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Youth correctional statistics in Canada, 2015/2016

Released: 2017-03-01

In 2015/2016, on an average day, there were 8,455 youth aged 12 to 17 years who were being supervised in correctional services in 10 reporting provinces and territories. This represents a rate of 49 youth in correctional services for every 10,000 youth in Canada, down 11% compared with 2014/2015 and a 33% decrease from five years earlier. This trend aligns with the decline in youth crime reported by police and completed cases in youth courts. The rate of youth charged by police has fallen by 25% from 2011 to 2015, while youth courts reported 29% fewer completed cases from 2011/2012 to 2014/2015.

Nearly 9 in 10 youth under correctional supervision in 2015/2016 were supervised in a community program.

Of the 10 reporting jurisdictions in 2015/2016, 7 reported declines in the average daily rate of youth under correctional supervision compared with 2014/2015, led by Prince Edward Island (-26%). Meanwhile, Yukon (+54%) and Nunavut (+4%) reported increases.

Admissions are counted each time a youth begins or moves to a new type of custody or community supervision. In 2015/2016, there were 16,545 youth admissions to correctional services among the nine reporting jurisdictions, down 7% compared with 2014/2015.

Of the nine reporting jurisdictions, seven reported lower total admissions to correctional services in 2015/2016, led by the Northwest Territories (-23%). Yukon (+80%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (+6%) reported increases.

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

  Note to readers

Data from the Corrections Key Indicator Report for Youth provides counts of correctional populations and provides a basis for calculating incarceration rates.

The Youth Custody and Community Services survey provides information on initial entry, admissions to and releases from youth correctional services. Survey data include information on characteristics of the youth, including sex, age and length of time served.

Not all jurisdictions were able to report data for 2015/2016. While 10 jurisdictions provided overall average counts, data are unavailable for Quebec and are limited to custody counts for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Admissions data are available for 9 jurisdictions with Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta not reporting.

Some of the jurisdictional counts presented in this analysis are small, meaning small changes in the count can result in large year-to-year percentage changes.

Rate of youth charged represents the rate of youth charged per 100,000 population aged 12 to 17 years with a Criminal Code violation excluding traffic.

A case is one or more charges against an accused person or company, which were processed by the courts at the same time (date of offence, date of initiation, date of first appearance, or date of decision), and received a final decision.

Products

The Juristat article "Youth 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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