Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Supreme Court Missed Opportunity to Address Indigenous Imprisonment

Opinion: Despite the need for conditional judgment granted in 1999, a court last week upheld an 18-month prison sentence for a 20-year-old Indigenous woman.

Article content

If you want to argue that Canada has a lower incarceration rate, I suggest comparing Canada and the United States. For example, in 2019 in Canada he was imprisoned at 107 per 100,000 while in the United States he was imprisoned at 655 per 100,000.

advertising 2

Article content

But the United States is widely known for mass jailing its own citizens, so the comparison hides more than it reveals. Canada’s incarceration rate is higher than many Western European countries and about double that of the Nordic countries with which it is often compared. Overall, Canada ranks 141st out of 223 countries in the world.

Article content

In fact, excessive cervical insertion has been a concern for decades. As a result, Congress enacted Sec He in 1996. Section 718.2(e) of the Penal Code states that “all available sanctions, other than imprisonment, which are reasonable in the circumstances, shall be taken against all offenders, with particular attention to the situation of Indigenous offenders.” should be considered,” he said.

Since then, incarceration rates have remained fairly stable (barring a pandemic-related decline in 2020). But this stat hides a lot more than it reveals.

advertising 3

Article content

According to Aboriginal Legal Services, incarceration rates have actually declined by 20% in just over 20 years, but only for certain groups. The incarceration rate for non-Indigenous offenders fell from 98.6 to 78.6 per 100,000 people between 1996 and 2017-18.

In contrast, the rate of Aboriginal offenders increased by 33% over the same period. In 1996, 510 indigenous people were imprisoned per 100,000 people. By 2017-18, the rate was even higher than her 677 per 100,000, or the infamous America-wide rate.

Since then, things have not improved. From 2020 to his 2021, an Indigenous man made up 30% of all admissions to state reform houses and his 32% of admissions to federal prisons. The number of Indigenous women is even worse, accounting for 42% of state enrolments and 40% of federal enrolments.

Advertising 4

Article content

Worse, among young people, men make up 48% and women 62%. So while their parents and grandparents spent their adolescence in boarding schools, today’s Indigenous youth spend their lives in prison.

it was not supposed to be like this. As the Supreme Court of Canada argued in his landmark 1999 Gladue decision, Sec.718.2(e) was specifically designed to reduce the internment of Indigenous peoples.

Describing the mass incarceration of Indigenous people as a “crisis,” the court said the situation for Indigenous offenders differs from other offenders in two ways. First, historical discrimination and colonialism have resulted in factors such as high unemployment, low income and substance. Abuse, and secondly, indigenous approaches to justice disproportionately support restorative and community-based sanctions.

Advertising 5

Article content

Recognizing these factors, Congress introduced conditional sentences in 1996. This sentence is served in the community, not in prison. Conditional sentences have many benefits, including allowing offenders to retain employment and become self-sufficient. However, they are especially important to Indigenous offenders as they facilitate recovery and community-based activities.

Nevertheless, in 2012, the Stephen Harper administration restricted the use of conditional sentences for certain crimes, including those involving up to 14 years’ imprisonment.

A 20-year-old Indigenous woman named Cheyenne Sharma challenged a Harper-era law, and the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the law last week in a 5-4 ruling.

Advertising 6

Article content

Sharma was found guilty of importing nearly two kilograms of cocaine and sentenced to 18 months in prison because the Harper Act barred sentencing judges from issuing conditional sentences.

The court heard the circumstances that led to her conviction. She was a single mother of a young daughter, faced eviction, and needed money to avoid homelessness, so she imported drugs. also experienced many of the factors discussed in the Gladue judgment. She was a survivor of generational trauma, dropped out of school due to financial hardships, and was sexually assaulted.

Despite the foregoing, a majority of the Supreme Court upheld the law because it “failed to present statistical information” showing that the law would distinguish between Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders.

advertising 7

Article content

In fact, as shown above, the stats are huge. But this contains logically necessary relationships, not accidental relationships, so no statistics are needed. As the dissenting opinion explained, “the challenged clause inevitably affects Indigenous offenders differently,” and that conditional sentencing is “specific to (the) indigenous peoples’ unique needs and circumstances.” This is to accommodate

In other words, removing the conditional sentence can’t help but affect Aboriginal offenders differently. This conclusion is consistent with the Gradue decision, which means that the majority thought it fit to throw his more than two decades of independent jurisprudence out the window.

But it’s not just courts that turn their backs on themselves. When the Harper administration introduced regressive measures, many liberals opposed them, including then-Member of Congress Justin Trudeau. Now they go to the Supreme Court to defend them.

This is especially surprising because the Liberal Party introduced Bill C-5, which abolishes mandatory sentencing for many crimes, including drug offenses. However, they were able to fix their indefensible defense by introducing Bill C-5’s companion.

    advertising 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining an active yet respectful forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their opinions on our articles. It may take up to an hour to moderate your comments before they appear on the site. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. You have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email when you receive a reply to a comment, when a comment thread you are following is updated, or when someone is following your comment. For more information and details on how to adjust your email preferences, please see our Community Guidelines.

Supreme Court Missed Opportunity to Address Indigenous Imprisonment

Source link Supreme Court Missed Opportunity to Address Indigenous Imprisonment

Related Articles

Back to top button