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Available Expert - Half of Canada’s federal female prisoners are Indigenous

Friday, May 6, 2022

Queen's University professor Lisa Kerr (Law) is available to comment on the statistic that for the first time, half of Canada’s female penitentiary population are Indigenous. Prof. Kerr can speak to the sentencing and prison policy aspects that have led to this and suggest ways to implement change.

Canadian federal prisons held 298 Indigenous women and 298 non-Indigenous women, according to statistics released last week by Canada’s prison ombudsman.

"The fact that half of the federal population of female prisoners are Indigenous is a grim statistic. It reflects many things, including the ongoing effects of colonial state programs which have brought trauma and disadvantage to Indigenous communities for decades. But I want to emphasize that we can fix this. We are talking about fewer than 300 women in a country as large as Canada. It is impossible for me to imagine that we can't make the social investments and the changes to sentencing and prison policy that would help to bring incarcerated Indigenous women safely home," said Prof. Kerr.

To arrange an interview, please contact media relations officer Victoria Klassen (343-363-1794 or victoria.klassen@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada. 

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