Canada failing Black, Indigenous prisoners as overrepresentation persists: report

Canada failing Black, Indigenous prisoners as overrepresentation persists: report
Correctional Investigator of Canada Dr. Ivan Zinger listens during a news conference to discuss the 2021-22 annual report, in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.

A new report says Canada has made scant progress in addressing the overrepresentation of Black and Indigenous offenders in prisons, with some facing even worse conditions than a decade ago.

The country’s top prison watchdog says systemic concerns and barriers, including rampant racial discrimination, are pervasive and persistent.

Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger says he is disappointed that the agency in charge of Canadian prisons has failed to recognize its role in reversing the crisis of overrepresentation.

His annual report, released today, includes an updated investigation of the experience of Black prisoners and the first part of an investigation focused on Indigenous people in the system.

It also details an inquiry into restrictive confinement in male maximum security institutions, which found that federal legislation has failed to prevent the creation and extension of segregation-like conditions.

Zinger has made 18 recommendations to the federal government, including eight focused on improving the lives of Black prisoners and a renewed call to appoint a deputy commissioner focused on Indigenous corrections.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2022.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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