The Native Inmate in Ontario -- A Preliminary Survey

Irvine, M.J., Ontario Native Council on Justice
Publisher:  Ministry of Correctional Services in Ontario Planning and Support Srv. Div., Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1978  
Pages:  24pp  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX881

The above study was conducted jointly by the Ontario Native Council on Justice, together with the Planning and Research Branch of the Ministry of Correctional Services in Ontario.

Abstract:  The above study was conducted jointly by the Ontario Native Council on Justice, together with the Planning and Research Branch of the Ministry of Correctional Services in Ontario. The survey is based on interviews conducted in the spring of 1978 with 213 Native inmates of provincial jails and institutions. Its purpose was to identify and describe the native offenders, to determine their problems and needs as inmates, to assess the extent of non-payment of fines, the use of alternative sentences, and the extent to which various community-based native organizations are providing contact with the incarcerated natives. The study was considered to be a possible initial step in the provision of improved services to native offenders. In total, the information was expected to provide insight into a number of dimensions: demographic description, past and present criminal involvement, awareness of the judicial process, alcohol abuse and treatment, cultural isolation, preference for future programs and finally a look at additional problems.

Three appendices list: offences leading to the incarceration of natives in 1977; the number of Native inmates from respective Indian reserves; and the number of Native inmates from respective court locations. In the Foreword to the study, the reader is cautioned to bear in mind that the purpose of the preliminary survey was breadth not depth, the problem identification rather than solution.

A Fact Sheet, dated November 16, 1978 records the re-structuring in 1976 of the Ontario Native Council on Justice to ensure Native control. One of its objectives is to provide consultation on a formal basis between organizations representing Native people throughout Ontario and the Ministries and Agents who form and control the Justice System. Furthermore, a Progress Report to Ministry Liaison Persons, published November 22, 1978, records achievements to date in the area of funding staff, Thunder Bay District Native Legal Counselling Services and Community Work Order Pilot Projects and Research. Current activities to provide leadership in improving justice services for all Native people in Ontario-status, non-status and Metis-are also described.

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