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

Steven Bittle, Department of Justice Canada
Nathalie Quann, Department of Justice Canada
Tina Hattem, Department of Justice Canada
Danielle Muise, Department of Justice Canada

ABSTRACT
In many Canadian jurisdictions, the proportion of Aboriginal youth in custody far outstrips their representation within the overall population. Critics charge that the criminal justice system fails to meet the needs of these youth. The Youth Justice Policy Team (YJPT) at the Department of Justice Canada recognizes that strategcally targeted and community based programs are needed to reduce Aboriginal youths' involvement in the system. To help facilitate this goal, the Research and Statistics Division at the Department of Justice Canada co-ordinated A One-Day Snapshot of Aboriginal Youth in Custody Across Canada. The goal of the Snapshot was to determine 1) where Aboriginal youth lived prior to being charged or committing their offence; 2) where they committed or allegedly committed their offence; 3) where they plan to relocate upon release from custody; 4) the number, age and gender of Aboriginal youth in custody on Snapshot day, and the nature of their charges or convictions. The Snapshot includes data on all Aboriginal youth in provincial and territorial facilities (open, secure and remand) on Snapshot Day. This presentation will discuss the results of this study and will contextualise the findings within the broader context of Aboriginal youth involvement with the criminal justice system.

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Updated 05/20/2006