A brief profile of the institutional and community employment activities of offenders belonging to visible minority groups


  • No RS 13-04
  • June 2014

Key Words

ethnocultural offender, offender employment

What it means

Visible minority groups generally do as well as, or better than, White offenders at obtaining institutional vocational certification and community employment; however, some groups appear less likely to be institutionally employed than White and Aboriginal offenders.

What we found

White and Aboriginal offenders appear to be more likely to have been institutionally employed than several visible minority groups; exceptions to this were Black, Latin American, and "other" groups, who had comparable rates. All visible minority groups, with the exception of Latin American offenders, were more likely to obtain institutional vocational certification than White offenders. All visible minority groups, with the exception of Black and Latin American offenders, were more likely to obtain community employment than White offenders and Aboriginal offenders. The majority of all groups of offenders obtained community employment in the Trades area with the exception of Arab/West Asian offenders, who were most likely to obtain employment in Sales and Services.

N Total
Institutional Employment Institutional Vocational Certification Community Employment Occupational Category
of Community Employment
n Trades Sales & Service Other
White 2,912 66% 87% 44% 59% 1,716 66% 32% 23%
Aboriginal 799 18% 87% 58% 45% 358 78% 23% 16%
Black 361 8% 84% 51% 55% 198 60% 40% 28%
94 2% 68% 45% 72% 68 66% 40% 26%
62 1% 74% 48% 68% 42 29% 62% 33%
Latin American 46 1% 83% 37% 54% 25 76% 24% 20%
45 1% 69% 67% 67% 30 53% 40% 13%
Chinese 34 1% 62% 53% 82% 28 46% 46% 18%
Other 91 2% 88% 56% 66% 60 70% 37% 15%

Note. Occupational categories were based on the National Occupational Classification 2006 system. Percentages will not add to 100% as offenders may have had multiple jobs in different areas. Areas in 'Other' include Business; Natural and Applied Sciences; Health; Social Science; Art, Culture, Recreation, and Sport; Primary Industry; and Processing and Manufacturing.

Why we did this study

Little research has been conducted on the employment experiences and vocational training of visible minority offenders. Given that visible minority groups comprise an increasing proportion of the population within the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), more information is needed on this group.

What we did

Offenders released into the community on a form of supervision during fiscal year 2010/2011 (N = 4,460) were profiled for their self-identified ethnicity at intake and their participation in institutional and post-release employment activities.

For more information

Please e-mail the Research Branch or contact us by phone at (613) 995-3975.

You can also visit the website for a full list of research publications.

Prepared by: Amanda Nolan & Jenelle Power

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