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

Chapter 9 - British Columbia (continued)

9.2 Results

In British Columbia , there were 94 youth in custody (open, secure, or remand) on Snapshot day. Among the provinces/territories, British Columbia accounted for 8% of the Aboriginal youth in custody.

Statistics Canada census data (1996) reveals there are 16,190 Aboriginal youth between 12-17 years of age living in British Columbia. The Aboriginal youth in the British Columbia Snapshot represent less than 1% of this total population.

On Snapshot day, there were 9 facilities in British Columbia with Aboriginal youth on register. 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%). British Columbia accounted for 4% of the facilities across Canada with Aboriginal youth on Snapshot day.

The total operational capacity (the number of permanent youth beds in each facility) of the facilities included in the British Columbia Snapshot was 393. British Columbia accounted for 7% of the total operational capacity of the Snapshot facilities across Canada (N=5,797). Aboriginal youth included in the British Columbia Snapshot occupied one-quarter (25%) 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 boot camp) and whether they housed male and/or female youth. In British Columbia , the largest proportion of Aboriginal youth in custody on Snapshot day was in open custody (46%), while 32% were serving remand, and 26% were in secure custody. [2] Of the 94 youth included in the British Columbia Snapshot, 3% (N=3) were serving a combination sentence (e.g. secure and remand, open and remand, or open and secure). Of the remaining 91 youth, the largest proportion was serving open custody only (46%), followed by remand only (30%) and secure custody only (24%). [3]

Figure 9.1 describes the type of facilities in which Aboriginal youth were registered on Snapshot day. In British Columbia , the most common facility description was forest wilderness camp (33%), followed by community residential and secure/open detention/custody (22%, each).

Figure 9.1 Facility Type

Figure 9.1 - Facility Type
[Description]

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

The largest proportion of facilities was considered male only (51%), followed by co-ed/male and female (44%), and female only (5%).


  • [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] Data were missing for 9 youth.

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