State of the Criminal Justice System Dashboard


60s scoop: Government practice of the mass removal of Indigenous children from their homes, to be fostered by or adopted into non-Indigenous families, in most cases without the consent of their families or communities. The practice began in the late 1950s and continued into the 1980s, but was most common in the 1960s.

Assimilation: Requiring a minority group to fit in with the dominant group.

Bail: Release of a person charged with a crime before they are tried in court or sentenced.

Colonialism: Policy of taking political and economic control over one group or nation by another, underpinned by racist doctrines of superiority.

Cultural alienation: Placing little value on one’s own culture and instead adopting the dominant culture.

Distinction-based approach: An approach that recognizes the unique rights, interests and circumstances of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis as distinct groups.

Gladue courts: Specialized courts that apply the Gladue principles identified by the Supreme Court of Canada: understanding and accounting for Indigenous offenders’ background and history, and the systemic discrimination and socio-economic marginalization Indigenous peoples in Canada experience. Gladue courts encourage restorative justice instead of jail and provide opportunities for Indigenous communities to help rehabilitate Indigenous offenders.

Indigenous Identity: Individuals who identify as First Nations, Inuit, or Métis.

Intergenerational trauma: Trauma that is passed from one generation to the next generation(s). Coping and adaptation patterns developed in response to traumatic experiences may be learned from or otherwise impact subsequent generations living with survivors, which in turn may be handed down to future generations. Intergenerational trauma may be experienced by groups of people with shared histories, and has resulted from, for example, the historical, systemic mistreatment of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

Intersectionality:The interconnected nature of various social or identity factors, such as sex, gender, age, race, ethnicity, Indigenous identity, economic status, immigrant status, sexual orientation, disability, and geography, as they apply to a given individual or group, viewed as impacting experiences of discrimination or disadvantage. For example, intersectionality recognizes that Indigenous women hold more than one identity. They are women and share some common experiences with other women, and they are Indigenous and have shared experiences with Indigenous men. Trying to understand Indigenous women’s experiences by focusing only on sex or only on Indigenous identity prevents us from seeing how these identities intersect to create a unique lived experience for Indigenous women that is different from the experiences of Indigenous men and non-Indigenous women.

Normative behaviours: Unwritten rules that govern social behaviour, and require members of society to obey, conform and comply with those rules.

Men: All people who identify as men, whether they are cisgender or transgender men.

Overrepresented: Disproportionate representation of a group within a subpopulation compared with their representation in the population as a whole; for example, a group that makes up a larger percentage of the prison population than of the general population is overrepresented in prison.

Remand: Detaining a person in custody, while they are awaiting trial or sentencing.

Restorative justice principles: The principles of restorative justice are based on respect, compassion and inclusivity. Restorative justice encourages meaningful engagement and accountability and provides an opportunity for healing, reparation and reintegration. Restorative justice processes take various forms and may take place at all stages of the criminal justice system.

Social determinants of health: Range of personal, social, economic and environmental factors that determine people’s health; these include income and social status, education, social supports and access to health services.

Social exclusion: Describes a state in which individuals do not have full access to opportunities available to others. This access may be denied because of factors such as race, class, disability or gender.

Socio-economic marginalization: Being blocked from or denied full access to economic opportunities, social opportunities, or resources (e.g., education, employment, housing) that other members of society have because of one or more personal characteristic(s) (e.g., poverty, health and mental health, sex and gender, race, ethnicity, Indigenous identity, immigrant status).

Systemic discrimination: Patterns of behaviour, as well as policies and practices, that create or continue disadvantages for a group of people with common characteristics, such as racialized identity.

Territorial dispossession: Forcibly removing a group of people from their land.

Truth and reconciliation: Reconciliation is a process of healing of relationships that requires public truth sharing, apology, and commemoration that acknowledges and redresses past harms.

Women: All people who identify as women, whether they are cisgender or transgender women.

Indigenous people
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