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

Chapter 10 - Territories (continued)

10.6 Sentence Length

Figure 10.5 and Table 10.5 describes the various sentence lengths being served by Aboriginal youth included in the snapshot. Twenty-six percent of youth in the Territories were sentenced to custody for 300-399 days, while 15% were sentenced for 150 to 199 days and 14% for 400-499 days. Six percent of the youth were sentenced to 1-99 days, while 31% were sentenced for 1 to 199 days and 54% for 1-299 days. The median custody length in the Territories was 275 days.

Data concerning sentence length must be interpreted with caution, as longer sentences are more likely to be captured in a one-day snapshot than are shorter ones; hence, the former may be over-represented in the results. Therefore, the sentence distribution in Figure 10.5 and Table 10.5 (and the median custody length) do not necessarily represent typical sentence lengths.

Figure 10.5 Sentence Length Being Served on Snapshot Day.

Figure 10.5 - Sentence Length Being Served on Snapshot Day.
[Description]

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

A larger proportion of females than males was sentenced to custody for less than 199 days (47% versus 33%). In comparison, 63% of the males and 40% of the females were sentenced to 250 days or more.

An analysis of age and sentence length provides some evidence that older youth tended to serve longer sentences in comparison to younger youth. For instance, 40% of those between 14-15 years of age were serving a sentence of 199 days of less, compared to 27% of those between 16-17 years of age and 27% of those 18 years of age and older. Meanwhile, 55% of those 18 years of age and older were serving a sentence of 300 days or more, compared to 50% of the 16-17 year olds, and 36% of the 14-15 year olds. However, revealing that older youth were serving longer sentences than younger youth was expected given that older youth - especially those over the age of 18 - would need to be serving longer sentences to be in as youth facility (see Table 10.5).

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