Statistics and Prisons

Let’s talk about Canadian prisons. Properly run prison systems are sought after, so it may be a good idea to take an informative look at the facts around Canada’s prison system. Maybe with a closer look at the data we can get a better understanding of how well the Canadian prison system is run.

The goal to accomplish this closer look will involve taking five different statistics regarding Canada’s prison system and then analyzing them further. Below are five relevant statistics to Canada’s prison system.

Statistics (retrieved from the Canadian government website, Statistics Canada)

1. From 2010 to 2015, there have been approximately 25 000 offenders in Canada’s provincial and territorial prison programs every year. That number fluctuates annually, but tends to sit around 25 000.

2.The incarceration rate per 100 000 Canadian offenders in provincial and territorial prison programs  has gone done from about 90 to 85 from 2010 to 2015. This is about a 4.5% decrease.

3. The amount of offenders under provincial and territorial community supervision programs has gone down steadily from 2010 to 2015 (~115 400 to ~90 200 persons). This is about a 22% decrease.

4. From 2010 to 2015, there have been an increasing amount of offenders registered in federal prison programs. In 2010 it was about 13 700 persons, and over the next five years it increased to about 15 100 persons in 2015.

5. The amount of offenders registered in federal community supervision programs has gradually gone down from 2010 to 2015 (~8 800 to ~7 900). This is about a 10% decrease.


With five relevant statistics selected, the next step in this analysis will take three of the above and conduct a more in depth look. This in depth look will break the statistic down into several parts: a question, an answer, if the statistic could be seen as good/bad/unusual and the resulting tension. 


Statistic

From 2010 to 2015, there have been approximately 25 000 offenders in Canada’s provincial and territorial prison programs every year.

Question

Typically how many people are incarcerated in Canada’s provincial and territorial prison programs annually and has that number gone up or down?

Answer

Approximately 25 000 offenders are incarcerated in Canada’s provincial and territorial prison programs every year, and that number has gone up and down over the last five years with the lowest rate in 2013-2014 (~22 000).

Good/Bad/Unusual?

The lack of change could be seen as unusual. In comparison to many of the other statistics that show either an increase or decrease, and this lack of change appears to be unusual.

Tension

Like many of the other statistics this statistic is also expected to change over time,

but

the number of offenders incarcerating in Canada’s provincial and territorial prison programs isn’t showing a consistent increase or decrease rate.



Statistic

The amount of offenders under provincial and territorial community supervision programs has gone down steadily from 2010 to 2015 (~115 400 to ~90 200 persons).

Question

How consistent has the decreased rate of which offenders are put into provincial and territorial community supervision programs been over the last five years?

Answer

From 2010 to 2015, the total rate has dropped by about 22%, from an annual amount of about ~115 400 persons to ~90 200 persons. Every year this total number continued to drop more and more, from a decrease of about 3 000 persons from 2010-2011 to a decrease of about 13 000 persons from 2013-2014.

Good/Bad/Unusual?

This seems like a good statistic to represent Canada’s prison system. This decrease could imply that there are less offenders requiring community supervision, but without context could also mean more offenders are being charged with more serious incarceration (further context needed).

Tension

The amount of offenders sentenced to provincial and territorial community supervision has been successfully decreasing over the last five years,

but

this could imply that offenders are instead more likely to be sentenced to more serious incarceration programs instead of community supervision.



Statistic

From 2010 to 2015, there have been an increasing amount of offenders registered in federal prison programs. In 2010 it was about 13 700 persons, and over the next five years it increased to about 15 100 persons in 2015.

Question

How consistent has the increased rate of which offenders are incarcerated into federal prison programs been over the last five years?

Answer

Over the last five years the amount of offenders incarcerated into federal prison programs has increased by about 200 to 700 persons every year.

Good/Bad/Unusual?

This statistic appears to be bad for the Canadian prison system, if the goal is to have less people incarcerated overtime; with the increasing rate of offenders being put into federal prison programs consistently going up.

Tension

The amount of offenders incarcerated into federal prison programs has consistently increased over the last five years,

however

the annual increase is only about 200 to 700 people, which relatively isn’t that significant.

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