New data from Statistics Canada suggests fewer people in the Northwest Territories are ending up behind bars.
Data for 2013-14 shows NWT Corrections dealt with 981 cases of people being sentenced and detained or otherwise held in custody.
That’s down from 1,043 cases in 2012-13, and the most recent peak of 1,337 in 2010-11.
However, the NWT still has Canada’s highest incarceration rate, by far.
Data: Average counts of offenders at adult correctional services
Data: Custodial admissions by province and territory
The NWT’s current incarceration rate shows that if the territory had 100,000 adult residents, around 755 would be behind bars.
That compares to a rate of 278 for Yukon and 563 for Nunavut. (The NWT’s Department of Justice says its figure includes some Nunavut offenders held in its facilities under a reciprocal agreement, plus federal offenders – numbers that fluctuate.)
Farther south, the rate is as low as 65 in British Columbia.
The average across provinces and territories is 87, and the NWT’s figure is higher than that reported by the majority of nations.
The NWT’s incarceration rate crept up slightly in 2013-14, from 720 in 2012-13, but remains well below its high of 942 in 2010-11.