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1Running Head: INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMPatullo - Over-Representation of Indigenous People in the Canadian Criminal Justice SystemFEM 3108AProfessor Stephanie Claude Tuesday, November 5th, 2019Samantha Patullo - 8136698
2INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMPatullo -The over-representation of Indigenous people within the Canadian criminal justice system is a clear indication of how the justice system has failed Indigenous people in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, “In 2016/2017, Aboriginal adults accounted for 28% of admissions to provincial/territorial correctional services and 27% for federal correction services, while representing 4.1% of the Canadian adult population” (2018). The abundance of Indigenousindividuals who populate the penitentiaries and jails in Canada shows that there must be changes made within the Canadian justice system.By bringing in Indigenous peoples traditional ways of life and integrating it within the Canadian justice system will prove to establish equity and fair treatment within the justice system. Indigenous peoples in Canada face a worrying escalation in their criminalization and harassment, especially when defending and exercising rights to their territories and natural resources. As Tuck and Yang stated, “Strategies of internal colonialism, such as segregation, divestment, surveillance, and criminalization, are both structural and interpersonal” (2012). It is evident that the criminalization and over-representation of Indigenouspeople in the criminal justice system isn’t an issue that this population has brought on themselves, but an issue that has been pushed on them through years and years of oppression andcolonization. This paper will examine four main significant causal factors of the issue of overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the Canadian criminal justice system, being: 1) cultural conflict, 2) socioeconomic, 3) colonialism, and 4) over and under-policing. Suggestions for improvement will also be discussed in this paper. The cultural clash theory was one of the first to emerge as an explanation of the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice system. In the Canadian criminal justice system, justice means the punishment of deviant individuals which theoretically causes them to reform, rehabilitate, and thus abide by societal rules moving forward. However, Indigenous
3INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMPatullo -communities view justice as a means of restoration of peace which brings equity and balance to the community. Justice is seen as a way of bringing about major changes for the individual who is accused and for the victims themselves.The concept is focused much more around restorative justice and rehabilitation rather than reactive punishment in hopes of rehabilitation through incarceration. This shift of focus is achieved in Indigenous sentencing circles. In the sentencing circle, there is a major shift from the practice of the formal justice system to a way that reflects