From [HERE] The increased numbers of non-whites in Canadian federal prisons is evidence of covert racism, discrimination and cultural bias in Canada’s justice system, says Canada’s prison watchdog.
In his annual report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, Canada’s correctional investigator, Howard Sapers, said the number of visible minority inmates is partly reflective of the overall demographic change in Canadian society, but also shows that disproportionate representation of minorities in comparison to their share of the general population is a persistent and growing problem.
According to Sapers’ report, Canada’s prison population has grown by 2,100 inmates — a 16.5% increase — in the last 10 years.
In that time, the overall Aboriginal population in the prisons grew by 46%, while the number of Aboriginal women increased by 80% and now accounts for one in three women under federal sentence.
The prison population of other non-whites including black, Hispanic, Asian and Indian increased by almost 75%, Sapers found. One in four inmates is foreign-born. Meanwhile the population of Caucasian inmates fell by 3%.
“Recent population growth is almost exclusively driven by an increasing number of Aboriginal and visible minority groups behind bars,” Sapers said.
“Today, 40% of the federal inmate population is composed of non-Caucasian offenders.”
The numbers are particularly striking when compared to the general population. Aboriginals account for nearly one-quarter of all prisoners but comprise four per cent of the Canadian population. African-Canadians comprise nearly 10 per cent of the prison population but less than three per cent of Canadian society. The black inmate population in federal institutions has grown by nearly 90 per cent since 2003, the report says.