Exploring the Shift in the Federal Women Offender Distribution
Research Highlights: The shift towards a higher proportion of women under community supervision is the result of effective case management.
Research in Brief- PDF
Why we are doing this study
Over the past five years, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has seen an increase (+304 or 28.1%) in women under federal jurisdiction [from 1,083 at year-end in 2012-13 to 1,387 in 2017-18]. While it appears that women in federal custody had been increasing from 603 at year-end in 2012-13 to 679 in 2017-18, the custody population had peaked in 2015-16 and is now in decline. On the other hand, there has been steady growth (+228 or 47.5%) in the conditional release supervision population from 480 at year-end in 2012-13 to 708 in 2017-18. Also noteworthy, 2017-18 marked a historical shift of proportionally more women under community supervision than in custody. Gaining an understanding the recent shift can facilitate the allocation of programming and operational resources.
What we did
Historical year-end federal institutional and community supervision counts are recorded as standardized reports in CSC’s Corporate Reporting System-Modernized (CRS-M). Similarly, historical counts of federal admissions and releases are also recorded in CRS-M.
Data was extracted from CRS-M (April 15, 2018) capacity module to establish a five-year trend (2012-13 to 2017-18) of the flows into and out of federal custody. Then, a closer examination of the nature of the turnover (admissions/ releases) in the population was undertaken.
What we found
Overall, admissions to federal custody for women have risen from 412 in 2012-13 to 519 in 2017-18; a substantial difference of +107 (or +26.0%). When unpacking this increase by type of federal admission it is notable that the percentage of admissions to federal custody through conditional release revocations has decreased from 32.3% in 2012-13 to 28.5% in 2017-18.
On the other hand, total releases from federal custody appear to have increased from 452 in 2012-13 to 569 in 2017-18. Again, unpacking total releases by type it is noteworthy that there has been a steady rise in day parole releases from 185 in 2012-13 to 321 in 2017-18; a difference of +136 (or +73.5%). While it may appear that there has been little change in revocations, there has been a substantial increase in earlier releases on day parole resulting in less days spent incarcerated for a considerable portion of the federal offender population.
|Fiscal Year||Total Admissions||Admissions (Revocation)||Total Releases||Releases (Day Parole)|
What it means
Notwithstanding the fact that growth of women offender population in federal custody has dampened, it appears that more women are being released earlier in their sentence and managed safely in the community. It is the combined efforts at efficient preparation for safe release and effective case management that has resulted in shift towards a higher proportion of federally sentenced women under community supervision than in custody.
For more information
Please e-mail the Research Branch or contact us by phone at (613) 995-3975.
You can also visit the Research Publications section for a full list of reports and one-page summaries.
Prepared by: Larry Motiuk and Bruno Jean
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