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

Chapter 8 - Alberta (continued)

8.6 Sentence Length

Figure 8.5 and Table 8.5 describes the various sentence lengths being served by Aboriginal youth in the Alberta snapshot. Twenty-three percent of youth were sentenced to custody for 50 to 99 days, while 19% were sentenced for 150 to 199 days, 16% for 300-399 days, and 15% for 100-149 days. Almost three-fifths (58%) of the youth were sentenced for 1 to 199 days. Meanwhile, 70% of the youth were sentenced to 1 to 299 days. The median custody length in Alberta was 182 days.

Data concerning sentence length must be interpreted with caution, as longer sentences are more likely to be captured in a one-day snapshot than are shorter ones; hence, the former may be over-represented in the results. Therefore, the sentence distribution in Figure 8.5 and Table 8.5 (and the median custody length) do not necessarily represent typical sentence lengths.

Figure 8.5 Sentence Length Being Served on Snapshot Day

Figure 8.5 - Sentence Length Being Served on Snapshot Day
[Description]

Sentence Length Data was missing for 1 youth.
Source: One-Day Snapshot of Aboriginal Youth in Custody (2001).
Prepared by: Research and Statistics Division, Department of Justice Canada .

A larger proportion of females than males was sentenced to custody for 199 days or less (86% versus 55%).

Older youth tended to serve longer sentences in comparison to younger youth. For instance, 59% of those 18 years of age and older were serving a sentence for 200 days or more, compared to 23% of the 16-17 year olds, and 21% of the 14-15 year olds. Meanwhile, 42% of the 14-15 year olds and 39% of the 16-17 year olds were serving a sentence of 199 days or less (see table 8.5). However, revealing that older youth were serving longer sentences than younger youth was expected given that older youth were most likely to have an MSO for a crime against the person - offences that typically receive longer sentences. It also helps explain why someone over the age of 18 is still in a youth facility.

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