Mudcat Café message #1464053 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80289   Message #1464053
Posted By: beardedbruce
18-Apr-05 - 01:37 AM
Thread Name: BS: 10,000 arrested in US today
Subject: RE: BS: 10,000 arrested in US today
While we are sceptical about there being any redeeming value in
incarceration, we are particularly concerned about the following facts:

    * At 123 per 100,000 of the population, Canada's incarceration rate
      is higher than most "western democracies". While still far below
      the United States (682), it is above countries such as Austria
      (86), France (88), and Scotland (119). Germany's rate is 96, and
      Norway's is only 57 out of every 100,000 citizens. On any given
      day there are 30,000 prisoners in Canadian jails.

    * Of the approximately 13,000 prisoners held in federal prisons in
      1998, about 2,100 (or 16%) were Native. In 1999-2000, this figure
      rose to over 17%. First Nations women, who were 18% of the total
      number of woman prisoners in the federal system in 1981, were 27%
      of the total by 2002. First Nations people only comprise 2.8
      percent of the general population. In Manitoba, Saskatchewan and
      Alberta, Native people make up approximately 45% of the federal
      prison population; accounting for over 50% of the prison
      population in some penitentiaries. In Saskatchewan, for example,
      Native people are incarcerated at a rate 35 times higher than
      non-Native people. (Source: Correctional Services Canada website)

    * A very high rate of women are in prison for protecting themselves
      against their abusers. This makes it obvious that the legal system
      does not protect women who suffer violence at the hands of their

    * Roughly 48 percent of federal inmates and 83 percent of provincial
      inmates are incarcerated for non-violent offences. One-fifth (20%)
      of admissions to provincial jails are for not paying fines.
      (Source: Correctional Services Canada website)

    * Canada imprisons hundreds of refugees and immigrants, including
      minors, in prisons, jails and detention centers, simply because
      they lack the proper identity papers. This situation has been
      aggravated by the racist and repressive hysteria that followed the
      September 11th attacks two years ago, and it's getting worst: so
      far, an average of over 20% more refugees and immigrants have been
      incarcerated for these reasons in 2003 than in 2002. (Source:
      Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Although obvious, some statistics regarding life behind bars bear repeating:

    * Attempted suicide rates inside prisons are four times as high as
      on the outside.

    * Older prisoners generally have health problems characteristic for
      individuals ten years older on the outside.

    * Fewer than one in ten women in prison describe their interactions
      with prison health services as positive.

    * Double bunking, putting two prisoners in a cell that was designed
      for one was introduced as a temporary measure in 1984 - today, 25%
      of prisoners are double bunked and that number is projected to
      raise to 30% by the turn of the century.

    * Statistics Canada figures on adult corrections for 1999-2000 show
      that a total of 189 prisoners died in that one year period.