March 03, 2007
THE CRISIS AND THE INJUSTICE DEEPEN
The latest 2005-6 report of the Correctional Investigator, Canada’s federal ombudsman, can be accessed by clicking here.
The 2005-6 Report highlights the continuing and accelerating over-representation of Aboriginal persons in Canada’s federal institutions. As I describe in Sector 2, Ch 2, of Justice behind the Walls (Along The Red Road), in 1999 the Supreme Court of Canada in the Gladue case characterized the over-representation of Aboriginal men, at that time 12% of the prison population compared to less than 3% of the non-prison Aboriginal population, as a “national crisis” and “a staggering injustice”. As the Correctional Investigator reports, the 2004 figures have risen to 18.5% with no correlative rise in the non-prison Aboriginal population. One struggles to find the appropriate words beyond “staggering injustice” the Supreme Court might now have to employ to describe the present state of affairs.
For a summary of these and other indices of the crisis click here.