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Reaction to the longawaited report on the representation of Aboriginal peoples in the federal prison system came quick and not surprising condemned the federal government.
National Inuit leader Terry Audla called Howard Saper's report a wake-up call for those on Parliament Hill.
"The problem of the increasing number of Inuit in our prison systems must be managed better and I call on the federal government to take immediate action," said Audla.
But it's a wake-up call on old, long standing issues.
"Many of these alarming issues have been raised years ago," he said. "This report makes it clear that the status quo isn't working and the federal government must engage directly with the Inuit to put in place support for those Inuit who are incarcerated."
Sapers found there's been a 23 per cent increase in the number of Aboriginal peoples in the federal prison system in the last five years. In comparison, Aboriginal peoples make up four per cent of Canada's population.
The report "confirms the staggeringly disproportionate number of Aboriginal peoples filling our prisons, and the reality that this trend is intensifying at a rapid rate," said Francis Scarpaleggia, the Liberal public safety critic. "In fact, under the Stephen Harper Conservatives' failed crime agenda, the Aboriginal inmate population has increased by a shocking 43.5 per cent, compared to only a 9.6 per cent increase in non-Aboriginal inmates."
This independent report comes on the heels of another report last week which pointed to racism and systemic discrimination in the Ontario justice system by Justice Frank Iacobucci. Read More »
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posted March 8, 2013 10:10 am est