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

Chapter 6 - Manitoba (continued)

6.4 Most Serious Offence

Figure 6.2 and Table 6.2 describes the most serious offences (MSO) attributed to Aboriginal youth on Snapshot day. In Manitoba , the largest proportion of Aboriginal youth in open or secure custody was found guilty of a property offence (49%), followed by offences against the person (36%), and other Criminal Code offences (13%).

Figure 6.2 Most Serious Offence - Open and Secure Custody

Figure 6.2 - Most Serious Offence - Open and Secure Custody
[Description of Figure of Figure 6.2]

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, 49% were convicted for robbery (compared to 27% nationally), while 18% were convicted for assault with a weapon/causing bodily harm, and 14% were convicted for assault. Of those with a property-related MSO, the largest proportion committed break and enter (56%), while 42% committed theft (see table 6.3).

A larger proportion of male than female Aboriginal youth was convicted for a property-related offence (54% versus 26%). Meanwhile, a slightly larger proportion of male than female Aboriginal youth was convicted for an offence against the person (36% versus 33%) (see Table 6.2).

Although similar proportions of females and males were convicted of a crime against the person, the data suggests that males committed offences that are more serious. For instance, males were most likely to be guilty of robbery, while females were most likely to have committed an assault. Of the males guilty of a crime against the person, the largest proportion was convicted for robbery (54%), followed by assault with a weapon/causing bodily harm (15%) and assault (11%). In comparison, of the females convicted for a crime against the person, 33% (each) were guilty of assault with a weapon/causing bodily harm and assault (see Table 6.3).

Table 6.4 reports on the relationship between most serious offence type and age. Older youth tended to have been found guilty of a crime against the person, while younger youth tended to have a property-related MSO. More than two-fifths (42%) of those 18 years of age or older had an MSO for a crime against the person, compared to 33% of the 16-17 year olds and 30% of the 14-15 year olds. Meanwhile, more than one-half (56%) of those between 16-17 years of age had an MSO for a property-related offence, compared to 48% of the 14-15 year olds and 50% of those 18 years of age and older. However, finding that older youth were more 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 6.3 describes the distribution of MSO for those serving an open and secure sentence. No discernible difference emerges with respect to offence type and legal status. Similar proportions of those serving a secure and open sentence had a crime against the person MSO (39% versus 32%, respectively). Meanwhile, the same proportion of those in open and secure custody had a property-related MSO (50% each).

Figure 6.3 Most Serious Offence - Open or Secure Custody

Figure 6.3 - Most Serious Offence - Open or Secure Custody
[Description of Figure 6.3]

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

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