Older Offenders (65+) in Canadian Federal Corrections

Research Highlights: The growth of more older (65+) offenders under federal jurisdiction is largely due to new admissions.

Publication

No RIB-19-07

July 2019

Research in Brief- PDF

Older Offenders (65+) in Canadian Federal Corrections

Why we did this study

Over the past five years, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has seen an increase (+530 or 41.4%) in older offenders (65+) under federal jurisdiction [from 1,279 at year-end in 2012-13 to 1,809 in 2017-18]. While the older offender population in federal custody has increased (+158 or 29.3%) from 539 at year-end in 2012-13 to 697 in 2017-18, there has also been steady growth (+372 or 50.3%) in the conditional release supervision population from 740 at year-end in 2012-13 to 1,112 in 2017-18. Also noteworthy, there has been a trend of proportionally more older offenders under community supervision (Outside) than in custody (Inside). Gaining an understanding of population changes can facilitate the allocation of programming and operational resources.

Older Offender (65+) Population: 2012-13 to 2017-18
Fiscal Year-end 2012 -13 2013 -14 2014 -15 2015 -16 2016 -17 2017 -18
Custody 539 601 638 662 702 697
Community 740 793 843 924 1,004 1,112
Total 1,279 1,394 1,481 1,586 1,706 1,809
Growth Δ   +115 +202 +307 +427 +530
Ratio In/Out 42/58 43/57 43/57 42/58 41/59 39/61

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 (March 1, 2019) 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 older (65+) population was undertaken.

What we found

Overall, admissions to federal custody for older offenders have risen from 133 in 2012-13 to 171 in 2017-18; a difference of +38 (or +29%). 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 26.3% in 2012-13 to 12.9% in 2017-18. Consequently, some of the growth in the older offender population is due to the increase of new warrant of committal admissions from 94 in 2012-13 to 142 in 2017-18; a difference of +48 (or 51%).

On the other hand, total older offender (65+) releases from federal custody have increased from 188 in 2012-13 to 288 in 2017-18; a difference of +100 (or 53.2%). Again, unpacking total releases by type it is noteworthy that there has been a steady rise in day parole releases from 64 in 2012-13 to 141 in 2017-18; a difference of +47 (or +73.4%). While it appears that there has been a rise in older admissions, there has been a substantial increase in earlier releases on day parole resulting in less days spent incarcerated for a considerable portion of the population.

National Population Flows: 2012-13 to 2017-18
Fiscal Year Total Admissions 65+ Admissions Total Releases 65+ Releases
2012-13 8,069 133 7,845 188
2013-14 7,900 166 7,996 191
2014-15 7,397 165 7,827 206
2015-16 7,449 146 7,919 220
2016-17 7,154 177 7,837 231
2017-18 6,903 171 7,508 288

What it means

Notwithstanding the fact that growth of the older offender population in federal custody has increased, it appears that more older persons are being released earlier in their sentence and managed safely in the community. The combined efforts at efficient preparation for safe release and effective case management have resulted in a sustained trend of more older offenders being released each year than admitted to federal 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

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