Incarceration in Canada:

  • In Canada, the majority of male and female offenders are parents (Withers & Folsom, 2007; Eljdupovic, 2008). Extrapolating from data collected at the Millhaven Reception Unit in Ontario, Withers and Folsom (2007) estimated that 357,604 Canadian children are affected by paternal incarceration. This figure represents 4.6% of the total Canadian population who are 19 years of age or younger. The number increases when children whose mothers are incarcerated are added.
  • In 2010/2011, there were, on average, about 163,000 adult offenders (18 years or over) in Canada’s correctional system on any given day
  • In 2010/2011, there were about 38,000 offenders in custody on any given day. Of these, 36% were serving a federal sentence, 29% were serving a provincial sentence and 34% were being held on remand.
  • Excluding Yukon and Nunavut, expenditures on adult corrections, including salaries and operating costs, totaled about $4.1 billion in 2010/2011
  • Costs associated with custodial services accounted for close to three-quarters (72%) of all correctional expenditures in 2010/2011 while community supervision services accounted for 13%.
  • Note: This holds true despite the fact that the total number of adults in custody was far lower than the number of adults under community supervision. It is generally more costly to imprison offenders than to supervise them in the community.
  • In 2011-2012, the federal, provincial and territorial governments spent $20.3 billion (1.1% nominal GDP) on criminal justice.
    • Total annual expenditures on criminal justice is comparable to the budget of National Defence ($20.5 billion in 2012), half the size of the budget of Human Resources and Skills Development ($48.1 billion in 2012), and more than double the budget of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada ($7.9 billion in 2012).
  • The cost of the adverse affects on families – such as government programs, services and support, anti-poverty or violence initiatives etc – is undetermined and not factored into the total annual corrections costs

Stats taken from the following locations: