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Federal system continues to ignore need to address Indigenous overrepresentation in prison says correctional investigator – APTN News

Nov 02, 2023

Canada’s correctional investigator says the federal prison system continues to resist changes aimed at reducing the massive overrepresentation of Indigenous people.

“For many years now, my office has been sounding the alarm,” said Ivan Zinger, the head of the Office of the Correctional Investigator at a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday. “The discriminatory treatment of Indigenous persons in federal custody was among the first set of issues raised by my office when it was created 50 years ago. In the decades that follow, my office has issued more than 70 recommendations specific to Indigenous corrections. Sadly, most of these calls have gone unanswered.”

Zinger released his annual report this week which finds Indigenous people make up an astonishing 32 per cent of Canada’s prison population in spite of accounting for about five per cent of the general population.

The annual report contains an update to Spirit Matters: A Roadmap for the Reform of Indigenous Corrections in Canada document first published in 2013.

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