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Treatment of Native inmates a 'national disgrace'

Native inmates are routinely subjected to discrimination in Canada's prison system, the ombudsman for government prisons said in a report on Monday.

According to correctional investigator Howard Sapers, Native inmates are routinely classified as "higher risk" than non-Natives, are released later in their sentences than other inmates and are more likely to have their conditional release revoked for technical reasons than other offenders.

'The experience of Canadian aboriginal peoples and the justice system has been described as Canada's national disgrace,'' Sapiers said at a press conference.

Native people account for 2.7 percent of the general population. But they are 18.5 percent of the prison population.

The incarceration rate for Natives is 1,024 per 100,000 adults. That is almost nine times higher than the rate for non-Natives.

Get the Story:
Jail conditions for Canadian aboriginals a 'disgrace': ombudsman (CBC 10/16)
'Systemic discrimination' in jails (The Toronto Sun 10/17)
Ombudsman accuses prison system of 'institutionalized discrimination' against aboriginals (CanWest News Service 10/17)

Relevant Documents:
Press Release: Report Finds Evidence of Systemic Discrimination Against Aboriginal Inmates in Canada�s Prisons | Speaking Notes | Summary | Backgrounder | Full Report [HTML] | Full Report [PDF]

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