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Rising Incarceration Rates of Racialized Women

Senator Kim Pate

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The fastest-growing prison population in Canada is racialized women, particularly Indigenous women. Who is labelled a criminal and imprisoned is usually determined by the relative privilege or lack thereof of those involved and the circumstances of the act – who does what, to whom, in what context – rather than the actual risk to public safety or likelihood of harm. This policy briefing note authored by Senator Kim Pate explains what causes the majority of incarcerated women to commit criminalized acts in the first place and makes a case for changing the way racialized women are treated within our justice system, which often fails to protect them.

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