OTTAWA — The increased numbers of Aboriginals and visible minorities in federal prisons is evidence of covert racism, discrimination and cultural bias in Canada’s justice system, says Canada’s prison watchdog.
In his annual report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, Canada’s correctional investigator, Howard Sapers, said the number of visible minority inmates is partly reflective of the overall demographic change in Canadian society, but also shows that disproportionate representation of minorities in comparison to their share of the general population is a persistent and growing problem.
According to Sapers’ report, Canada’s prison population has grown by 2,100 inmates — a 16.5% increase — in the last 10 years.
In that time, the overall Aboriginal population in the prisons grew by 46%, while the number of Aboriginal women increased by 80% and now accounts for one in three women under federal sentence.
The prison population of other visible minorities including black…
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