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

Chapter 1 - Introduction (continued)

1.4 Considerations /Limitations

This report provides national highlights, as well as detailed information by jurisdiction with respect to the variables included in the data collection forms. However, there are several issues and limitations to consider when reading this report.

  • Data gleaned from the snapshot are not necessarily representative of Aboriginal youth in custody on any given day - they do not necessarily reflect average custodial levels. Due to fluctuations in custodial admission levels, the Snapshot may have produced different results if it had been administered on another date.
  • This study does not provide information concerning youth serving non-custodial sentences. Further research is needed to collect geographic (e.g. the initial Snapshot questions) and other information concerning these youth.
  • The Snapshot findings do not provide information on Aboriginal youths' experiences and needs while in custody or on release. Accordingly, the jurisdictions have expressed an interest in supporting more in-depth, qualitative research with Aboriginal youth to enable them to voice their experiences and needs. Such research would further inform the necessary steps for supporting their reintegration into the communities and reducing the number of Aboriginal youth in custody.
  • This study does not include information concerning the over-representation of Aboriginal youth in custody. Only facilities with Aboriginal youth on Snapshot day were included in the study and information was provided about these youth only; therefore, we were unable to compare the number of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth in custody on Snapshot day. Including non-Aboriginal youth was beyond the scope of the study (the purpose was to gain information about the three initial Snapshot questions) and would have contributed to respondent burden (it would have increased the number of file reviews for the jurisdictions).
  • Finally, there are some limitations associated with the self-reported information in this report. For instance, each Aboriginal youth in custody on Snapshot day were asked where they plan to relocate upon release from custody. However, within a Snapshot methodology, there is no way to determine if the youth will actually move to these locations upon release from custody.
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