Over the last couple of years we've seen an infusion of money, as I mentioned briefly, to help us develop our capacity to deliver programs specifically for aboriginal offenders, both in the institutions and in the community, as well as to help to develop capacities out in aboriginal communities to support offenders coming back. As an example, we hired three more aboriginal community development officers--the number seems relatively low, but for us it's a major step forward, because these individuals do a tremendous amount of work--who work very closely with aboriginal communities across the country to see how certain individuals can come back into those communities and be supported.
We will be receiving in this coming year additional money to expand what we call our Pathways units. We currently have nine Pathways units in our institutions across the country. Obviously it's not enough for the number of aboriginal offenders who are in the system. We currently only have capacity for around 500 or so, and about 17% of our population are individuals of aboriginal ancestry.
With this money, we're anticipating that we're able to double those units, so that will bring us up to about 1,000 beds or capacity within the institutions. Within those units we have elders who are working directly with the offenders.
We're implementing aboriginal-specific programs. For example, we have an aboriginal substance abuse program that builds on the research of non-aboriginal substance abuse programming but it takes into account the cultural and spiritual needs of aboriginal offenders. As you may be aware, our legislation requires that we take that into consideration, and we haven't been able to do that in the past with the funding we had.
On the crime prevention piece, more specifically the victims piece, one of the things that was identified in the report of the review panel that was chaired by Mr. Sampson is the need to do more work, obviously, in terms of supporting victims, but more specifically to start to look at how we can support aboriginal victims. Many of the individuals who come into our system have committed offences against their own family members, community members, and to a large extent there has not been the kind of connection there needs to be in terms of reaching out to those people. So we're making a lot of moves in these different areas.
We still have a long way to go. We've got many years of history to catch up in terms of delivering to aboriginal offenders. We still see that our correctional results, as they relate to non-aboriginal offenders, are not as good as they should be, but we're starting to see some small incremental gains and we're trying to build on the successes that we have.
As was mentioned before, the elder-assisted hearings at the Parole Board hearings definitely has been a significant step in the right direction, in terms of, again, helping aboriginal offenders to reintegrate back into the community safely.