Criminal Recidivism Rates in Canada
March 4, 2010
There have been a few studies conducted in the United States covering recidivism rates of offenders and ex-convicts. Anything above .0001% is virtually why the employment screening industry even exists. We have written in the past about our own domestic recidivism rates but have yet to post anything outside the US. I found this article discussing these staggering rates in Canada. The Winnipeg Sun is reporting that the re-offending rate in some cases is as high as 100%. The article throws out some incredible, almost unbelievable numbers about recidivism. The author summarizes by saying if Manitoba’s corrections branch is to rehabilitate criminals, they’re not doing a very good job! Do you do background checks on your Canadian applicants? I hope so!!
If the main objective of Manitoba’s Corrections branch is to rehabilitate criminals, they’re not doing a very good job.
At least according to their own numbers released by the Opposition Tories Tuesday, which show the rate of re-offending in some cases is as high as 100% for young criminals.
The most recent data from the last three months of 2007 shows 75% of adult inmates released from provincial jails were charged with another offence within two years of completing their sentence.
The numbers include charges for new offences and for breaching conditions of release.
It’s an astonishingly high number and it confirms what many of us have observed anecdotally for years — our courts/corrections system has evolved into a revolving door of justice where criminals re-offend over and over again.
The 75% recidivism rate for the last quarter of 2007 is the highest in at least five years, according to the data. Which means the problem is getting worse, not better.
The recidivism rates for young offenders during the same period are even more staggering.
In the three-month period from April to June 2006, 100% of young offenders released from youth custody were charged with another offence within two years.
That means every young offender in Manitoba who completed a youth jail sentence between April 1 and June 30 that year was charged with another offence within the following two years.
That’s an incredible statistic and a glaring example of what a massive failure our justice system is.
What’s equally startling is not once has the recidivism rate for young offenders in custody dropped below 75% since 2002.
Most quarters it ranged between 80%-95%. It’s a horrible record.
The stated objective of the Youth Criminal Justice Act is to rehabilitate young criminals and help them transform their lives.
It’s obviously not working. Even in deferred custody cases — where young offenders serve their sentences in the community with conditions — the recidivism rate is as high as 85%-90%.
There are obviously no easy solutions to bring down recidivism rates for adults and young offenders. But whatever our courts and jails are doing now is not working.
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