Indigenous and Black federal inmates see more use of force: correctional investigator

Indigenous and Black federal inmates see more use of force: correctional investigator
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OTTAWA — The office of Canada’s correctional investigator says Indigenous and Black federal inmates experience more use of force than any other racial group.

Leticia Gutierrez, senior policy adviser in the office, says an investigation from 2015 to 2020 on use of force and race showed these incidents have increased despite an overall decline in prison population.

Correctional investigator Ivan Zinger released his annual report today and is calling on the government to sign an international treaty aimed at preventing torture, called the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

He says ratifying the treaty would create a framework for independent inspection of all places of detention in Canada.

Anne Kelly, commissioner of Correctional Service Canada, says the service is carefully examining all recommendations put forth in Zinger’s report and taking concrete actions to address them.

The correctional service says it recommends developing an action plan in consultation with stakeholders to address the relationship between use of force and systemic racism against Indigenous and Black inmates.

Zinger says he finds that response “defensive and inappropriate,” and since the correctional service received his report earlier than the public, it should have already started creating an action plan to address bias.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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