Framework highlights

This section presents key indicator data from the Framework. Each highlight is presented based on the latest available year of data, and where information was available specifically on the perceptions and experiences of women in relation to the CJS. For comparison, data are presented for men when feasible. Although the Framework indicators currently use a binary classification of gender, on the basis of available data, it is important to note that data may evolve over time to be more inclusive of gender-diverse populations in Canada.

  • Expected Outcome 1: Canadians are safe and individuals and families feel safe.

    • The majority of Canadians report feeling satisfied with their personal safety from crime. However, satisfaction levels are slightly lower for women compared with men. Satisfaction levels among women are also lower for those with mental health related disorders or a history of homelessness as well as for gay, lesbian and bisexual people.
    • Women are more likely to experience violent victimization in comparison with men. Women experience higher rates of sexual assault, and are more likely to experience chronic and severe intimate partner violence (IPV).
  • Expected Outcome 2: The criminal justice system (CJS) is fair and accessible.

    • Women report less confidence in the accessibility and fairness of the CJS than men.
    • Women spend shorter amounts of time in remand than men.
    • The majority of clients served by the Indigenous Courtwork Program (ICWP) are men.
    • Compared with their representation in federal corrections, women make up a higher proportion of complainants to the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI).
  • Expected Outcome 3: Canadians understand the role of and express confidence in the CJS.

    • Women report less awareness of the role of all three aspects of the CJS (i.e., police, courts and corrections) than men.
    • Despite lower awareness, women report higher confidence in the police and in the courts than men, a finding consistent among Indigenous individuals and visible minorities.
    • Despite high confidence in the police, not all victimization incidents are reported to them. In fact, very few incidents of sexual assault are reported, a crime that disproportionality affects women and this has not changed over time. IPV, which affects women in a more chronic and severe way, is another crime that often goes under reported.
  • Expected Outcome 4: The CJS operates efficiently.

    • Overall, cases involving a woman accused take less time to complete in court than cases involving an accused who is a man. The median number of days it takes to complete a case in court is increasing for both women and men, though the increase is slightly greater for women.
  • Expected Outcome 5: The CJS promotes and supports diversion, restorative justice (RJ), Indigenous justice, and tools for community-based resolution.

    • Despite an overall decrease in the federal incarceration rate over time, the rates for Indigenous and non-Indigenous women are increasing. In fact, women offenders are the fastest growing population in federal corrections.
  • Expected Outcome 6: The CJS provides persons in the correctional system with services and supports to rehabilitate them and integrate them back into the community.

    • Women are less likely than men to secure employment prior to the end of their federal correctional sentence, a finding consistent among visible minority individuals.
  • Expected Outcome 7: The CJS respects victims’ and survivors’ rights and addresses their needs.

    • Women and men have similar satisfaction levels with the actions taken by police regarding a reported victimization incident.
  • Expected Outcome 8: The CJS reduces the number of Indigenous people in the system.

    • Indigenous women are more likely to report experiences of violent victimization than Indigenous men, and even more likely than non-Indigenous women.
    • Indigenous individuals make up a disproportionate share of homicide victims. The homicide rate is several times higher among Indigenous women than non-Indigenous women.
    • Indigenous women are accused of homicide at a rate higher than non-Indigenous women and non-Indigenous men.
    • Indigenous women account for a disproportionately high number of women’s admissions to provincial/territorial custody.
    • While overall admissions to federal custody have been decreasing, the number of women’s admissions has been increasing. Indigenous women make up a disproportionately high number of women’s admissions to federal custody.
    • Indigenous women released from custody are more likely to have a community release plan that was created in collaboration with Indigenous communities (i.e., a Section 84 release plan) than Indigenous men. However, the proportion of Indigenous women with a s. 84 release plan is decreasing.
  • Expected Outcome 9: The CJS reduces the number of marginalized and vulnerable people in the system.

    • Certain groups of women, including gay, lesbian and bisexual women, those with a mental health related disability, those with a cognitive or learning disability and those with a history of homelessness are much more likely to report experiences of violent victimization.