Adult correctional services, 2010/2011

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Previous release

On any given day in 2010/2011, there were about 38,000 adults in Canada's prisons. This was nearly 900 more than the year before, resulting in a 0.9% increase in the rate of incarceration per 100,000 adults.

Adults serving a federal sentence of two years or more accounted for 36% of those in prison. Another 29% of adults were serving a provincial/territorial sentence of less than two years. The remaining 34% had been remanded to a provincial/territorial facility to await trial or sentencing.

For the sixth year in a row, provincial/territorial custody facilities housed more adults in remand than in sentenced custody. Regardless, the rate of adults in remand was down 6% from the previous year, the first notable decline in over a decade.

In contrast, the rate of adults serving sentences in provincial/territorial institutions rose 7% between 2009/2010 and 2010/2011, one of the few times this rate has increased since the early 1990s. The 2010/2011 rate of adults serving sentences in federal prisons also rose from the year before, up 3%.

An additional 125,000 adult offenders were under community supervision, usually on probation, on any given day in 2010/2011.

Following a period of decline throughout the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, the rate of offenders on probation has remained relatively stable.

Spending on adult corrections in Canada, including salaries and operating costs, totalled about $4.1 billion in 2010/2011, up 1.2% from the previous year after taking inflation into account.

Costs associated with custodial services accounted for the majority (72%) of this amount.

Note to readers

This release is based on a Juristat article that presents 2010/2011 information on adults aged 18 and older in custody and under community supervision in Canada. Data on adults in custody reflect the average daily count of adults residing in a correctional facility on any given day. These data differ from Census data, published on September 19, 2012, which reflect the number of adults who, on May 10, 2011, had been residing in a correctional facility for a minimum of six months. Adults who had been in correctional facilities for less than six months were counted according to their regular place of residence.

Data are drawn from three sources: the Adult Correctional Services Survey, the adult component of the Integrated Correctional Services Survey, and the Corrections Key Indicator Report for Adults. The analysis controls for differences in reporting by jurisdiction which vary depending on the data element being discussed. For full information on coverage, consult the Juristat article.

Revisions to this Daily are as a result of revised data received from a jurisdiction post release.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers survey number3306 and survey number3313.

The Juristat article "Adult correctional statistics in Canada, 2010/2011" (Catalogue number85-002-X, free) is now available. From the Key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Crime and justice, and Juristat. For information on youth correctional statistics, see Youth correctional statistics in Canada, 2010/2011.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;