Incarceration rates in Canada's North among highest in G20

1 / 2
Canada Border Services Agency detaining 8 people in Manitoba jails

Nunavut and the Northwest Territories jail a higher rate of their populations than Russia, Brazil, South Africa and nearly every country in the G20, according to Statistics Canada.

In an annual report on the Canadian corrections system, the North once again showed significantly higher incarceration rates than the rest of Canada.

But the data also suggests those rates are higher in the Northern territories, than they are in most G20 states — or Group of 20 — which represents about two-thirds of the world's population.

If the territories were independent countries, Nunavut would be second among the G20 for highest incarceration rate, followed by the Northwest Territories at third, Russia in fourth and Yukon fifth.  


The United States is the only country in the Group of 20 that has a higher national incarceration rate than the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. 

Last year, 94 people in Yukon, 189 people in the Northwest Territories and 136 in Nunavut were either serving a sentence for a conviction, in remand awaiting trial, or in other temporary detention.  

The number of people in custody recorded by Statistics Canada includes accused suspects awaiting their day in court.

Caroline Wawzonek, a Yellowknife lawyer, previously told CBC News this is one of the factors leading to the North's high numbers.

Many people in the North are held in remand for breaking conditions on minor offences.