A One-Day Snapshot of Aboriginal Youth in Custody Across Canada

Chapter 10 - Territories (continued)

10.4 Most Serious Offence

Figure 10.2 and Table 10.2 describes the most serious offences attributed to Aboriginal youth in custody on Snapshot day. In the Territories, the largest proportion of Aboriginal youth in open or secure custody was found guilty of a property crime (70%), while 22% were guilty of a crime against the person, and 5% for other Criminal Code offences.

Figure 10.2 Most Serious Offence - Open or Closed Custody

Figure 10.2 - Most Serious Offence - Open or Closed Custody
[Description of Figure 10.2]

Source: One-Day Snapshot of Aboriginal Youth in Custody (2001).
Prepared by: Research and Statistics Division, Department of Justice Canada .

Of those found guilty of an offence against the person, 35% were convicted for sexual assault (mostly males), while 25% were convicted for other violent offences (e.g. criminal negligence causing bodily harm) (see Table 10.3). Of those with a property-related MSO, 89% committed break and enter.

A larger proportion of male than female Aboriginal youth was convicted for a property-related offence (74% versus 47%). Meanwhile, similar proportions of female and male Aboriginal youth were convicted for an offence against the person (20% versus 22%) (see Table 10.2).

Older youth tended to be found guilty of a crime against the person, while younger youth tended to have a property-related MSO. Forty percent of those 18 years of age or older had a crime against the person MSO, compared to 29% of those between 16-17 years of age. Meanwhile, 88% of those between 14-15 years of age had an MSO for a property-related offence, compared to 65% of the 16-17 year olds, and 40% of those 18 years of age and older. However, finding that older youth were most likely to be guilty of a crime against the person is not surprising, given that these offences typically receive longer sentences, therefore explaining why those 18 years of age and older are still in a youth facility (see Table 10.4).

Figure 10.3 describes the distribution of MSO for those serving an open and secure sentence. The same proportion of those serving an open and secure sentence had a crime against the person MSO (20% each). Meanwhile, similar proportions of those in open and secure custody had a property-related MSO (71% versus 76%, respectively).

Figure 10.3 Most Serious Charge - Open and Secure Custody

Figure 10.3 - Most Serious Charge - Open and Secure Custody
[Description of Figure 10.3]

Source: One-Day Snapshot of Aboriginal Youth in Custody (2001).
Prepared by: Research and Statistics Division, Department of Justice Canada.

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