APTN National News
Canada’s prison watchdog says he remains concerned with the rising number of Indigenous people entering the prison system.
Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers released his office’s latest annual report Thursday in Ottawa.
“The situation facing Indigenous peoples of Canada in conflict with the law remains troubling,” said Sapers.
Sapers’ report said Indigenous offenders make up a quarter of all inmates held in federal prisons.
The number of Indigenous women entering the federal prison system is also growing, the 2014-2015 annual report found. Indigenous women now make up 37 per cent of all women serving federal sentences.
Sapers’ report also found that Indigenous inmates were more likely to be put into maximum security prisons, spend more time in segregation and serve more of their sentences behind bars compared to other inmates.
“A history of disadvantage follows Indigenous people into prison and often defines their differential outcomes and experiences there,” said Sapers, in a statement. “The issues that give rise to their disproportionate rates of incarceration require far more attention from our federal correctional service as it manages the sentences of Indigenous men and women.”
The report also calls for an end of solitary confinement for mentally ill inmates and for segregation to last no more than 30 days.