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

Chapter 5 - Ontario (continued)

5.4 Most Serious Offence (MSO)

Figure 5.3 and Table 5.2 describes the most serious offences attributed to Aboriginal youth in custody on Snapshot day. Contrary to the National trend of property-related offences, Aboriginal youth in Ontario were most likely to have a crime against the person MSO. In Ontario , the largest proportion of Aboriginal youth in open or secure custody was guilty of a crime against the person (45%), followed by property offences (38%), and other Criminal Code offences (15%).

Figure 5.3 Most Serious Offence - Open or Closed Custody

Figure 5.3 - Most Serious Offence - Open or Closed Custody
[Description of Figure 5.3]

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, 30% were convicted for assault, while 22% were convicted for assault with a weapon/causing bodily harm, and 12% were convicted for robbery (see Table 5.3). Of those with a property-related MSO, more than one-half (51%) committed break and enter.

A larger proportion of male than female Aboriginal youth was convicted for a property-related offence (42% versus 24%). Meanwhile, a larger proportion of female than male Aboriginal youth was convicted for an offence against the person (61% versus 41%). Similar proportions of males and females had a most serious offence in the other Criminal Code category (15% and 13%, respectively) (see Table 5.2).

Of the males guilty of a crime against the person, the largest proportion was convicted for assault (33%), followed by assault with a weapon/causing bodily harm (22%). In comparison, 22% (each) of the females convicted for a crime against the person were guilty of assault and assault with a weapon/causing bodily harm (see Table 5.3).

Older youth tended to be found guilty of a crime against the person, while younger youth tended to have a property-related MSO. More than one-half (51%) of those between 16-17 years of age had an MSO for a crime against the person, compared to 52% of those 18 years of age or older, 40% of the 14-15 year olds, and 33% of those between 12-13 years of age. Meanwhile, more than two-fifths (44%) of those between 12-13 years of age had an MSO for a property-related offence, compared to 39% of the 14-15 year olds, 36% of the 16-17 year olds, and 38% of those 18 years of age and older (see Table 5.4). 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.

Figure 5.4 describes the distribution of MSO for those serving an open and secure sentence. A larger proportion of those serving a secure sentence than those serving an open sentence had a crime against the person MSO (50% versus 43%, respectively). Similar proportions of those in open and closed custody had a property-related MSO (39% versus 35%, respectively).

Figure 5.4 Most Serious Charge - Open and Secure Custody

Figure 5.4 - Most Serious Charge - Open and Secure Custody
[Description of Figure 5.4]

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

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