I have to say that when I read this report, one word came to my mind, and it hasn't been said today, so I do have to say it. That word is “crisis”. This, to me, is a huge crisis.
In looking at the numbers, as has been pointed out, we see that indigenous men and women represent 3% of the adult population in our country, yet they represent 26% of offenders in federal custody. What's worse is that they're not given timely access to rehabilitation programs. There's uneven access, and beyond that, there's inconsistency across the regions.
I've heard about the types of programs you provide. My sense is that it's not that we don't know what to do; it's that we have to actually to do it. I heard you say, Mr. Head, that the work you do can affect the length of time someone is in custody. It can affect the security level of the institution. It can affect the time for case processing.
You made it very clear, as did your colleague Ms. Kelly just now, that Correctional Services cannot control the number of indigenous Canadians receiving federal sentences of incarceration. I find that type of statement very bothersome. I understand from a technical perspective how that might be true, but the mere fact that indigenous offenders tend to be youth and tend to be repeat offenders.... The work you do isn't just about reintegration into the community; it's also about rehabilitation. The things that they could go through in the programs and services that you ought to be providing and that are culturally relevant can have a very significant impact, and, yes, it can control the numbers of indigenous Canadians who are receiving federal sentences. That is my opinion.
You've stated that several times. I'd like to hear your thoughts on that.