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

Chapter 8 - Alberta (continued)

8.7 Geographic Questions

This next section describes where Aboriginal youth in the 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.

Overall, 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 Canadian cities - especially in the western provinces - have large Aboriginal populations.

8.7.1 Where the Youth Lived Preceding Their Current Admission

Figure 8.6 and table 8.6 describes where the youth in the Snapshot spent the majority of the time during the two years before their current admission. Overall, one-half (50%) of Aboriginal youth in the Alberta Snapshot lived in a city during the two years preceding their current admission, while 28% lived in a town and 19% on an Aboriginal reserve.

Figure 8.6 Pre-Custody Location

Figure 8.6 - Pre-Custody Location
[Description of Figure 8.6]

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

Table 8.6 reports age and where the youth spent the majority of time during the two years before their current admission. In general, older youth were more likely than younger youth to have lived on a reserve, while younger youth were more likely than older youth to have lived in a city.

A larger proportion of 14 to 15 (55%) and 16 to 17 year olds (50%) lived in a city during the two years preceding their current admission, compared to 47% of those 18 years of age or older. More than one-quarter (29%) of those who were 18 years or older lived on a reserve during the two years prior to their current admission, followed by 16 to 17 year olds (18%) and 14 to 15 year olds (17%) (see Table 8.6).

A larger proportion of females than males spent a majority of their time during the two years before their current admission in a city (57% versus 49%) (see Table 8.7).

Examining MSOs suggests that youth who lived in a city were more likely to have an MSO for a crime against the person, while youth who lived in a town were more likely to have committed a property-related offence. Of those who lived in a city for the majority of time before their current admission, 42% were guilty of a crime against the person, compared to 28% of those who lived in a town and were guilty of a similar offence. In comparison, of those who lived in a town for a majority of time preceding their current admission, 56% were guilty of a property-related offence, compared to 44% who lived in a city and were guilty of a similar offence (see Table 8.8).

Similar proportions of youth who lived in a city or on a reserve had a crime against the person or a property-related MSC. Forty-two percent (each) of those who lived on a reserve had an MSC for a crime against the person and a property-related offence. Meanwhile, 42% of those who lived in city had an MSC for a crime against the person, while 39% were charged with a property crime (see Table 8.9).

Table 8.7a 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 116 youth in the Alberta Snapshot, the largest proportion (N=31 or 27%) plan to relocate to Edmonton , followed by Calgary (N=12 or 10%).

However, a different picture emerges when examining the proportion of 12-17 year old Aboriginal youth from each community who were in custody on Snapshot day. For instance, five youth indicated that they plan to relocate to Lac La Biche, representing 8% of the 12-17 year old Aboriginal population in the community.

8.7.2 Where the Offence was Committed/Allegedly Committed

Figure 8.7 and Table 8.6 describes where the Snapshot youth committed or allegedly committed the offence for their current admission. In Alberta , more than one-half (54%) of Aboriginal youth committed or allegedly committed the offence for their current admission in a city, compared to 34% in a town and 9% on an Aboriginal reserve.

Figure 8.7 Location where the offence was committed or allegedly committed

Figure 8.7 - Location where the offence was committed or allegedly committed
[Description of Figure 8.7]

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

A larger proportion of 14-15 year olds (59%) than 16-17 year olds (53%) and those 18 years of age or older (54%) committed or allegedly committed the offence for their current admission in a city. Similar proportions of all age groups committed or allegedly committed the offence for their current admission in town (see Table 8.6).

Similar proportions of females than males committed or allegedly committed the offence for their current admission in a city (57% versus 54%). Meanwhile, 43% of the females versus 33% of the males committed or allegedly committed their offence in a town (see Table 8.7).

An examination of where the youth lived when they committed their most serious offence reveals that those in a city were most likely to commit an offence against the person, while youth in a town were most likely to have a property-related MSO. Of the youth who committed their MSO in a city, the largest proportion (46%) was guilty of a crime against the person, compared to 28% of the youth who committed a similar offence in a town. Conversely, of the youth who committed their MSO in town, the largest proportion was guilty of a property offence (59%), compared to 41% of the youth who committed a property offence in a city (see Table 8.8).

An examination of where the youth on remand were charged reveals that those on a reserve were most likely to have been charged with a crime against the person. Of the youth who received their MSC on a reserve, 50% were charged with a crime against the person, while 30% of the youth who lived in a town and 41% of those who lived in a city were charged with a similar offence (see Table 8.9). However, due to small numbers, differences between locations must be interpreted with caution.

Table 8.7a 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 116 youth in the Alberta Snapshot, the largest proportion committed/allegedly committed their offence in Edmonton (N=33 or 28%), followed by Calgary (N=11 or 10%).

However, a different picture emerges when examining the proportion of 12-17 year old Aboriginal youth from each community who were in custody on Snapshot day. Five youth committed/allegedly committed their offence in Lac La Biche, representing 8% of the 12-17 year old Aboriginal population in the community.

8.7.3 Where the Youth Plan to Relocate Upon Release

Figure 8.8 and Table 8.6 describes where the Aboriginal youth in custody on Snapshot day plan to relocate upon release. In Alberta , more than one-half (53%) of Aboriginal youth plan to relocate to a city upon release, compared to 24% who plan to relocate to a town and 18% to an Aboriginal reserve.

Figure 8.8 Relocation Plans

Figure 8.8 - Relocation Plans
[Description 8.8]

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 were to indicate that they plan to relocate to a town upon release from custody. More than one-quarter (27%) of the 16-17 year olds plan to relocate to a town, compared to 22% of those 18 years of age and older, and 14% of the 14 to 15 year olds. In comparison, younger youth were more likely than older youth to indicate they plan to relocate to a city. Over three-fifths (62%) of the 14 to 15 year olds plan to relocate to a city, compared to 52% of the 16 to 17 year olds, and 44% of those 18 years of age and older. Similar proportions of 14-15 year olds, 16-17 year olds, and those 18 years of age and older plan to relocate to a reserve upon release (21%, 18% and 18%, respectively) (see table 8.6).

A larger proportion of females than males plan to relocate to a city upon release (71% versus 51%) (see table 8.7). However, due to small numbers, gender differences should be interpreted with caution.

An examination of MSO and relocation plans reveals that the largest proportion of those planning to relocate to a city had a crime against the person MSO (50%), while the largest proportion of those planning to relocate to a town or reserve was guilty of a property-related crime (67% and 62%, respectively) (see Table 8.8).

An examination of MSC and relocation plans reveals that the largest proportion of those planning to relocate to a reserve or city was charged with a crime against the person (44% and 43%, respectively), while the largest proportion of those planning to relocate to a town had a property-related MSC (71%) (see Table 8.9).

Table 8.7a 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 116 youth in the Alberta Snapshot, the largest proportion (N=39 or 34%) plan to relocate to Edmonton , followed by Calgary (N=12 or 10%).

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