Deaths in Custody

In a ten year period from 2001-2002 to 2010-2011, 530 offenders died in federal custody from a range of known causes, including natural death, suicide, accident and homicide. During this period, suicides accounted for 17.4% (or 92 deaths) of all federal offender deaths. Another 5.5% (or 29 deaths) were homicides. The suicide rate is approximately 70 per 100,000 for federally incarcerated offenders, which is 6 times higher than Canada's 2009 rate of 11.5 suicides per 100,000 people. The homicide rate for incarcerated federal offenders was approximately 22 per 100,000, compared to the national homicide rate of 1.6 per 100,000 in 2007. (2011 Corrections and Conditional Release Statistic Overview) There were 5 inmate homicides in FY 2010-11.

Priority: Deaths in Custody - Image 1
Priority: Deaths in Custody - Image 2
Priority: Deaths in Custody - Image 3

Issues of Concern

The Office continues its focus on identifying and addressing factors of continuing challenge in preventing deaths in custody:

  • Response to medical emergencies
  • Sharing of information between clinical and front-line staff
  • Monitoring of suicide pre-indicators
  • Quality and frequency of security patrols, rounds and counts
  • Management of mentally ill offenders
  • Quality of internal investigative reports and processes
  • Natural deaths and mortality review

Reports & Recommendations

In the Media