OTTAWA, March 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Mr. David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human
Rights Commission made the following statement today:
"The matters raised by the Office of the Correctional Investigator in
his Special Report to Parliament are grave and troubling. They demand
urgent attention. Recent history is not encouraging in that regard.
"In 2003, the Canadian Human Rights Commission issued a report on women
in the correctional system. Those findings, from a decade ago, are
largely unchanged with respect to Aboriginal women today.
"We are still seeing a disproportionate number of Aboriginal women in
solitary confinement, which creates barriers to access to
rehabilitation programs. As a result, Aboriginal women in corrections
do not get paroled early if at all. Not only are they over-represented,
they are serving more time. These facts were confirmed by the
Correctional Investigator today.
"The condition of female Aboriginal inmates with mental illness is of
"Female offenders are the most vulnerable inmates. They are twice as
likely as male offenders to have a significant mental health diagnosis
at time of admission, and they are far more likely than males to
self-harm in prison.
"Aboriginal women are the most vulnerable among this vulnerable group.
These are women scarred by generations of neglect, abuse, and systemic
discrimination. The high numbers of unresolved cases of missing and
murdered Aboriginal women speak to the same systemic issues of
violence, poverty and marginalization, and the too common indifference
of bureaucracies to basic human rights.
"I commend the Correctional Investigator for taking this bold and timely
initiative and I urge all political actors to work collaboratively to
ensure his recommendations for change are implemented swiftly."
SOURCE: Canadian Human Rights Commission
For further information:
Canadian Human Rights Commission
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