Canadian Criminal Justice Essay Example

Incarceration is the primary method of punishment and correction in both the United States and Canada. Depending on the crime, offenders serve their sentences in various security prisons. Felonies are mainly served in maximum facilities while short term offenses are resolved in jails Incarceration also differs based on the age of the offenders. Adults have separate prison facilities from juveniles. Their terms of service are also different, considering minors require education while serving their sentences. While incarceration is an essential process of punishment and rehabilitation, high rates in the United States and Canada are alarming.

The criminal justice and correctional system in Canada and the United States have exhibited specific controversial issues of incarceration and the rate. These issues show unjust practices that victimize people in this system, such as confinement based on race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status among other factors. These reasons entrap too many people in the system at the same time and for very long durations. These unjust practices also incarcerate innocent people who end up serving sentences they never deserved. The loopholes and issues in incarceration ought to be addressed. They are significantly lowering the functionality of the criminal justice system.

Resolving this problem should begin by gathering information and data on the actual problem, for both countries. Statistical evidence reveals the truth and facts that would be used in addressing the issues. While deriving this information and data, a comparative analysis of both nations is necessary. It offers an in-depth insight into incarceration rates and related matters. When these two nations compare notes, it is expected that the information will prompt each to take action and reform their systems.      

In Canada, correctional services are responsible for both the provincial and federal governments. Any offenders from eighteen years serving sentences of two or more years are under the Correctional Service of Canada. Any adults serving sentences that are less than two years are under the provincial and territorial services. Offenders waiting for trial and those doing community service are also in this category. The Youth Criminal Justice Act covers youths between 12 and 17 years old.

In the United States, correctional services are the responsibility of both the state and the federal government. Incarceration is dependent on the severity of the crime and the age of the offender. Minimal sentences can be community service or serving a sentence in county jail. This nation has the most significant number of incarcerated people in the world. For instance, in 2016, in every 100,000 people, 655 were imprisoned. This number only consisted of adults or people tried as adults. Due to the high incarceration rate in this country, the government spends about 80 billion dollars every year for correctional services.  

The governments, human rights bodies, and other organizations are aware of the incarceration anomalies in both nations. For this reason, America and Canada have launched efforts on reforming incarceration and the prison systems. These reforms will address the ineffectiveness in the justice systems, in both the state and the federal government. Several policies are in place to ensure public safety while those incarcerated are receiving rehabilitation in the various facilities. For United States, the budget for correctional services will lower if these policies will reduce unnecessary imprisonment of the American citizens.

Reforming the system is also about revising policies and evaluating their effectiveness. Some policies need to be modified all entirely changed to fit the present circumstances of correctional services. New policies are required to address the problems that were never considered by the existing guidelines. Since time changes rapidly and circumstances are dynamic, reviewing these policies should be a regular exercise. They need to be updated and aligned according to the prevailing state of eventualities.

Despite the existence of reforms and policies to address the high rate of incarceration, substantial change is yet to happen. Evidence of racism, ethnicity and social class discrimination is mainly present in the statistics of both United States and Canada. The law may forbid these trends in the criminal justice system, but they are deep-seated. They require further efforts than just imposing policies and making legislation. More aggressive measures to eradicate these vices are the left alternatives to make genuine reforms in the system. 


United States houses about 22% of the world’s prisoners. In September 2013, United States set the highest record of prisoners in the world, which were 716 people in every 100,000 of the nation’s population. For the last forty years, the incarceration rate in America has increased by 500%. This increase happened although the crime rate declining to one in thirty-six adults is in a particular kind of system process. For instance, some people are on probation, community service or serving time in penitentiaries.

In Canada, between the years 2016-2017, 117,645 supervised offenders were in custody or doing community service. This finding indicates that in every 100,000 population, 422 people are offenders. According to the past statistics in the years, this is a decline of about 3%. Unlike United States, the decrease of incarcerated people correlated with the reduction of people charged with offenses and the crimes committed. The only challenge in Canada is getting short term results due to the lagging of the justice process. 

Racial profiling in the U.S is a significant problem, especially towards the races that record the highest crime rates. The leading race is African America, with the largest population being men in their twenties. Due to this high rate of incarceration, imprisonment is a typical occurrence among the African American population. Black men incarcerated are more than twice the white men imprisoned. Also, black people tend to receive high sentences, fines and other forms of punishments.

While United States is struggling with racial profiling, Canada's criminal justice system seems to segregate indigenous people. Since the 1960s, the prison population of the indigenous people has been steadily increasing. Currently, the indigenous people among prisoners are at 26.4%. In Canada, the indigenous people are predisposed to incarceration than any other people. They also get stiffer punishments, segregation, involuntary transfers, high-security classification, self-harm, and physical restraints.  

Indigenous people are maltreated because of their link to low economic and social life. They lack educational empowerment, and hence most of them are poor. They are also unable to secure decent job opportunities, and as a result, they end up in vulnerable situations. Another contributing factor is the improper prison system. It is characterized by imbalanced power, corruption, negligence, isolation, authoritarianism, and at times, there are trivial demands.

United States has a high incarceration rate as compared to Canada and also the entire world. Although the crime rate is declining, the incarceration rate is increasing. It indicates that a large number of people are unlawfully arrested and unfairly incarcerated. In Canada, the incarcerations rate has a slightly lower margin to that of U.S. This means the nation is still recording high levels of the incarceration rate. Although declining crime is contributing to reducing the incarceration population, other significant issues need to be addressed to continue decreasing this population.

Both nations are struggling with discrimination and segregations towards their citizens. Criminal justice in the United States is characterized by racial profiling while Canada is stigmatizing indigenous individuals. Law enforcement stereotypes black people because they have high records of crime. In Canada, the indigenous population is mainly at the lowest level of economic status. Due to that occurrence, they become easy targets. The reasons for racial profiling and racial discrimination are unlawful, yet they prevail in the system. 

It is at the best interest of both governments to reduce the high rates of incarceration in their countries. A corrupt or crooked system is untrustworthy and frequently mishandles justice. If the corrective services are extending to even innocent people, then the concept of rehabilitation lacks significance. Also, correct incarceration will decrease the high and unnecessary budget both nations are handling. In the U.S, every year correctional services require about $8 billion. In Canada, a woman consumes $343,810 while a man requires $223,687.

Reforming the criminal justice system will not be an easy and fast task, considering all the stakeholders involved. The process begins with law enforcement and ends with the accused facing trial and sentencing. Law enforcement plays a significant role in deciding who is innocent or suspicious, depending on the relevant evidence and testimony. Therefore, reforms should begin with law enforcement as they proceed to other parties in the system. 

In Conclusion United States and Canada are presently recording high incarceration rates. United States is leading the world with about 22% of the world’s prisoners in its correctional facilities. Canada is following closely behind with 422 people being incarcerated in every 100,000 population. In both nations, adults and juveniles serve sentences in different facilities. Also, service will differ depending on the offense and other related factors. Incarceration is part of rehabilitation and correction. Other forms include probation, community service, fines and penalties among others.

In spite of statistics showing both countries are lowering their crime rate, U.S. incarceration rate is increasing. The leading factors to the high levels of the prison population are racism and socio-economic status. The system can no longer operate on justice if discrimination and stigma are primary problems influencing it. Reforms need to show actual advancement from these issues. Unfortunately, despite legislation and policies for these reforms, implementation bringing forth positive outcomes is proving to be difficult.

The practical way forward is to have aggressive leaders in justice institutions. Their enforcement of the policies and reforms will have an impact that will reduce the high levels of imprisoned people. Besides, departments of criminal justice require changes or even an overhaul. These departments mainly entail those that are affected by corruption and vices compromising the integrity of criminal justice. Before the year ends, some progress ought to be experienced. The society should play a role in condemning vices such as racial profiling in law enforcement. Transforming criminal justice and correctional services is an obligation for the entire community.



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