Canada’s correctional investigator continues to blast the federal government for what he says is a complete lack of action on policy recommendations to reduce the high incarceration rates of Aboriginal people in federal prisons.
In March, Howard Sapers released a scathing report that says Corrections Canada has largely ignored recommendations to increase the number of Aboriginal healing lodges for prisoners and greater involve Indigenous communities in release planning.
Earlier this week, Sapers was speaking to the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples in Ottawa, and he says the federal government’s initial reaction to his report has been disappointing.
“The correctional services’ initial response to my report, Spirit Matters, has been disappointing,” he says. “All of the report’s recommendations have either been rejected or used to endorse the status quo. In my assessment, there is nothing new in the service’s response that will arrest, much less narrow, the gap in correctional outcomes and disparities that contribute to rising incarceration rates for Canada’s Aboriginal people.”
Sapers’ report also finds the percentage of Indigenous people in the Canadian prison system has increased by 43 per cent in the last decade.