Trends in the use of remand in Canada

By Lindsay Porter and Donna Calverley

Over the last decade, the composition of Canada's correctional population has changed, most notably as a result of an increase in the number of adults admitted to custody on remand. Remand is the temporary detention of a person while awaiting trial, sentencing or the commencement of a custodial disposition. According to the Criminal Code, adults and youth can be admitted to remand for a variety of reasons, including to ensure attendance in court, for the protection or safety of the public or to maintain public confidence in the justice system.

An increase in the adult remand population can have a number of repercussions on the operations of correctional services. For example, correctional costs can increase as can the challenges for managing the safety and well-being of the remand population. Also, planning correctional space can become increasingly difficult since the length of time an individual spends in remand is not predictable (Johnson, 2003).

Using data drawn primarily from the Adult Correctional Services (ACS) Survey, the Youth Custody and Community Services (YCCS) Survey, the Integrated Correctional Services Survey (ICSS) and the Key Indicator Reports (KIR) for Adults and Youth, this Juristat article analyses recent trends in the use of remand in Canada. As the principles and legislation governing detainment differ for adults and youth, separate analyses are presented for each population group.

This article makes use of two basic indicators that describe the use of correctional services: the average number or count of individuals in correctional facilities on a daily basis and the number of annual admissions. Admissions are collected each time a person begins any type of custodial or community supervision, and describe and measure the case-flow in correctional agencies over time. The same person can be included several times in the admission counts where the individual moves from one type of legal status to another (e.g., from remand to sentenced custody) or re-enters the system in the same year.

It is important to note that the most recent year of data for the average number of those in correctional facilities is 2009/2010 whereas the most recent year of data for annual admissions is 2008/2009. Also, in some cases, not all jurisdictions were able to report complete data. Where this is the case, exclusions are noted.

Adults in remand

Average number of adults in remand outnumbers those in sentenced custody

In 2009/2010, there were, on average, about 13,600 adults in remand each day in Canada (excluding Nunavut) (Table 1). This number includes adults held in custody on dual status (remand and sentenced custody).1 The number of adults in remand has been steadily increasing since the mid-1980s, including a small increase (1%) in 2009/2010.

In more recent years, the increase in the remand population has coincided with a gradual decrease in the number of adults in sentenced custody (Chart 1).2 Specifically, the number of adults in remand has increased 84% since 2000/2001 while the number in sentenced custody has declined 9% (Table 1). As a result, there has been a shift in the composition of the custodial population from a predominantly sentenced population to a predominantly remand population. In 2009/2010, adults in remand accounted for 58% of the custodial population while those in sentenced custody comprised the remaining 42%. Ten years ago, the proportions were reversed, at 40% and 60%, respectively.3

Chart 1
Average counts of adults on any given day in provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, selected provinces and territories, 2000/2001 to 2009/2010

Data table for chart 1

Chart 1 Average counts of adults on any given day in provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, selected provinces and territories, 2000/2001 to 2009/2010

Notes: Excludes Prince Edward Island and Nunavut due to the unavailability of data for the full 10-year period. Data for 2009/2010 do not match information presented elsewhere due to differences in survey coverage.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Adult Key Indicator Report.

The increase in the adult remand population over the past decade has occurred in all provinces and territories that reported comparable data (Table 1, Chart 2). Among the provinces, the increase from 10 years ago was greatest in Manitoba, at about two and a half times the number from 2000/2001.4

Chart 2
Average counts of adults on any given day in remand as a proportion of those in custody, selected provinces and territories, 2000/2001 and 2009/2010

Data table for chart 2

Chart 2 Average counts of adults on any given day in remand as a proportion of those in custody, selected provinces and territories, 2000/2001 and 2009/2010

... not applicable
Notes: Remand includes adults held in custody on dual status (remand and sentenced custody). Excludes Nunavut due to the unavailability of data. Excludes 'Other temporary detention' which account for 2% of those in custody in 2000/2001, and 1% of those in custody in 2009/2010.  In 2000/2001, sentenced custody counts in Alberta and British Columbia included adults in dual-status custody (remand-sentenced custody). Data are therefore not comparable to 2009/2010.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Adult Key Indicator Report.

At 69% and 67% respectively, Manitoba and Ontario reported the highest proportion of the custodial populations in remand in 2009/2010.5

Adult admissions to remand and length of stay both increase

There are two major factors that can affect the average number of adults in remand: the number of annual admissions to remand and the length of time spent in remand.

The number of annual admissions represents the number of individuals who begin custodial or community supervision. Although the number of admissions to remand fell slightly in the most recent year, the number has generally increased over the last decade (Chart 3).6

Chart 3
Admissions of adults to provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, selected provinces and territories, 1999/2000 to 2008/2009

Data table for chart 3

Chart 3 Admissions of adults to provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, selected provinces and territories, 1999/2000 to 2008/2009

Note: Excludes Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Alberta and Nunavut due to the unavailability of data for the full 10-year period.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Adult Correctional Services Survey.

Overall, admissions to remand increased 30% between 1999/2000 and 2008/2009 (Table 2). The increase in the number of adult admissions to remand from 10 years ago has occurred in all reporting provinces and territories,7 with the exception of the Northwest Territories (down 25%). Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador recorded the largest increases, at about double the number recorded 10 years ago. When looking at remand admissions as a proportion of total admissions to custody, increases occurred in all provinces and territories (Chart 4).

Chart 4
Admissions of adults to remand as a proportion of admissions to custody, by selected provinces and territories, 1999/2000 and 2008/2009

Data table for chart 4

Chart 4 Admissions of adults to remand as a proportion of admissions to custody, by selected provinces and territories, 1999/2000 and 2008/2009

.. not available for a specific reference period
... not applicable      
1. Data published by Alberta's Ministry of the Solicitor General and Public Security are lower than the data published by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics due to difference counting methodologies. The numbers in this article represent movement from one status in correctional services to another. For instance, an individual who moves from remand, to sentenced custody is counted as one admission. Alberta uses a different methodology whereby an admission to custody is counted once, regardless of change in status.           
2. Prior to 2008/2009, other temporary detention was counted under sentenced custody.    
Note: Excludes other temporary detention.         
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Adult Correctional Services Survey.

Not only have admissions to remand increased, so too has the length of time adults spend in remand (Chart 5). For all provinces and territories that provided data,8 increases were reported during the last decade with the exception of Ontario where the median length remained unchanged. Of particular note were increases in Nova Scotia, Yukon and New Brunswick where the median number of days in remand was about two to three times higher in 2008/2009 than in 1999/2000.

Chart 5
Median number of days spent in remand by adults, by selected provinces and territories, 1999/2000 and 2008/2009

Data table for chart 5

Chart 5 Median number of days spent in remand by adults, by selected provinces and territories, 1999/2000 and 2008/2009

1. Information on the median number of days spent in remand for Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories became available in 2001/2002. As such, data reflect 2001/2002 instead of 1999/2000.
2. Remand admissions exclude those involving short periods of incarceration as these are managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and are not reported to Statistics Canada. This may explain why longer remand stays are reported in this province.
3. Remand counts include residents of Nunavut held under an exchange of service agreement.
Note: Excludes adult admissions to provincial and territorial correctional facilities where median number of days is unknown. Excludes Prince Edward Island, Alberta and Nunavut due to the unavailability of data.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Adult Correctional Services Survey.

Text box 1
Increases in the remand population: Alternatives and responses

As an alternative to remand, some provinces and territories1 consider bail supervision for adults and/or youth awaiting trial. Bail supervision is a recognizance order (promise to appear) that incorporates supervision of the accused person in the community (e.g. reporting to a probation officer, respecting curfew hours).

The following table presents 2008/2009 information on the number of annual admissions and average daily counts of adults on bail supervision for those provinces and territories where information was available.

Text table 1
Admissions and average daily count of adults on bail supervision, by selected province and territory, 2008/2009
Province or territorynumber of admissionsAverage daily count
Saskatchewan1,773881
British Columbia14,8808,740
Yukon537219
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Adult Correctional Services Survey and Adult Key Indicator Report.

In response to the growing remand population, some provinces and territories have hired additional prosecutors, paralegals and clerical staff in order to increase the efficiency of the court process (e.g.Government of Saskatchewan 2010;Manitoba Department of Justice 2010). As well, some courts now use video conferencing for routine hearings in order to expedite bail hearings and to reduce the costs associated with transporting accused persons to and from court houses (e.g.Government of Alberta, 2007; Government of Ontario 2010; Provincial Court of Manitoba 2005; Government of Saskatchewan 2010). Many jurisdictions have also increased the number of custodial spaces either by constructing new facilities or expanding existing ones (e.g.Government of Alberta 2007; Government of British Columbia 2009; Government of Saskatchewan 2010).

Note

  1. While the Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon offer bail supervision as an alternative to remand, data are only available for Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Yukon.

End of text box

Administration of justice offences most common type of offence for which adults are remanded

Adults may be held in remand for a variety of offences. In 2008/2009, in the five provinces that responded to the ICSS,9 most admissions to remand were for non-violent offences (68%), the most common of which were failure to comply and breach of probation (Chart 6).

Chart 6
Admissions of adults to remand, by type of offence, selected provinces, 2008/2009

Data table for chart 6

Chart 6 Admissions of adults to remand, by type of offence, selected provinces, 2008/2009

1. Includes all other assault offences not otherwise listed, such as assault against a police officer.    
2. Includes all other weapons offences not otherwise listed, such as weapons possession contrary to order.  
3. Includes all other sexual offences not otherwise listed, such as sexual interference, incest and invitation to sexual touching.
4. Includes all other Criminal Code offences not otherwise listed, such as offences against the rights of property and offences against public order.      
5. Includes all other administration of justice offences not otherwise listed, such as prisoner unlawfully at large and obstruct Public Peace Officer.
6. Includes all other violent offences not otherwise listed, such as arson and extortion.        
7. Includes all other property crimes not otherwise listed, such as theft over $5,000 and theft of a motor vehicle $5,000 and under.  
8. Includes all other federal offences not otherwise listed, such as Youth Criminal Justice Act and Immigration & Refugee Protection Act.
Note: Excludes adult admissions to provincial and territorial correctional facilities where the most serious offence was unknown. Excludes Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut due to the unavailability of data. Remand admissions in Newfoundland and Labrador exclude those involving short periods of incarceration as these are managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and are not reported to Statistics Canada. As such, this may result in a higher proportion of serious offences being counted in Newfoundland and Labrador than in other provinces.           
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Integrated Correctional Services Survey. 

The remaining one-third (32%) of admissions to remand were for violent offences, most commonly major assault (levels 2 and 3). In general, the distribution of offences for which adults are held in remand are unlike the distribution of incidents that come to the attention of police. For example, in 2009, violent offences made up 19% of all incidents coming to the attention of police services within these same provinces.

Aboriginal adults account for one in five admissions to remand

Typically, Aboriginal people have been highly represented in corrections, both in remand and in sentenced custody (Calverley 2010). This trend continued in 2008/2009 with adults who self-identified as Aboriginal accounting for 21% of the total number of adults admitted to remand.10 The most recent Census data indicate that Aboriginal adults composed about 3% of the Canadian adult population (Statistics Canada 2011).

In general, adults who self-identified as Aboriginal accounted for about the same proportion of admissions to remand as they did for admissions to sentenced custody, a finding that was consistent across all reporting provinces and territories (Chart 7). Overall, adults who self-identified as Aboriginal accounted for 21% of admissions to remand and 25% of admissions to sentenced custody.

Chart 7
Admissions of Aboriginal adults to provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, by selected province and territory, 2008/2009

Data table for chart 7

Chart 7 Admissions of Aboriginal adults to provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, by selected province and territory, 2008/2009

Note: Excludes adult admissions to provincial and territorial correctional facilities where Aboriginal identity is unknown. Excludes Prince Edward Island due to unavailability of data. With the exception of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, analysis of admissions to sentenced custody includes intermittent sentences for all jurisdictions.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Adult Correctional Services Survey.

Adults in custody, including remand, have rehabilitative needs

In Canada, a needs assessment is typically conducted when an individual is admitted to a correctional facility to serve a custodial sentence, but may also be done in remand. These assessments identify certain rehabilitative needs of individuals relating to employment, marital or family relationships, social interactions, substance abuse, community functioning and attitude.

Needs assessments are conducted in many provinces and territories, yet provincial data are only reported to the ICSS by Saskatchewan. In that province, needs assessments are normally conducted for those entering sentenced custody. According to the data, adults who moved directly from remand to sentenced custody in 2008/2009 had a high proportion of identifiable needs (Chart 8). The most common need reported among these adults was substance abuse at 95%. In addition, these adults were assessed as having a high total number of needs with an average of 5 out of a possible 6 psychological or social needs.

Chart 8
Rehabilitative needs of adults in sentenced custody who had previously been in remand, Saskatchewan, 2008/2009

Data table for chart 8

Chart 8 Rehabilitative needs of adults in sentenced custody who had previously been in remand, Saskatchewan, 2008/2009

1. Needs analysis includes last assessment performed. Includes only those cases where need assessments were performed and need level is indicated as medium or high. Provincial custody includes Saskatchewan.         
2. Includes only those cases in which needs were assessed. Need is indicated as being present when is assessed as medium or high. Maximum number of needs available is 6 and minimum is 0. Provincial custody includes Saskatchewan.
Note: Categories are not mutually exclusive. Percentages are based on those cases where a need assessment was performed. The population categorized as having a need is based on those who indicated having a medium or high need. Information is based on the last assessment performed.         
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Integrated Correctional Services Survey. 

Traditionally, individuals in remand have not received rehabilitative programming to address their needs (Kong and Peters 2008). In recent years, however, as the composition of the custodial population has shifted, some correctional facilities have begun to offer programming to those in remand. For example, in Saskatchewan, adults in remand may participate in education or literacy courses, parenting programs, Aboriginal cultural programs, as well as core programs that address rehabilitative needs, such as substance abuse or employment skills. Manitoba offers similar programming to both adults and youth in remand.

Almost half of all adult stays in remand end with no further supervision

When an individual is remanded, they are held in custody until they have a bail hearing. This may take a number of days. If they are granted bail on the first appearance, they are released under their own recognizance and with the promise to appear in court at a later date, or released on supervised bail. If not granted bail, the person can remain in custody until the date of their trial. If convicted, individuals can be sentenced to provincial or territorial custody, federal custody or to a community supervision program, such as probation.

If individuals are found not guilty, or had charges stayed, withdrawn or dismissed, they are released back into the community and their involvement with corrections ends. Individuals can also be released back into the community if convicted but granted full credit for time served in remand (see Text Box 2 for additional information on credit for time served).

In 2008/2009, four provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan) provided information on the subsequent status of adults immediately following remand (i.e. within 24 hours after release). These data indicate that, upon release, almost half (45%) of adults returned to the community with no further supervision by correctional services (Table 3). As mentioned above, this could be due to a number of reasons.

Another 26% of those released from remand were sentenced to a provincial or territorial facility and 24% were admitted to a community supervision program, such as probation. Additionally, 3% of releases were followed by a federal custodial sentence.

Differences in subsequent status may be explained by the variations in the responsibility of bail supervision. In some provinces, bail supervision falls under the responsibility of correctional services; in other provinces, it does not. Specifically, in Saskatchewan where correctional services are responsible for bail supervision there is a higher proportion of releases from remand to community supervision (Table 3). While bail supervision exists in Ontario, community organizations are responsible for the supervision of those released into the community.  The remaining two provinces in this analysis do not currently implement province-wide bail supervision programs.

Overall, those whose period of remand was followed by the longest sentences to custody tended to have spent the longest periods of time in remand, a finding that was consistent across all four provinces for which data were available. In 2008/2009, the median number of days served by those whose remand was followed immediately by a federal sentence (2 years or more) was 84 days. In comparison, those whose involvement with corrections ended, meaning there was no supervision within 24 hours after release, spent a median length of 4 days in custodial remand.

Text box 2
Bill C-25: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (limiting credit for time spent in remand)

Historically, convicted offenders facing sentencing have often been given "credit" for time served in remand. As outlined in the Criminal Code, the decision to grant credit for time served and the amount of credit an offender could receive at sentencing was left to judicial discretion. In order to make this decision, sentencing judges typically considered both the length of time served in remand as well as the physical conditions of an individual's stay in remand. In general, two days credit for every day spent in remand was considered appropriate (Department of Justice Canada 2010).

On February 22, 2010, Bill C-25: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (limiting credit for time served) came into effect. This legislation caps the amount of credit for time served in remand that convicted offenders may be granted at sentencing to a ratio of one day for one day. For example, if an offender serves nine months in remand and is sentenced to four years imprisonment, the net sentence would be three years and three months (four years minus nine months).

In some circumstances, judges may elect to give less than one for one credit, including no credit. In contrast, in exceptional circumstances, judges may grant a ratio of 1.5 to 1, though the reasons for additional credit must be explained and cannot apply to individuals who have previously violated bail conditions or have been denied bail because of their criminal record (Casavant 2009).

End of text box

Youth in remand

Youth in remand outnumber those in sentenced custody

As with adults, youth (12 to 17 years) can be detained in remand. For youth, however, judges must consider two guidelines when deciding whether to hold a young person in remand. First, judges may not detain youth in remand as a social measure, such as child protection or mental health. Second, judges may not detain a youth in remand if the young person is accused of an offence for which he or she could not be sentenced to custody if found guilty (Department of Justice Canada 2003).

In 2009/2010, there were, on average, about 950 youth in remand in Canada (excluding Nunavut) each day (Table 4), outnumbering those in sentenced custody for the third year in a row (Chart 9). In 2009/2010, youth in remand outnumbered youth in sentenced custody in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

Chart 9
Average counts of youth on any given day in provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, selected provinces and territories, 2005/2006 to 2009/2010

Data table for chart 9

Chart 9 Average counts of youth on any given day in provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, selected provinces and territories, 2005/2006 to 2009/2010

Note: Excludes Nunavut due to unavailability of data.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Youth Key Indicator Report.

Unlike adults, however, the higher proportion of youth in remand on any given day has been driven mainly by a decrease in the number of admissions to sentenced custody rather than an increase in admissions to remand or longer stays in remand. Since 2004/2005, the first year of available trend data, the number of youth admitted to sentenced custody has gradually dropped, down 25%, while admissions to remand have remained relatively stable (Chart 10, Table 5).11 Over the five year period, median lengths of stay in remand have also remained relatively stable (Chart 11).12

Chart 10
Admissions of youth to provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, selected provinces and territories, 2004/2005 to 2008/2009

Data table for chart 10

Chart 10 Admissions of youth to provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, selected provinces and territories, 2004/2005 to 2008/2009

Note: Excludes Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nunavut due to the unavailability of data for the full 5-year period. Data for Alberta are currently being revised.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Youth Custody and Community Services Survey.

Chart 11
Time spent in remand by youth, selected provinces and territories, 2004/2005 and 2008/2009

Data table for chart 11

Chart 11 Time spent in remand by youth, selected provinces and territories, 2004/2005 and 2008/2009

Note: Excludes Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nunavut due to unavailability of data. Data for Alberta are currently being revised.       
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Youth Custody and Community Services Survey.  

Findings related to the nature of offences by youth admitted to remand in 2008/2009 were similar to those for adults, with non-violent offences making up 69% of admissions to remand. The most common type of offence for which youth were admitted to remand was administration of justice offences (e.g. failure to comply and breach of probation), at 24% of all admissions.13

In addition, the proportion of youth in remand who self-identified as Aboriginal was close to the proportion in sentenced custody, a finding was consistent across most reporting provinces and territories (Chart 12).14 Overall, youth who self-identified as Aboriginal accounted for 24% of admissions to remand and 30% of admissions to sentenced custody, similar to the situation for adults.

Chart 12
Admissions of Aboriginal youth to provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, by selected provinces and territories, 2008/2009

Data table for chart 12

Chart 12 Admissions of Aboriginal youth to provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, by selected provinces and territories, 2008/2009

Note: Excludes youth admissions to provincial and territorial correctional facilities for which Aboriginal identity is unknown. Excludes Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nunavut due to unavailability of data. Data for Alberta are currently being revised.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Youth Custody and Community Services Survey.

Summary

Canada's adult custodial population has changed over the past 10 years. During this period, there has been a gradual increase in the average number of adults in remand on any given day and a corresponding decline in those in sentenced custody. There has also been an increase in the number of adults admitted to remand as well as longer stays. As a result, in recent years, the adult remand population has outnumbered the sentenced custody population.
 
A similar situation has occurred among the youth custodial population. For the past three years, youth in remand have outnumbered youth in sentenced custody. In contrast to adults, however, the change has resulted from a decrease in youth sentenced to custody rather than a greater number of admissions or longer stays in remand.

In response to this shift in the custodial population, some provincial and territorial governments have made changes to their criminal justice processes, their administration of correctional services and to their number of bed spaces. One of the reasons for the implementation of Bill C-25: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (limiting credit for time served) in February 2010 was to address the growing remand population. However, it will be a few years before national data will be available on the trend in remand since the implementation of this legislation.

Detailed data tables

Table 1 Average counts of adults on any given day in provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, by select province and territory, 2009/2010

Table 2 Admissions of adults to provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, by select province and territory, 2008/2009

Table 3 Releases of adults from remand, by subsequent legal status, by select province, 2008/2009

Table 4 Average counts of youth on any given day in provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, by select province and territory, 2009/2010

Table 5 Admissions of youth to provincial and territorial correctional facilities, by type of custody, by select province and territory, 2008/2009

References

Calverley, Donna, Adam Cotter and Ed Halla, 2010. "Youth custody and community services in Canada, 2008/2009." Juristat. Vol. 30, no. 1. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-X. Ottawa (accessed February 15, 2011).

Calverley, Donna, 2010. "Adult Correctional Services in Canada, 2008/2009." Juristat. Vol. 30, no. 3. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-X. Ottawa (accessed December 10, 2010).

Casavant, L. 2009. "Bill-25: Truth in Sentencing Act." LS-638E. Parliamentary Information and Research Service. Library of Parliament.

Department of Justice Canada. 2010. Backgrounder: Credit for Time Served in Pre-sentencing Custody. Ottawa. (accessed December 10, 2010).

Department of Justice Canada. 2003. The Youth Criminal Justice Act: Summary and Background. Ottawa. (accessed on December 10, 2010).

Government of Alberta: Solicitor General and Public Security. 2007. Site selected for new Edmonton Remand Centre. Edmonton. (accessed February 15, 2011).

Government of British Columbia: Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. 2009. Lower Mainland Pretrial Centre Background Information. Victoria. (accessed February 15, 2011).

Government of Ontario: Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. 2010. Correctional Services: Modernizing the System. Toronto. (accessed February 15, 2011).

Government of Saskatchewan: Ministry of Justice and Attorney General. 2010. Annual Report 09-10. Regina. (accessed April 1, 2011).

Johnson, S. 2003. "Custodial remand in Canada, 1986/1987 to 2000/2001." Juristat. Vol. 23, no. 7. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-XPE. Ottawa. (accessed December 10, 2010

Kong, Rebecca and Valerie Peters. 2008. "Remand in adult corrections and sentencing patterns." Juristat. Vol. 28, no. 9. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-X. Ottawa. (accessed December 10, 2010).

Martin's Annual Criminal Code. 2009. Canadian Law Book. Aurora, Ontario.

Manitoba Department of Justice. 2010.Province Making Justice System More Effective by Adding Prosecutors and Support Services: Swan. Winnipeg. (accessed February 15, 2011).

Provincial Court of Manitoba. 2005. 3rd Video Room – Winnipeg Remand Centre. Winnipeg. (accessed December 10, 2010).

Statistics Canada. 2011. Special tabulation, based on 2006 Census of Population.

Data sources

Data used in this article are drawn from four surveys conducted by Statistics Canada: the Adult Correctional Services Survey, the Youth Custody and Community Services Survey, the Integrated Correctional Services Survey and the Corrections Key Indicator Report for Adults and Young Offenders.

The Adult Correctional Services (ACS) Survey collects annual data on the nature and case characteristics of adults in correctional services from the provincial, territorial and federal systems. While all provinces and territories reported 2008/2009 admissions data for adults, the following omissions are noted when examining 10-year trend data: Prince Edward Island (2004/2005 to 2006/2007), New Brunswick (2000/2001), Alberta (prior to 2005/2006) and Nunavut (2006/2007 to 2007/2008). Also, adult characteristics related to sex, Aboriginal identity and age at admission were unavailable for the Northwest Territories prior to 2001/2002.

The Youth Custody and Community Services Survey (YCCS) collects data on the nature and case characteristics of youth in correctional services from the provincial and territorial systems. For 5-year trend data, the following omissions are noted: Prince Edward Island (all years), Saskatchewan (all years), Alberta (2005/2006 to 2008/2009) and Nunavut (2007/2008 and 2008/2009). Also, youth characteristics related to sex, age at admission, Aboriginal identity and most serious offence were unavailable for Quebec. Lastly, data on time served excludes the Northwest Territories.

The Integrated Correctional Services Survey (ICSS) is a micro data survey, currently being implemented, and is intended to eventually replace the Adult Correctional Services Survey and the Youth Custody and Community Services Survey. The ICSS collects person-level descriptive data and characteristics information on adult and youth offenders. Jurisdictions reporting adult custodial data to the ICSS include Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Jurisdictions reporting youth custodial data to the ICSS include Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Ontario. 

The Corrections Key Indicator Report (KIR) for Adults and Youth is particularly important for monitoring trends in correctional populations. For adults, the following exclusions are noted for 10-year trend data: Prince Edward Island (2005/2006) and Nunavut (2006/2007 to 2007/2008). For youth, the following exclusions are noted for 5-year trend data: Nunavut (2007/2008 and 2008/2009).

Notes

  1. A person can be in dual status remand-sentenced custody when, for example, they are serving a custodial sentence and new charges are laid against them for which court attendance is required.
  2. Excludes Prince Edward Island and Nunavut due to unavailability of data for the full 10-year period.
  3. Excludes Nunavut due to unavailability of data.
  4. In 2000/2001, sentenced custody counts in Alberta and British Columbia included adults in dual-status custody (remand-sentenced custody). Data are therefore not comparable to 2009/2010.
  5. Excludes Nunavut due to the unavailability of data.
  6. Excludes Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Alberta and Nunavut due to unavailability of data for the full 10-year period.
  7. Excludes Alberta and Nunavut due to unavailability of data. Excludes Saskatchewan due to data being not applicable.
  8. Excludes Prince Edward Island, Alberta and Nunavut due to unavailability of data.
  9. Excludes Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut due to unavailability of data. Remand admissions in Newfoundland and Labrador exclude those involving short periods of incarceration as these are managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and are not reported to Statistics Canada. As such, this may result in more serious offences reported from Newfoundland and Labrador.
  10. Excludes Prince Edward Island due to unavailability of data.
  11. Excludes Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nunavut due to unavailability of data.
  12. Excludes Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nunavut due to unavailability of data.
  13. Includes Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Ontario. Offence refers to the most the "most serious offence" (MSO) for which the youth was arrested for.
  14. Excludes Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nunavut due to the unavailability of data.
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