Indigenous people make up a large part of the jail population in Canada.
"The overincarceration of Indigenous people in Canada needs to be recognized as both fundamentally unfair and a health crisis," says Dr. Davinder Singh.
Negative health effects continue after people are released, with a higher risk of death than the average risk of death in the community. This risk is especially high in the first two weeks after discharge, with many deaths occurring through overdose or suicide.
"If we consider the health and social consequences, from acute to chronic illness, and individual to family to community effects, the cost is crushing, both at a financial level and a human level," says Dr. Singh.
"The good news is that the issue has been studied numerous times over decades; we just need to act on the recommendations from those reports."
The authors call upon the government to address this public health crisis by addressing well-documented racism in the Canadian justice system.
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