Saturday, May 21, 2011

Statistics Canada Article on Trends in the Use of Remand in Canada

Earlier this week, the Statistics Canada publication Juristat published an article on Trends in the use of remand in Canada.

Remand is the temporary detention of a person while awaiting trial, sentencing or the commencement of a custodial disposition. According to the Criminal Code, adults and youth can be admitted to remand for a variety of reasons, including to ensure attendance in court, for the protection or safety of the public or to maintain public confidence in the justice system.

Among the highlights:
  • The number of adults in remand on any given day has been steadily increasing over the past decade, including a small increase (1%) in 2009/2010. There were, on average, about 13,600 adults in remand on any given day in Canada (excluding Nunavut) in 2009/2010.

  • The increase in the adult remand population has coincided with a gradual decrease in the number of adults in sentenced custody. As a result, the number of adults in remand has outnumbered those in sentenced custody for the past five consecutive years.

  • The increase in the adult remand population from 1999/2000 to 2008/2009 was driven by increases in the number of annual admissions (up 30%) as well as increases in the length of time spent in remand.

  • All ten jurisdictions that provided comparable data reported an increase in their adult remand population over the last decade. Among the provinces, the increase was greatest in Manitoba, at about two and a half times the number from 2000/2001.

  • At 69% and 67% respectively, Manitoba and Ontario reported the highest proportion of the custodial population in remand in 2009/2010.

  • Among five provinces that provided detailed data in 2008/2009, about 7 in 10 adults were admitted to remand for non-violent offences, most commonly failure to comply and breach of probation. The other 3 in 10 admissions to remand were for violent offences, most often major assault.

  • Among four provinces that provided detailed data on legal status, almost half (45%) of adults released from remand in 2008/2009 returned to the community with no further correctional supervision within 24 hours after release. Another 26% were sentenced to a provincial or territorial facility immediately after their remand ended, and 24% were admitted to a community supervision program (e.g. probation). Additionally, 3% of releases were followed by a federal custodial sentence.

  • As with adults, youth in remand in 2008/2009 outnumbered those in sentenced custody for the third year in a row. The higher number of youth in remand was driven by a decrease in admissions to sentenced custody. The number of admissions to remand and the length of time spent in remand remained stable for youth.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:53 pm

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