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Oct 19, 2021
Indigenous offenders were 30 per cent more likely to be imprisoned than white offenders says the report.
Indigenous people are overrepresented in Canadian criminal courts and far more likely than white people to be convicted and locked up once they come before a judge, according to a recent federal government study.
Justice Canada researchers analyzed how Indigenous accused fared statistically at key stages of the criminal court process compared to white people between 2006 and 2016. The findings, released this year, were grim but not surprising.
Indigenous people made up 25 per cent of all accused in 2016—that is, one out of every four—despite comprising only 5 per cent of the general population. This was up from 19 per cent in 2006.
By comparison the percentage of white people accused of crimes fell from 63 per cent to 55 per cent over the same time period. Similarly, Indigenous accused were 55 per cent less likely than white accused to have their charges withdrawn, dismissed or discharged.