What might an offender profile look like? Who goes to federal institutions?

This information is taken from Canadian Criminal Justice: A Primer (1997).

  • Most offenders (97.7%) are male.

  • The majority of inmates are young; 62% are between 20 and 34 years of age.

  • Most are either single or have been living common law; less than 10% are married.

  • 60% of the male offenders and nearly 70% of female offenders have children or step-children.

  • The majority of offenders have low levels of formal education and few employment skills.

  • Many inmates have alcohol and substance abuse problems.

  • Indigenous offenders are over-represented;

  • they make up 12% of the population in male institutions and 18% in the women’s prisons. 

  • This over-representation is most pronounced in the Prairie region where Indigenous males constitute 37% and Indigenous females 51% of federal institutional populations.

  • Black offenders are over-represented; 

  • Black males constitute 5% and Black females 7% of federal institution populations.

  • Although the majority of inmates are serving sentences of less than six years, nearly 25% are serving sentences of ten years or more, including life and indeterminate sentences.

Mennonite Central Committee Canada. (2011). Getting through the maze: A guidebook for survivors of homicide.

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