Indigenous Crisis: Critical Overrepresentation in our Criminal Justice System

By: Nicole Porter, N.A. PORTER & ASSOCIATES

The overrepresentation of Indigenous individuals in the Canadian criminal justice system remains at a critical high. In fact, as the below study will tell you, this overrepresentation is still at a comparable level today as it was three decades ago. Despite the stated efforts of the federal government to address this crisis for close to two decades now, the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal individuals in custody continues to rise. This is problematic.

Rates of Indigenous incarceration in Canada have remained disproportionately high over the past decade. Despite the fact that Aboriginal adults make up scarcely more than three percent of the overall Canadian population, the report (below) determined that between 2015-2016 twenty-six percent of the prison population were Indigenous. This number has actually been rapidly rising since 2006. Shocking to most, yet it’s still happening.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) has explicitly called upon the federal government to “commit to eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in custody,” and Prime Minister Trudeau promised to do so. When this will occur, though, is the critical question. Since as of now, in provinces like Saskatchewan, incarceration rates with young indigenous (females) are as high as 98% in some facilities. Systemic change is long overdue.

Read more below by downloading the PDF: