Thursday, January 24, 2008

Statistics Canada Report on Female Offenders

According to a new Statisitics Canada report, females accounted for a small proportion of all alleged offenders in 2005 and, when they did offend, they tended to commit offences such as theft, common assault, bail violations and fraud:
"Women and girls have historically accounted for a small minority of offenders in Canada, a reality that remains today. Research has consistently shown that females are much less likely to commit crimes than males. At one time, their scant numbers meant little was known about female offenders and their needs. It also meant that women and girls who committed crimes faced a Canadian criminal justice system designed for the predominantly male offender population."

"It is precisely the relatively small number of women and girls who commit crimes that creates a need to regularly monitor trends in offending patterns among females, trends that become masked by the larger male population if not examined separately. Such information can be used in crime prevention strategies and to assess responses by the justice and social systems to females who offend or who are at risk of offending. Information may also serve to improve public understanding of crimes committed by women and girls."

"The first part of this Juristat presents information on the prevalence of crime by females, as well as the nature of their criminal behaviour. This first part uses data from a non-representative sample of police services reporting to the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR2) Survey and includes females who are either charged by police or who are not charged for various reasons (e.g., diversion), but against whom a charge could otherwise be laid due to sufficient evidence. Because the UCR2 data are not available consistently over time, the second part of this report examines trends in the number of females charged by police relative to their representation in the general population to address the question of whether or not there have been any changes over time in female offending. These trends are based on the Aggregate Uniform Crime Reporting Survey. The third part examines the processing of cases through the adult and youth court systems to illustrate the responses of the judicial system and the representation of females in it. The final part of this report provides information on the number and characteristics of female adult offenders in the provincial/territorial and federal correctional systems."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:45 pm


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