Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Manitoba's jails: By the numbers
Earlier this year the province's auditor general released a report on overcrowding in Manitoba's jails.
The report found that the province's planning for future jail capacity is inadequate, and while many measures have been put in place to address overcrowding, it is still inadequate. It also found that the supervision of offenders in the community was also weak.
Last week, the legislative standing committee on public accounts met to discuss the report.
Attorney General Andrew Swan and his deputies highlighted some of the efforts they're taking to address the auditor general's concerns and its 29 recommendations. Efforts include more preventative measures to keep young people out of jail.
To in part address overcrowding, the province has said it will build a new 180-bed jail in Dauphin. The new centre is currently in the design process with no specific date when construction will start or when it will be open.
I've pulled some numbers out of the meeting's transcript as a way to give you a glimpse of the province's correctional centres:
- 10,000--the estimated number of adult offenders on any given day: about 24 per cent are in jail and another 76 per cent are supervised in the community;
- 64 per cent--percentage of offenders in pre-trial custody or on remand status in 2010-11;
- 66 per cent--percentage of adult offenders on remand status as of Aug. 27, 2014;
- 52 per cent--the increase in overall capacity since 2008;
- 126 per cent--the overall occupancy rate of correctional centres above rated capacity as on May last year;
- 2,369--average number of adult offenders in custody in 2014, with daily counts ranging from 2,268 offenders to 2,441 offenders;
- 62 days--average length of time an adult offender spends in jail serving a sentence;
- 2,262--number of serious incidents, such as assaults, in the province's jails in 2013, down 11 per cent from 2,552 incidents in 2012;
- 582--number of adult offenders identified as gang members, representing 20 per cent of the adult offenders in correctional institutions;
- 113--number of youth offenders identified as gang members, representing 47 per cent of the youth offender population in custody;
- 166 per cent--increase in contracted services for psychological and psychiatric services for offenders from 2007-08 to 2013-14;
- 30 per cent--recidivism rate for released adult offenders as of last June. (It was 31 per cent in June 2010).
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About Larry Kusch and Bruce Owen
Larry Kusch has been a journalist for 30 years, the last 20 with the Winnipeg Free Press. His is one of the newspaper's two legislative bureau reporters.
Raised on a Saskatchewan farm, he received an honours journalism degree from Carleton University in 1975.
At the Free Press, Larry has also worked as a general assignment reporter, business reporter, copy editor and assistant city editor.
Bruce Owen joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1990 after four years working in other media.
He's worked in a number of positions at the Freep, including pet columnist, assistant city editor and police reporter. Right now he takes up space at the Manitoba legislature.
Bruce is one of five reporters who won a National Newspaper Award for the paper’s coverage of the 1997 Flood of the Century. He's also the recipient of the 1996 Volunteer Centre of Winnipeg Media Golden Hand Award and the 1995 Canadian Federation of Humane Societies Media Commendation Award.
In a past life Bruce worked at YMCA-YWCA Camp Stephens. He has a blog where he and others write about camp and the people who worked and played there.
You can also find Bruce on Twitter where he posts and retweets all sorts of stuff.
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