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

Chapter 8 - Alberta (continued)

8.2 Results

In Alberta , there were 116 Aboriginal youth in custody (open, secure or remand) on Snapshot day. Among the provinces, Ontario had the largest proportion of Aboriginal youth in custody (24%), followed by Saskatchewan (23%), Manitoba (23%) and Alberta (10%).

Statistics Canada census data (1996) reveals there are 15,340 Aboriginal youth between 12-17 years of age living in Alberta . The Aboriginal youth in the Alberta Snapshot represent less than 1% of this total population.

On Snapshot day, there were 5 facilities in Alberta with Aboriginal youth on register. This represents 2% of the total number of Snapshot facilities across Canada (N=228). The province with the largest number of facilities was Ontario (N=109 or 38%), followed by Saskatchewan (N=50 or 22%), Quebec (N=16 or 7%) and Manitoba (N=15 or 7%).

The total operational capacity (the number of permanent youth beds in each facility) of the facilities included in the Alberta Snapshot was 330. Alberta accounted for 6% of the total operational capacity of the Snapshot facilities across Canada (N=5,797). Aboriginal youth in the Alberta Snapshot occupied more than one-third (35%) of the total number of beds within the participating facilities in that province.[1]

The custodial facilities included in this jurisdiction varied with respect to types of custody provided (e.g. secure, open, or remand), description (e.g. group home, treatment centre) and whether they housed male and/or female youth. In Alberta , the largest proportion of Aboriginal youth was in secure custody (53%), followed by remand (39%) and open custody (35%). [2] Of the 116 youth included in the Alberta Snapshot, 28% (N=32) were serving a combination sentence (e.g. secure and remand, open and remand, or open and secure), compared to 9% nationally who were serving a combination sentence. Of the remaining 84 youth, the largest proportion was serving remand only (46%), followed by secure custody only (36%) and open only (16%). [3]


  • [1] We were unable to calculate the total number of permanent beds in each jurisdiction because facilities without Aboriginal youth on Snapshot day did not participate in the study.

  • [2] Total equals more than 100% because some youth were serving combination sentences (e.g. secure custody and remand).

  • [3] In Alberta , the only facility description provided was secure/open detention/custody centre. The largest proportion of facilities (60%) was considered co-ed/male and female.

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