Manitoba: Majority of inmates are not convicted

In 2015 and 2016, 2420 adults were incarcerated in Manitoba. Shockingly, however, 66 percent of these people were not convicted. They were arrested, and incarcerated, awaiting trial.

The Winnipeg Free Press states that this “ranks Manitoba’s incarceration rate — 242 per 100,000 adults — as the highest of the provinces and fourth-highest in Canada behind Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon.”

University of Winnipeg criminologist  Michael Weinrath said, “it’s a ‘sad reality’ that Manitoba locks up more people per capita than in any other province, the majority of them indigenous, and corrections costs continue to climb.”

Jails are overcrowded, people have to sleep on mattresses on the floors. Manitoba has responded to crime by hiring more police officers and asking Ottawa for more punitive measures. But in the past ten years, this has not helped fix the problem. In fact, as the national crime rate continues to decline, Manitoba’s crime rate continues to increase. There has to be a better way to deal with these issues than sending more people to jail to await trial.

This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the view of the CCLA or PBSC.