Aboriginal Justice Strategy
Annual Report
2005-2006

Appendix 1

Aboriginal People in the Canadian Justice System: Statistics

The AJS was established as part of the federal government response to the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the Canadian justice system.

Contact with Police

Compared to the non-Aboriginal population, Aboriginal people are more likely to have some forms of contact with police.

In 2004:

  • there were virtually no differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in their contact with police for such interactions as public information sessions or traffic violations
  • Aboriginal people were more likely than non-Aboriginal people to have come into contact with police as victims of crime (13% compared to 7%), as witnesses to a crime (11% compared to 6%), or by virtue of being arrested (5% compared to 1%)[21]

Crime Rate

The on-reserve crime rate is higher than the crime rate in the rest of Canada.

In 2004:

  • the on-reserve crime rate was almost three times higher than the rate in the rest of Canada (28,900 per 100,000 on reserve compared to 8,500 per 100,00 population in the rest of the country)[22]
  • the on-reserve violent crime rate was eight times the violent crime rate in the rest of Canada (7,108 compared to 953 per 100,000 population)[23]

Victimization

Compared to the non-Aboriginal population, Aboriginal people are more likely to be victims of crime, victims of violent crime, and victims of spousal violence.

In 2004:

  • 40% of the Aboriginal population reported having been the victim of at least one crime in the last year, compared to 28% of the non-Aboriginal population[24]
  • 21% of the Aboriginal population reported having been victimized more than once in the last year, compared to 11% of the non-Aboriginal population[25]
  • Aboriginal people reported having experienced violent crime at a rate that was nearly three times that of non-Aboriginal people (319 versus 101 incidents per 1,000 population)[26]
  • 21% of the Aboriginal population reported having been assaulted by their spouse in the last five years, compared to 6% of the non-Aboriginal population[27]

Incarceration

Aboriginal people are over-represented in custody relative to their proportional representation in the total Canadian population.

In 2003-04, Aboriginal adults were:

  • 2.6% of the Canadian adult population
  • 20.7% of the country’s adult inmate admissions (21% in provincial/territorial facilities, up from 14% in 2001-02; 18% in federal custody, up from 15% in 2001-02)[28]

In 2003, Aboriginal youths[29] were:

  • 5% of the Canadian youth population
  • 33% of youths in custody on snapshot day (June 4, 2003)[30]
  • almost eight times more likely to be in custody than non-Aboriginal youths[31]

In 2003-04, Aboriginal youths were:

  • 5% of the Canadian youth population
  • 21% of admissions to open custody, 20% of admissions to secure custody, 19% of admissions to deferred custody, and 12% of admissions to probation[32]

Characteristics of Adult Aboriginal Inmates

In 2003-04, Aboriginal adults in custody:

  • were younger on average, had less education and were more likely to have been unemployed prior to the offending than non-Aboriginal inmates
  • were considered higher risk to re-offend and had higher needs than non-Aboriginal inmates[33]


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