March 4, 2015 5:37 pm
Updated: March 4, 2015 8:52 pm

By the numbers: ‘Lifers’ in Canada’s prisons

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
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Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney announced Wednesday a plan to put forward legislation ensuring that more offenders given life sentences spend their entire lives behind bars (right now, they are eligible to apply for parole, usually after 25 years).

Who are Canada’s lifers? A few key figures on this prison population:

4,800

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Number of offenders serving life sentences in Canada in 2013.

23 

Percentage of the total federal inmate population serving either life or indeterminate sentences in 2013.

2,880

Total number of lifers who were incarcerated at that time.

1,862

Number of lifers on parole in 2013.

1,600

Lifers on full parole.

33

Percentage of applications for full parole from lifers granted by the Parole Board in 2013-14.

94

Number of lifers granted full parole in 2014.

271

Lifers on day parole.

3,467

Number of lifers who had committed second-degree murder.

1,115

Lifers who had committed first-degree murder.

81 

Percentage of community-supervised lifers serving time for second-degree (as opposed to first-degree) murder.

$135,000

Approximate cost, in 2011-12, to incarcerate one offender for one year in a maximum-security federal prison.

$101,000

Approximate cost, in 2011-12, to incarcerate one offender for one year in a medium-security federal prison.

Source: Statistics Canada, Corrections Canada and National Parole Board

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