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

Chapter 5 - Ontario (continued)

5.7 Geographic Questions

The next section describes where Aboriginal youth included in the Ontario snapshot spent the majority of their time during the two years preceding their current admission, where they committed their offence, and where they plan to relocate. In particular, respondents answered these three questions by indicating if they were in (or plan to be in) a city, town, reserve, or another location.

In Ontario , the majority of Aboriginal youth in custody on Snapshot day indicated that they were in a city, regardless of the question. However, this "urban" phenomenon is not surprising given that many cities have large Aboriginal populations.

5.7.1 Where the Youth Lived Preceding Their Current Admission

Figure 5.7 and Table 5.6 describes where the youth in the Snapshot spent the majority of their time during the two years before their admission. Overall, more than one-half (53%) of Aboriginal youth in the Ontario Snapshot lived in a city during the two years preceding their current admission, while 31% lived on an Aboriginal reserve and 14% lived in a town. The proportion of youth in Ontario who lived on a reserve was greater than in comparison to the proportion of youth nationally who indicated that they lived on a reserve before their current admission (31% versus 23%).

Figure 5.7 Where the youth spent majority of time during the two years before his/her current admission.

Figure 5.7 - Where the youth spent majority of time during the two years before his/her current admission.
[Description of Figure 5.7]

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

Table 5.6 reports the relationship between age and where the youth spent the majority of their time during the two years before their current admission. In Ontario , older youth were more likely than younger youth to have lived on a reserve during the two years before their current admission. For instance, a larger proportion of 16-17 year olds (41%) and those 18 years of age and older (38%) lived on a reserve during the two years preceding their current admission, compared to 25% of the 12-13 year olds and 18% of the 14-15 year olds. Meanwhile, similar proportions of all age groups lived in a city during the two years prior to their current admission.

No differences emerged when examining gender and where youth spent a majority of time during the two years before their current admission. Similar proportions of males and females lived in a city, town or reserve (see Table 5.7).

Examining MSOs suggests that youth who lived on a reserve were most likely to have a crime against the person MSO, while youth who lived in a city or a town were most likely to have committed a property-related offence. Of those who lived on a reserve for the majority of time before their current admission, the largest proportion was guilty for a crime against the person (64%), while 25% was guilty for a property offence, and 11% for other Criminal Code offences. In comparison, of those who lived in a town for a majority of time preceding their current admission, equal proportions were guilty of a property crime and a crime against the person (39%, each), while 15% were guilty of other Criminal Code offences. Similarly, of the youth who lived in a city, 44% had an MSO for a property-related offence, while 38% were guilty of a crime against the person, and 16% for other Criminal Code offences (see Table 5.8). [1]

Table 5.7a includes specific location names as well as 1996 census data to provide information concerning the proportion of Aboriginal youth from the various locations who were in custody on Snapshot day. Of the 269 youth in the Ontario Snapshot, the largest proportion (N=24 or 9%) lived in Thunder Bay during the two years preceding their current admission, followed by London (N=19 or 7%), Sudbury (N=14 or 5%) and Moosonee and Hamilton (N=12 or 5% each).

However, a slightly different picture emerges when examining the proportion of 12-17 year old Aboriginal youth from each community who were in custody on Snapshot day. Twelve youth indicated that they lived in Moosonee prior to their current admission, representing 5% of the 12-17 year old Aboriginal population in the community. Meanwhile, 14 youth lived in Sudbury and 8 in Toronto , representing 4% of the 12-17 year old Aboriginal population in each community.

5.7.2 Where the Offence was Committed/Allegedly Committed

Figure 5.8 and Table 5.6 describes where the youth in the Ontario Snapshot committed or allegedly committed the offence for their current admission. Almost three-fifths (58%) of Aboriginal youth committed or allegedly committed the offence for their current admission in a city, compared to 25% on a reserve and 17% in a town. A larger proportion of Ontario youth committed or allegedly committed their offence on a reserve when compared to the proportion of youth nationally (25% versus 17%, respectively).

Figure 5.8 Where the offence was committed or allegedly committed

Figure 5.8 - Where the offence was committed or allegedly committed
[Description of Figure 5.8]

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

An analysis of age suggests larger proportions of older than younger youth committed or allegedly committed their offence on a reserve. Meanwhile, larger proportions of younger than older youth committed or allegedly committed their offence in a town. For instance, a larger proportion of 14 to 15 year olds (35%) and those 18 years of age and older (30%) committed or allegedly committed their offence on a reserve, compared to 19% of the 12-13 year olds and 13% of the 14-15. Conversely, larger proportions of 12 to 13 year olds (25%) and 14 to 15 year olds (23%) than 16 to 17 year olds (15%) and those 18 years of age and older (9%) committed or allegedly committed their offence in a town (see table 5.6).

No differences emerged when examining gender and where Snapshot youth in Ontario committed or allegedly committed their offence. Similar proportions of males and females committed/allegedly committed their offence in a city, town or reserve (see table 5.7).

An examination of where the youth were when they committed their most serious offence reveals that youth who were on a reserve were most likely to commit an offence against the person, while youth in a city were most likely to have a property-related MSO. Of the youth who committed their MSO on a reserve, the largest proportion (63%) was guilty of a crime against the person, compared to 40% of the youth who committed a similar offence in a city and 43% in a town. Conversely, of the youth who committed their MSO in a city, 44% was guilty of a property offence, compared to 35% of the youth who committed a property offence in a town, and 24% on a reserve (see table 5.8). [2]

Table 5.7a includes specific location names as well as 1996 census data to provide information concerning the proportion of Aboriginal youth from the various locations who were in custody on Snapshot day. Of the 269 youth in the Ontario Snapshot, the largest proportion (N=27 or 10%) committed/allegedly committed their offence in Thunder Bay , followed by London (N=24 or 9%), Sudbury (N=13 or 5%) and Moosonee (N=12 or 5%).

However, a slightly different picture emerges when examining the proportion of 12-17 year old Aboriginal youth from each community who were in custody on Snapshot day. Twelve youth indicated that they committed/allegedly committed their offence in Moosonee and 24 in London , representing 5% of the 12-17 year old Aboriginal population in each community. Meanwhile, 8 youth (each) committed/allegedly committed their offence in Toronto and Brantford , representing 4% of the 12-17 year old Aboriginal population in each community.

5.7.3 Where the Youth Plan to Relocate Upon Release

Figure 5.9 and Table 5.6 describes where the Aboriginal youth in custody on snapshot day plan to relocate upon release. In Ontario , more than one-half (54%) of Aboriginal youth plan to relocate to a city upon release, compared to 31% who plan to relocate on an Aboriginal reserve and 11% in a town. Relocation plans were unknown for 4% of the Aboriginal youth in custody. A larger proportion of Aboriginal youth in Ontario than nationally plan to relocate to a reserve upon release (31% versus 22%, respectively).

Figure 5.9 Relocation Plans

Figure 5.9 - Relocation Plans
[Description of Figure 5.9]

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

Older youth were slightly more likely than younger youth to indicate that they plan to relocate to an Aboriginal reserve upon release from custody. More than two-fifths of those between 16-17 years of age (40%), and 38% of those 18 years of age and older plan to relocate to a reserve, compared to 25% of the 12 to 13 year olds and 19% of the 14 to 15 year olds. More than three-fifths (64%) of the 14 to 15 year olds plan to relocate to a city, compared to 53% of those 18 years of age and older, 50% of the 12 to 13 year olds, and 45% of the 16 to 17 year olds (see Table 5.6).

The data suggests that females were slightly more likely than males to have relocation plans to a city or town. A slightly larger proportion of females than males plan to relocate to a city upon release (56% versus 52%). Meanwhile, 16% of the females versus 11% of the males plan to relocate to a town, and 33% of the males and 26% of the females plan to relocate to a reserve (see Table 5.7).

Examining MSO and relocation plans reveals that the largest proportion of those planning to relocate to a reserve or town had a crime against the person MSO (63% and 57%, respectively), while the largest proportion of those planning to relocate to a city were guilty of a property crime (45%) (see Table 5.8). [3]

Table 5.7a includes specific location names as well as 1996 census data to provide information concerning the proportion of Aboriginal youth from the various locations who were in custody on Snapshot day. Of the 269 youth in the Ontario Snapshot, the largest proportion (N=29 or 11%) plan to relocate to Thunder Bay , followed by London (N=19 or 7%), and 13 (each) to Sudbury and Moosonee (5% each).

However, a slightly different picture emerges when examining the proportion of 12-17 year old Aboriginal youth from each community who were in custody on Snapshot day. Thirteen youth indicated that they plan to relocate to Moosonee, representing 6% of the 12-17 year old Aboriginal population in each community. Meanwhile, 19 youth plan to relocate to London and 8 youth to Toronto , representing 4% of the 12-17 year old Aboriginal population in each community.


  • [1] Due to small cell sizes, an analysis of MSC and where youth lived prior to their current admission was not conducted.

  • [2] Due to small cell sizes, an analysis of MSC and where youth lived prior to their current admission was not conducted.

  • [3] Due to small cell sizes, an analysis of MSC and where youth lived prior to their current admission was not conducted.

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