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6 disturbing facts about self-injury among Canada’s prison inmates

A view of the Kingston Penitentiary in Kingston, Ont., on Thursday, October 21, 2010.
A view of the Kingston Penitentiary in Kingston, Ont., on Thursday, October 21, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

OTTAWA – Some facts on self-injury in federal prisons, from a report released Monday by Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers:

– In 2012-13, there were 901 incidents of recorded prison self-injury, involving 264 offenders.

– A relatively small number of federally sentenced women offenders (37 of 264 total) disproportionately accounted for almost 36 per cent of all reported self-injury incidents.

Number of Incidents of Self-Injury Involving Federally Sentenced Women Inmates
Number of Incidents of Self-Injury Involving Federally Sentenced Women Inmates Courtesy of the Office of the Correctional Investigator

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– Aboriginal offenders were involved in more than 35 per cent of all self-harming incidents.

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– Aboriginal women accounted for nearly 45 per cent of all self-injury incidents involving federally sentenced females.

– Of the 264 federal offenders who self-injured in 2012-13, 17 individuals engaged repetitive behaviour (10 or more incidents).

– These 17 individuals accounted for 40 per cent of all recorded incidents. Nine were of aboriginal descent. Nine were women (six of whom were aboriginal offenders).

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