February 15, 2022 (OTTAWA) – The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s Annual Report was tabled in Parliament last week, detailing what we already know: that there are significant gaps in the Correctional Service of Canada’s compliance with safe and humane standards of custody that affects Indigenous people, and that Indigenous inmates have disproportionately higher rates of use of force and face systemic racism at every turn.
The report details that Indigenous people are more likely than any other group to be involved in a use of force incident, accounting for 39% of all incidents, despite representing 28% of the prison population.
Further, the report indicates that Indigenous women are over-represented among those assessed as high-risk and designated as maximum security. Indigenous women now account for almost half of the female inmate population in federally run prisons. It’s clear that action is needed to address the systemic racism at play in Canada’s correctional facilities.
“Nothing in this report is news, only validation of lived experiences we’ve been hearing from inmates for years,” said Kim Beaudin, National Vice Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. “It’s time for an Indigenous-led approach to corrections in Canada.”
It is encouraging to see the Correctional Investigator’s recommendations include training in Gladue analysis and reporting. CAP advocates for the need for strengthened use of Gladue, proper training, and federal standards. We welcome the inclusion of Indigenous people in this process.
CAP is eager to see the federal government and Correctional Service of Canada get to work and take concrete action based on the Correctional Investigator’s recommendations.
Kim Beaudin, National Vice Chief
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is the national voice representing the interests of Métis, status and non-status Indians, and Southern Inuit Indigenous People living off-reserve. Today, over 80% of Indigenous people live off-reserve.