88 Refused
03 1-3 years 07 11-15 years
04 4-5 years 08 More than 15 years

14. Have any of your family been involved in crime?

1 Yes 7 Don't Know
2 No 8 Refused

SECTION B: LIVING ARRANGEMENTS DURING CHILDHOOD

Now I'm going to ask you some questions about your living arrangements while you were growing up and what your childhood was like.

1. From the time you were born until you were 18, can you describe who you lived with:

1st: _______________________ Length of time: _____ months/years

2nd: _______________________ Length of time: _____ months/years

3rd: _______________________ Length of time: _____ months/years

4th: _______________________ Length of time: _____ months/years

5th: _______________________ Length of time: _____ months/years

6th: _______________________ Length of time: _____ months/years

7th: _______________________ Length of time: _____ months/years

8th: _______________________ Length of time: _____ months/years

9th: _______________________ Length of time: _____ months/years

10th: _______________________ Length of time: _____ months/years

Codes:

01 Both Birth Parents 08 Myself 15 Children's Aid Society
02 Birth Mother 09 Other Relative (specify) 16 Custody/Institution
03 Birth Father 10 Both Adoptive Parents 17 Friend/girlfriend/boyfriend
04 Both Grandparents 11 Adoptive Mother 18 On the Street
05 Grandmother 12 Adoptive Father 19 Other Non-Family (specify)
06 Grandfather 13 Foster Home 77 Don't Know
07 Sibling 14 Group Home 88 Refused

2. Were you ever homeless?

1 Yes 2 No 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

3. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "very bad " and 5 being "very good", how would you rate your economic situation while you were growing up (circle one):

Very bad Moderate Very Good
1 2 3 4 5

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

4. Did you participate in or attend any traditional Aboriginal activities while you were growing up?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know
2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, which traditional activities did you participate in or attend (check all that apply):

01 Arts/crafts 08 Jigging 15 Talk to elder
02 Ceremonies 09 Language training 16 Traditional dancing
03 Circles 10 Medicine bundles 17 Traditional healing
04 Drumming 11 Pow-wows 18 Other (specify)_____________
05 Feasts 12 Storytelling 77 Don't Know
06 Fiddling 13 Smudges 88 Refused
07 Hunting/fishing/trapping 14 Sweat lodges 99 Not Applicable

5. Were you adopted?

1 Yes 2 No 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

6. Have you spent time in the care of foster parents?

1 Yes 2 No 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

7. Have you spent time in a group home?

1 Yes 2 No 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

8. [Aboriginal respondents only] Were you ever a student at a federal residential school, hostel or industrial school?

1 Yes 7 Don't Know 9 Not Applicable
2 No 8 Refused

Now I'm going to ask you some questions about the stability of your home environment while you were growing up. By stability, I mean whether you had a feeling of security, consistency, reliability and routine.

9. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all stable" and 5 being "very stable", how would you rate the stability of your home life while you were growing up (e.g., secure, consistent, reliable, people there for you) (circle one for each):

Not at all Stable Somewhat Very Stable D/K Refuse

Overall childhood: 1 2 3 4 5 7 8

Early childhood (0-11): 1 2 3 4 5 7 8

Adolescence (12-18): 1 2 3 4 5 7 8

10. Why would you say your childhood was/wasn't stable? Can you describe what your childhood was like [interviewer prompts - give examples of how your caregivers did or didn't provide you with stability - regular hours for bed, homework, regular meals, sense of security, etc.]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

11. Who would you say was your primary caregiver while you were growing up (i.e., the person(s) who took care of you the most) (check one):

01 Both Birth Parents 11 Adoptive Mother

02 Birth Mother 12 Adoptive Father

03 Birth Father 13 Foster Home

04> Both Grandparents 14 Group Home

05 Grandmother 15 Children's Aid Society

06 Grandfather 16 Other Non-Family (specify) ______________________

07 Sibling 77 Don't Know

08 Myself 88 Refused

09 Other Relative (specify) ________________________

10 Both Adoptive Parents

12. Was there a second most significant caregiver (not necessarily family) (check one)

[interviewer: if respondent said "myself" in previous question - important to get secondary caregiver]:

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, who was the second most significant caregiver (check one):

01 Both Birth Parents 11 Adoptive Mother

02 Birth Mother 12 Adoptive Father

03 Birth Father 13 Foster Home

04> Both Grandparents 14 Group Home

05 Grandmother 15 Children's Aid Society

06 Grandfather 16 Other Non-Family (specify) ______________________

07 Sibling 77 Don't Know

08 Myself 88 Refused

09 Other Relative (specify) ________________________

10 Both Adoptive Parents

Now I'm going to ask you some questions about your attachment to your primary caregiver while you were growing up. By attachment, I mean feelings of love, caring, trust, support and belonging.

INTERVIEWER: IF RESPONDENT SAID "MYSELF" AS PRIMARY CAREGIVER - ASK ABOUT ATTACHMENT TO SECONDARY CAREGIVER

13. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all attached" and 5 being "very attached", howwould you characterize your attachment to your primary caregiver(s) while you were growing up (e.g., did you like/love them, did you trust them, did you feel a sense of belonging, did you spend time together) (circle one):

Not at all Attached Somewhat Very Attached

1 2 3 4 5

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

14. Why would you say you were/weren't attached to your primary caregiver? Can youdescribe your relationship with your primary caregiver(s) [interviewer prompts - was it a positive or negative relationship, did you feel loved, did you have a happy childhood,was there a lot of fighting, was it a supportive environment, what did you do together,give examples of attachment/non-attachment]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

15. Who would you say you had the most negative relationship with while you were growingup (i.e., person who had the most negative influence on you) (check one):

01 Birth Mother 09 Foster Mother
02 Birth Father 10 Foster Father
03 Grandmother 11 Girlfriend/Boyfriend
04 Grandfather 1 Friend
05 Sibling 13 Other (specify) ____________________
06 Other Relative (specify) ___________________ 77 Don't Know
07 Adoptive Mother 88 Refused
08 Adoptive Father

16. Why would you say this was your most negative relationship [interviewer prompts - give examples]?

______________________________________________

______________________________________________

______________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

SECTION C: FAMILY PROBLEMS

In this section, I'm going to ask you about family problems you experienced during

childhood.

1. Did you experience or witness physical and/or sexual violence or emotional abuse in the home environment while you were growing up (check those that apply):

1 Yes - experienced (go to follow-up questions) 3 No 8 Refused
2 Yes - witnessed (go to follow-up questions) 7 Don't Know

A. If yes, who were the victims (check all that apply):

01 Myself 07 Other relatives (specify) ______________________________
02 Mother 08 Other (specify) _____________________________________
03 Father 77 Don't Know
04 Brother 88 Refused
05 Sister 99 Not Applicable
06 Grandmother

B. What type(s) of violence were present (check all that apply) [interviewer: allow respondent to spontaneously answer, then prompt about specific types]:

01 Use of gun or knife 09 Physical restraint
02 Hitting with object 10 Threats
03 Beating 11 Psychological/emotional abuse
04 Choking/strangling 12 Financial abuse
05 Throwing objects 13 Other (specify) ____________________________
06 Pushing/grabbing/shoving 77 Don't Know
07 Burning 88 Refused
08 Sexual violence 99 Not Applicable

C. In which home(s) did the violence occur (check all that apply):

1 Birth Parents 5 Other (specify) __________________________________
2 Adoptive Parents 7 Don't Know
3 Foster Parents 8 Refused
4 Group Home 9 Not Applicable

D. At what age did you first experience or witness physical and/or sexual violence?

Age: ______ 88 Refused

77 Don't Know 99 Not Applicable

E. Over how long a period of time did you experience and/or witness the violence?

# of Years: _______ 88 Refused
77 Don't Know 99 Not Applicable

F. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all severe" and 5 being "very severe", how severe would you describe the violence overall (e.g., taking into account the entire home situation) (circle one):

Not at all Severe Somewhat Very Severe
1 2 3 4 5

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

G. Why would you describe the violence as not severe/very severe?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

H. Can you describe the effect the violence had on you [interviewer probes - how did it make you feel, how did it make you act]?

At the time:

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

Now:

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

2. Did anyone responsible for your upbringing have an alcohol and/or drug problem:

1 Yes - Alcohol (go to follow-up questions) 4 No
2 Yes - Drugs (go to follow-up questions) 7 Don't Know
3 Yes - Alcohol & Drugs (go to follow-up questions) 8 Refused

A. If yes, in which home(s) did the substance abuse problem occur (check all that apply):Alcohol: Drugs:

1 Birth Parents 1 Birth Parents
2 Adoptive Parents 2 Adoptive Parents
3 Foster Parents 3 Foster Parents
4 Group Home 4 Group Home
5 Other (specify) _________________ 5 Other (specify) _________________
7 Don't Know 7 Don't Know
8 Refused 8 Refused
9 Not Applicable 9 Not Applicable

B. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all severe" and 5 being "very severe", how severe would you describe the substance abuse problem (circle one for each):

  Not at all Severe Somewhat Very Severe
Person 1: 1 2 3 4 5
Person 2: 1 2 3 4 5
Person 3: 1 2 3 4 5

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

C. Can you describe the effect the substance abuse problem had on you [interviewer probes - how did it make you feel, how did it make you act]?

At the time:

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

Now:

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

SECTION D: CURRENT RELATIONSHIP WITH FAMILY

In this section, I'm going to ask you some questions about your current family

relationships.

1. [If currently has spouse/common-law] Do you presently have regular contact with your spouse/common-law (e.g., see or talk to them regularly - at least every 6 months)?

1 Yes (go to question B) 7 Don't Know 9 Not Applicable
2 No (go to question A) 8 Refused

A. If NO, is there any particular reason why you don't you have contact at this time (check all that apply):

01 Live too far away 07 Can't afford to contact (long-distance $)
02 Not in long enough for visits 08 Don't know how to contact them
03 Family not interested in contact 09 Other (specify) ___________________________
04 I'm not interested in contact 77 Don't Know
05 Custody order to stay away 88 Refused
06 Difficulties contacting (e.g., no phone) 99 Not Applicable

[Skip to Question 2]

B. If YES, currently, how often do you have contact (check one):

01 More than once a day 05 Several times a month 77 Don't Know
02 Once a day 06 Once a month 88 Refused
03 Several times a week 07 Several times a year 99 Not Applicable
04 Once a week 08 Less often

C. Everyone has different reasons for maintaining contact - can you tell me your reasons (check all that apply):

01 I miss 08 To ensure family is okay
02 I care about 09 To keep up on current affairs
03 Feeling of belonging 10 Method of contact with outside
04 Family bonds 11 Other (specify) _________________________________
05 Cultural bonds 77 Don't Know
06 Emotional support 88 Refused
07 Financial support 99 Not Applicable

D. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all attached" and 5 being "very attached", how would you characterize your current attachment to your spouse (circle one):

Not at all Attached   Somewhat   Very Attached
1 2 3 4 5

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

E. Can you describe your current relationship with your spouse/common-law [interviewer prompts - do you spend time together, how would you describe the relationship to someone]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

2. Do you have any children (including biological, step or adopted)?

1 Yes (go to follow-up questions) 7 Don't Know

2> No 8 Refused

A. If yes, how many children do you have?

Number: ______ 77 Don't Know 88 Refused 99 Not Applicable

B. Did your children live with you most of the time prior to your incarceration?

1 Yes 3 No 8 Refused
2 Sometimes 7 Don't Know 9 Not Applicable

C. Do you presently have regular contact with your child(ren) (e.g., see or talk to them regularly - at least every 6 months)?

1 Yes (go to question E) 7 Don't Know 9 Not Applicable
2 No (go to question D) 8 Refused

D. If NO, is there any particular reason why you don’t you have contact at this time (check all that apply):

01 Live too far away 07 Can't afford to contact (long-distance $)
02 Not in long enough for visits 08 Don't know how to contact them
03 Family not interested in contact 09 Other (specify) ___________________________
04 I'm not interested in contact 77 Don't Know
05 ustody order to stay away 88 Refused
06 Difficulties contacting (e.g., no phone) 99 Not Applicable

[Skip to Question 3]

E. If YES, currently, how often do you have contact (check one):

01 More than once a day 05 Several times a month 77 Don't Know
02 Once a day 06 Once a month 88 Refused
03 Several times a week 07 Several times a year 99 Not Applicable
04 Once a week 08 Less often

F. Everyone has different reasons for maintaining contact - can you tell me your reasons (check all that apply):

01 I miss 08 To ensure family is okay
02 I care about 09 To keep up on current affairs
03 Feeling of belonging 10 Method of contact with outside
04 Family bonds 11 Other (specify) _________________________________
05 Cultural bonds 77 Don't Know
06 Emotional support 88 Refused
07 Financial support 99 Not Applicable

G. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all attached" and 5 being "very attached", how would you characterize your current attachment to your child(ren) (circle one):

Not at all Attached Somewhat Very Attached
1 2 3 4 5

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

H. Can you describe your current relationship with your child(ren) [interviewer prompts - do you spend time together, , how would you describe the relationship to someone]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

3. [If has children] Have any of your children ever been placed in foster or group homes or adopted?

1 Yes (go to follow-up questions) 7 Don't Know 9 Not Applicable

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, at what age were they first placed in care or adopted?

Ages: ____; ____; ____; ____; ____; ____; ____; ____

77 Don't Know 88 Refused 99 Not Applicable

81

B. What were the reasons that your children were placed in care or adopted?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused 9 Not Applicable

C. Are any of your children currently in care?

1 Yes 7 Don't Know 9 Not Applicable

2 No 8 Refused

4. Other than your spouse and children, prior to this incarceration, did you have contact with any immediate (biological/adoptive/foster) or extended family members (e.g., see or talk to them regularly - at least every 6 months)?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, who did you have contact with and was it was regular (e.g., see or talk to them regularly - at least every 6 months):

Reg. Irreg. No Don't Refused N/A

Know

Birth Mother: 1 2 3 7 8 9

Birth Father: 1 2 3 7 8 9

Sibling(s): 1 2 3 7 8 9

Grandmother: 1 2 3 7 8 9

Grandfather: 1 2 3 7 8 9

Other Relative (specify) ________________ 1 2 3 7 8 9

Non-Family (specify) ________________ 1 2 3 7 8 9

5. Do you presently have regular contact with your immediate or extended family (e.g., see or talk to them regularly - at least every 6 months)?

1 Yes (go to question B) 7 Don't Know
2 No (go to question A) 8 Refused

A. If NO, is there any particular reason why you don't you have contact at this time(check all that apply):

01 Live too far away 07 Can't afford to contact (long-distance $)
02 Not in long enough for visits 08 Don't know how to contact them
03 Family not interested in contact 09 Other (specify) ___________________________
04 I'm not interested in contact 77 Don't Know
05 Custody order to stay away 88 Refused
06 Difficulties contacting (e.g., no phone) 99 Not Applicable

[Skip to Question 6]

B. If YES, with whom in your family do you presently have regular contact (check all that apply):

01 Birth Mother 09 Foster Home
02 Birth Father 10 Group Home
03 Sibling(s) 11 Other Non-Family (specify)_________________
04 Grandmother 77 Don't Know
05 Grandfather 88 Refused
06 Other Relative (specify) ________________ 99 Not Applicable
07 Adoptive Mother
08 Adoptive Father

C. Currently, how often do you have contact with any family members (check one):

01 More than once a day 05 Several times a month 77 Don't Know
02 Once a day 06 Once a month 88 Refused
03 Several times a week 07 Several times a year 99 Not Applicable
04 Once a week 08 Less often

D. Everyone has different reasons for maintaining contact - can you tell me your reasons (check all that apply):

01 I miss 08 To ensure family is okay
02 I care about 09 To keep up on current affairs
03 Feeling of belonging 10 Method of contact with outside
04 Family bonds 11 Other (specify) _________________________________
05 Cultural bonds 77 Don't Know
06 Emotional support 88 Refused
07 Financial support 99 Not Applicable

6. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all attached" and 5 being "very attached", how would you characterize your attachment to your family currently (circle one for each): Not at all Attached Somewhat Very Attached N/A

Birth Mother: 1 2 3 4 5 9

Birth Father: 1 2 3 4 5 9

Sibling(s): 1 2 3 4 5 9

Grandmother: 1 2 3 4 5 9

Grandfather: 1 2 3 4 5 9

Other: __________1 2 3 4 5 9

7. Can you describe your current relationship with your family overall [interviewer prompts - do you love them, do you like them, do you spend time together; describe relationship with individual family members]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

8. Who would you say you currently have the closest relationship with (check one):

01 Spouse/Common-law 11 Foster Mother
02 Child(ren) 12 Foster Father
03 Birth Mother 13 Friend
04 Birth Father 14 Another Inmate
05 Grandmother 15 Other (specify) ________________________
06 Grandfather 77 Don't Know
07 Sibling 88 Refused
08 Other Relative (specify) ___________________
09 Adoptive Mother
10 Adoptive Father

9. Why would you say you have the closest relationship with this person [interviewer prompts - give examples]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

10. Who would you say you currently have the most negative relationship with (i.e., the person who has the most negative influence on you) (check one):

01 Spouse/Common-law 11 Foster Mother
02 Child(ren) 12 Foster Father
03 Birth Mother 13 Friend
04 Birth Father 14 Another Inmate
05 Grandmother 15 Other (specify) ________________________
06 Grandfather 77 Don't Know
07 Sibling 88 Refused
08 Other Relative (specify) ___________________
09 Adoptive Mother
10 Adoptive Father

11. Why would you say this is your most negative relationship [interviewer prompts - give examples]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

12. Were you involved in a gang prior to your incarceration?

1 Yes 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

13. Are you currently involved in a gang in the institution?

1 Yes 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

SECTION E: INTER-GENERATIONAL

In this section, I'm going to ask you a few questions about your parents and other family members.

1. Were either of your birth parents adopted (check one for each):

Yes No Don't Know Refused

Mother 1 2 7 8

Father 1 2 7 8

84

A. If yes, was the adoptive family:

Mother (check one): Father (check one):

1 Non-Aboriginal 2 Non-Aboriginal

2 Aboriginal 2 Aboriginal

3 Mixed 3 Mixed

7 Don't Know 7 Don't Know

8 Refused 8 Refused

9 Not Applicable 9 Not Applicable

2. Have either of your birth parents spent time in the care of foster parents and/or a group home (check one for each):

Yes No Don't Know Refused

Mother 1 2 7 8

Father 1 2 7 8

3. [Aboriginal respondents only] Were any of the following members of your family ever a student in a federal residential school, hostel or industrial school (check one for each)?

Yes No Don't Know Refused N/A

Birthmother: 1 2 7 8 9

Birthfather: 1 2 7 8 9

Brothers or sisters: 1 2 7 8 9

Grandmother(s): 1 2 7 8 9

Grandfather(s): 1 2 7 8 9

Aunts or uncles: 1 2 7 8 9

Cousins: 1 2 7 8 9

Other relatives (specify): ___________________1 2 7 8 9

A. If yes, what is the name of the residential school(s) that your relatives attended:

Name of School: Province: Don't Know Refused N/A

Mother: ___________________ ________ 7 8 9

Father: ___________________ ________ 7 8 9

Siblings: ___________________ ________ 7 8 9

Grandmother: ___________________ ________ 7 8 9

Grandfather: ___________________ ________ 7 8 9

Aunts/Uncles: ___________________ ________ 7 8 9

Cousins: ___________________ ________ 7 8 9

Other: ___________________ ________ 7 8 9

IF ADOPTED - complete Module 2

IF IN FOSTER CARE - complete Module 3

IF IN GROUP HOME - complete Module 4

IF ATTENDED RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL - complete Module 5

Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

Do you have any questions? Thank you very much for your time.

MODULE 2: ADOPTION

Province: ____________________

Interview Date: ____________________

Institution: ____________________

Interviewer: ____________________

Respondent #: ____________________

Now I'm going to ask you some questions about your adoption. We may have covered some of these earlier, so we can go through them quickly.

1. At what age were you adopted?

Age: ______ 77 Don't Know 88 Refused

2. Were you adopted by family members?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes - who adopted you (check one):

1 Grandparents 6 Other (specify) ______________________

2 Grandmother only 7 Don't Know

3 Grandfather only 8 Refused

4 Aunt and/or uncle 9 Not Applicable

5 Sibling

3. Are your adoptive parent(s) Aboriginal?

1 Yes 2 No 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

4. Did your adoptive parent(s) provide you with access to cultural or spiritual traditions/practices while you were growing up?

1 Yes 2 No 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

5. How long did you live with your adopted parent(s) (check one):

1 Less than 5 years 4 16-20 years 7 Don't Know

2 6-10 years 5 More than 20 years 8 Refused

3 11-15 years

6. Why do you think you were placed for adoption?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

7. Do you presently have regular contact with anyone in your adoptive family (e.g., see or talk to them regularly - at least every 6 months)?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, with whom do you presently have regular contact (check all that apply):

1 Mother 6 Other (specify) ____________________

2 Father 7 Don't Know

3 Sibling(s) 8 Refused

4 Grandmother 9 Not Applicable

5 Grandfather

8. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all attached" and 5 being "very attached", how would you characterize your attachment to your adoptive family currently (circle one): Not at all Attached Somewhat Very Attached

1 2 3 4 5

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

9. Why would you say you are/aren't attached? Can you describe your current relationship with your adoptive family [interviewer prompts - is it a positive or negative relationship, doyou feel loved, is there a lot of fighting, is it a supportive environment, what do you do together, give examples of attachment/non-attachment]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

Now I'm going to ask you a few questions about your birth family.

10. Did you live with your birth parent(s) for any length of time before you were adopted?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, how long?

Number of Years: ____ 88 Refused

77 Don't Know 99 Not Applicable

11. Did your parent(s) put you up for adoption or were you placed for adoption by the province

(check one):

1 Birthparent(s) 7 Don't Know

2 Province 8 Refused

12. Do you know who your birthparent(s) are (check one):

1 Yes - both birthparents (go to follow-up questions) 4 No (end this module)

2 Yes - birth mother only (go to follow-up questions) 8 Refused (end this module)

3 Yes - birth father only (go to follow-up questions)

A. If yes, have you had subsequent contact with your birth family?

1 Yes (go to question B) 8 Refused

2 No 9 Not Applicable

B. At what age did you first have contact with them?

Age: ____ 88 Refused

77 Don't Know 99 Not Applicable

C. With whom have you had contact at least once (check all that apply):

1 Birth Mother 5 Other (specify) ____________________

2 Birth Father 7 Don't Know

3 Sibling(s) 8 Refused

4 Grandparent(s) 9 Not Applicable

IF END OF INTERVIEW - ASK FOLLOWING QUESTIONS

Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

Do you have any questions? Thank you very much for your time.

MODULE 3: FOSTER CARE

Province: ____________________

Interview Date: ____________________

Institution: ____________________

Interviewer: ____________________

Respondent #: ____________________

Now I'm going to ask you some questions about your time in foster care. We may have covered some of these earlier, so we can go through them quickly.

1. At what age were you first placed in foster care?

Age: ______ 77 Don't Know 88 Refused

2. Approximately how many foster homes have you lived in (check one)?

1 1 only 4 11-15 7 Don't Know

2 2-5 5 More than 15 8 Refused

3 6-10

3. What was the approximate length of time spent in each home?

Home 1: _____ months/years Home 6: _____ months/years

Home 2: _____ months/years Home 7: _____ months/years

Home 3: _____ months/years Home 8: _____ months/years

Home 4: _____ months/years Home 9: _____ months/years

Home 5: _____ months/years Home 10: _____ months/years

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

4. Have any of your foster parents been family members?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes - who have you been placed with (check all that apply):

1 Grandparents 6 Other (specify) ______________________
2 Grandmother only 7 Don't Know
3 Grandfather only 8 Refused
4 Aunt and/or uncle Not Applicable 9
5 Sibling

5. Were any of your foster parent(s) Aboriginal:

1 Yes 2 No 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

6. Did your foster parent(s) provide you with access to cultural or spiritual traditions/practices while you were growing up?

1 Yes 2 No 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

7. Why do you think you were placed in foster care?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

8. Do you presently have regular contact with anyone in your foster famili(ies) (e.g., see or talk to them regularly - at least every 6 months)?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know
2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, with whom do you presently have regular contact (check all that apply):

1 Mother 6 Other (specify) ____________________
2 Father 7 Don't Know
3 Sibling(s) 8 Refused
4 Grandmother 9 Not Applicable
5 Grandfather

9. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all attached" and 5 being "very attached", how would you characterize your attachment to your foster famil(ies) currently (circle one for each):

Not at all Attached Somewhat Very Attached DK Ref

Family 1:1 2 3 4 5 7 8

Family 2:1 2 3 4 5 7 8

Family 3:1 2 3 4 5 7 8

10. Why would you say you are/aren't attached? Can you describe your current relationship with your foster famil(ies) [interviewer prompts - is it a positive or negative relationship, do you feel loved, is there a lot of fighting, is it a supportive environment, what do you do together, give examples of attachment/non-attachment]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

If ADOPTION MODULE has been completed - END THIS MODULE

Now I'm going to ask you a few questions about your birth family.

11. Did you live with your birthparent(s) for any length of time before you went into foster care?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know
2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, how long?

Number of Months/Years: ____ 88 Refused

77 Don't Know 99 Not Applicable

12. Were you returned to your birthparent(s) for any length of time after placement in foster care?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, for how long?

Number of Years: ____ 88 Refused

77 Don't Know 99 Not Applicable

13. Did your parent(s) place you into care or were you placed into care by the province (check one):

1 Birthparent(s) 7 Don't Know
2 Province 8 Refused

14. Do you know who your birthparent(s) are (check one):

1 Yes - both birthparents (go to follow-up questions) 4 No (end this module)
2 Yes - birth mother only (go to follow-up questions) 8 Refused (end this module)
3 Yes - birth father only (go to follow-up questions)

A. If yes, have you had subsequent contact with your birth family?

1 Yes (go to question B) 8 Refused
2 No 9 Not Applicable

B. At what age did you first have contact with them?

Age: ____ 88 Refused

77 Don't Know 99 Not Applicable

C. With whom have you had contact at least once (check all that apply):

1 Birth Mother 5 Other (specify) ____________________
2 Birth Father 7 Don't Know
3 Sibling(s) 8 Refused
4 Grandparent(s) 9 Not Applicable

IF END OF INTERVIEW - ASK FOLLOWING QUESTIONS

Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

Do you have any questions? Thank you very much for your time.

MODULE 4: GROUP HOME

Province: ____________________

Interview Date: ____________________

Institution: ____________________

Interviewer: ____________________

Respondent #: ____________________

Now I'm going to ask you some questions about your time in a group home. We may have covered some of these earlier, so we can go through them quickly.

1. At what age were you first placed in a group home?

Age: ______ 77 Don't Know 88 Refused

2. Approximately how many group homes have you lived in (check one)?

1 1 only 4 11-15 7 Don't Know
2 2-5 5 More than 15 8 Refused
3 6-10

3. What was the approximate length of time spent in each home?

Home 1: _____ months/years Home 6: _____ months/years

Home 2: _____ months/years Home 7: _____ months/years

Home 3: _____ months/years Home 8: _____ months/years

Home 4: _____ months/years Home 9: _____ months/years

Home 5: _____ months/years Home 10: _____ months/years

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

4. Were any of your group homes run by Aboriginal agencies?

1 Yes 7 Don't Know
2 No 8 Refused

5. Were you provided with access to cultural or spiritual traditions/practices in your group

home(s)?

1 Yes 2 No 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

6. Why do you think you were placed in a group home?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

7. Do you presently have regular contact with anyone from your group home(s) (e.g., see or talk to them regularly - at least every 6 months)?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, with whom do you presently have regular contact (check all that apply):

1 Resident 7 Don't Know
2 Staff 8 Refused
3 Other (specify) _____________________ 9 Not Applicable

8. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not at all attached" and 5 being "very attached", how would you characterize your attachment to members of your group home(s) currently (circle one for each):

Not at all Attached Somewhat Very Attached DK Ref

Home 1:1 2 3 4 5 7 8

Home 2:1 2 3 4 5 7 8

Home 3:1 2 3 4 5 7 8

9. Why would you say you are/aren't attached? Can you describe your current relationship with members of your group home(s) [interviewer prompts - is it a positive or negative relationship, do you feel loved, is there a lot of fighting, is it a supportive environment, what do you do together, give examples of attachment/non-attachment]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

If ADOPTION OR FOSTER HOME MODULES have been completed - END THIS MODULE

Now I'm going to ask you a few questions about your birth family.

10. Did you live with your birthparent(s) for any length of time before you went into a group home?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, how long?

Number of Years: ____ 88 Refused

77 Don't Know 99 Not Applicable

11. Were you returned to your birthparent(s) for any length of time after placement in a group home?

1 Yes (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know

2 No 8 Refused

A. If yes, for how long?

Number of Years: ____ 8 Refused

7 Don't Know 9 Not Applicable

12. Do you know who your birthparent(s) are (check one):

1 Yes - both birthparents (go to follow-up questions) 4 No (end this module)
2 Yes - birth mother only (go to follow-up questions) 8 Refused (end this module)
3 Yes - birth father only (go to follow-up questions)

A. If yes, have you had subsequent contact with your birth family?

1 Yes (go to question B) 8 Refused
2 No 9 Not Applicable

B. At what age did you first have contact with them?

Age: ____ 88 Refused

77 Don't Know 99 Not Applicable

C. With whom have you had contact at least once (check all that apply):

1 Birth Mother 5 Other (specify) ____________________
2 Birth Father 7 Don't Know
3 Sibling(s) 8 Refused
4 Grandparent(s) 9 Not Applicable

IF END OF INTERVIEW - ASK FOLLOWING QUESTIONS

Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

Do you have any questions? Thank you very much for your time.

MODULE 5: RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL

Province: ____________________

Interview Date: ____________________

Institution: ____________________

Interviewer: ____________________

Respondent #: ____________________

Now I'm going to ask you some questions about your time at a residential school.

1. What is the name of the Residential School that you attended?

Name: ________________________

Province: ________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

2. How long were you at the residential school?

Months/Years: ______ 77 Don't Know 88 Refused

3. How often were you able to visit your family while attending the school (check one):

1 Once a week 5 Other (specify) ____________________
2 Once a month 7 Don't Know
3 During summer vacation 8 Refused
4 Once or twice a year

4. Were you provided with access to cultural or spiritual traditions/pra ctices in the residential school?

1 Yes 2 No 7 Don't Know 8 Refused

5. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "very negative" and 5 being "very positive", how would you describe your experience at the residential school (circle one):

Very Negative Neutral Very Positive
1 2 3 4 5

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

6. Can you describe your experience at the residential school to me [interviewer prompts - why was it positive or negative, how were you treated, did you miss your family, what effect did the residential school have on you]?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

7 Don't Know 8 Refused

7. Did you experience or witness physical and/or sexual violence at the residential school (check those that apply):

1 Yes - physical (go to follow-up question) 7 Don't Know
2 Yes - sexual (go to follow-up question) 8 Refused
3 No

A. If yes, who committed the violence (check all that apply): Physical: Sexual:

1 Staff 1 Staff
2 Myself 2 Myself
3 Other Residents 3 Other Residents
4 Other (specify) _____________ 4 Other (specify) _________________
7 Don't Know 7 Don't Know
8 Refused 8 Refused
9 Not Applicable 9 Not Applicable

IF END OF INTERVIEW - ASK FOLLOWING QUESTIONS

Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

Do you have any questions?

Thank you very much for your time.

APPENDIX C: OFFENDER CASE FILE INFORMATION

Offender Characteristics:

  • Aboriginal status (non-Aboriginal, Aboriginal)
  • Aboriginal group (North American Indian, Métis, Inuit)
  • Sex (male, female)
  • Age at most recent admission
  • Current age
  • Education at most recent admission
  • Marital status at most recent admission
  • Employment at most recent admission (unemployed, employed)

Offence Characteristics:

  • Current offence
  • Number of convictions
  • Current aggregate sentence length

Criminal History:

  • Age at first adult conviction
  • Previous youth convictions (yes/no)
  • Number of previous youth convictions
  • Previous youth court dispositions (community supervision - yes/no, open custody - yes/no, secure custody)
  • Previous adult convictions (yes/no)
  • Number of previous adult convictions
  • Previous adult court sanctions (community supervision - yes/no, provincial terms - yes/no, federal terms)

Dynamic Factors Assessment (at admission):

  • Level of Intervention Based on Dynamic Factors: (low, medium, high)
  • Employment
  • Marital/Family
  • Associates/Social Interaction
  • Substance Abuse
  • Community Functioning
  • Personal/Emotional Orientation
  • Attitude

Custody Rating Scale:

  • Security level (minimum, medium, maximum)