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Adult correctional statistics in Canada, 2015/2016

Released: 2017-03-01

On an average day in 2015/2016, there were about 121,000 adult offenders in either custody or a community supervision program in the reporting provinces and territories. This represents a rate of 438 offenders per 100,000 adult population, down 3% from the previous year and a 16% decline compared with 2011/2012.

Adults in remand (pre-trial detention) continued to exceed those in the sentenced custody population. The rate of those in remand was significantly higher at 52 offenders per 100,000 population, while those in sentenced custody represented a rate of 35 per 100,000 population.

Probation remained by far the most common community supervision program. In 2015/2016, 9 in 10 adult offenders under community supervision were on probation.

In the federal correctional system, on any given day in 2015/2016, there were just under 23,000 adults serving a federal sentence of two years or more, including those on conditional release in the community (such as parole). This represents a rate of 79 offenders per 100,000 population, down 1% from the previous year and 6% lower from five years earlier.

Admissions are counted each time a person begins any period of supervision in a correctional institution or in the community. These data describe and measure the number of times an adult moves from one type of correctional supervision to another. In 2015/2016, there were just over 333,000 admissions to federal and provincial/territorial adult correctional services in the reporting provinces and territories. This was virtually unchanged from the previous year, but down 6% from 2011/2012.

Adult correctional services operating expenditures totalled over $4.6 billion in 2015/2016, down 2% from the previous year after adjusting for inflation. At both the provincial/territorial (80%) and federal (61%) levels, the vast majority of expenditures were incurred for custodial services.

These findings are included in the new Juristat article "Adult correctional statistics in Canada, 2015/2016" released today.

  Note to readers

Data from the Corrections Key Indicator Report for Adults reports on average counts of the adult correctional population and represent the number of adults in custody or under community supervision on a typical day. Corrections officials typically perform daily counts of adults in their facilities and monthly counts of adults under community supervision. These data are used to calculate the annual average daily custody and community counts as well as calculating incarceration rates.

The Adult Correctional Services Survey data collects information on admissions to and releases from federal and provincial/territorial correctional services programs. Admissions are counted each time a person begins any period of supervision in a correctional institution or in the community. These data describe and measure the number of times an adult moves from one type of correctional supervision to another.

The same person may be included several times in the admission counts where he/she moves from one correctional program to another (for example, from remand to sentenced custody) or re-enters the system later in the same year. Admissions therefore represent the number of entries of persons, during a fiscal year, to remand, sentenced custody or a community supervision program, regardless of the previous legal hold status.

Survey data include information on the number of admissions and characteristics of adults, including sex, age group, and length of time served.

Not all provinces and territories reported complete data for 2015/2016. Jurisdictions excluded from particular analyses due to non-reporting. The following data are not available:

Average counts data from the Corrections Key Indicator Report for Adults excludes Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for 2011/2012, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 (community supervision and total correctional services).

Average counts data from the Corrections Key Indicator Report for Adults excludes Alberta for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 (community supervision and total correctional services).

Admissions data from the Adult Correctional Services Survey excludes Alberta for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016.

Products

The Juristat article "Adult correctional statistics in Canada, 2015/2016" (Catalogue number85-002-X) is now available.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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