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Defence lawyers call for mass pardon of non-violent Indigenous inmates after watchdog report – Edmonton Journal

by ahnationtalk on January 27, 2020133 Views

A local law group is urging Public Safety Canada to pardon all Indigenous inmates currently being held in custody for non-violent crimes after a report found Indigenous incarceration numbers are continuing to rise across the country.

Dr. Ivan Zinger, the Correctional Investigator of Canada, released a report Tuesday outlining Indigenous inmates now make up 30 per cent of the population of federal prisons, an all time high. Of all federally incarcerated women, 42 per cent are Indigenous.

Liberty Law and the Criminal Trial Lawyer Association’s Committee to Reduce Aboriginal Incarceration are now reiterating their call for the federal government to mass pardon Indigenous inmates who are not locked away for violent crimes, a tool available in Canada’s criminal code.

“Something radical, I guess, has to happen because the situation is so radical,” said Bob Aloneissi, a lawyer associated with both groups. “It’s difficult to comprehend why we’re doing the same old, same old when everyone is saying this is a huge problem that has to be addressed.”

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