Date of Conferral





Human Services


Nathan Moran


Indigenous offenders are overrepresented in all aspects of the Canadian criminal justice system, including corrections. Indigenous offenders are overrepresented in the prison population and are least likely to be granted an early release from prison. Indigenous offenders also disproportionately breach their conditional release orders and consequently spend more time incarcerated than non-Indigenous offenders. To understand the reasons behind the breaches, need-based theoretical lenses were used to analyze data. Sixteen parole officers were interviewed using a narrative design where participants shared their accounts on supervising Indigenous offenders while highlighting the needs which they felt were not being met by their Indigenous clients. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory was used to understand the different levels of need, and upon analyzing data, eight themes emerged in the study. These themes reflected the unmet needs that parole officers identified which were putting Indigenous offenders at a higher risk to breach their conditional release orders. Recommendations include addressing systemic discrimination, helping Indigenous offenders gain social stability through resources that are accessible, the need to indigenize the criminal justice system through a change in policies and practice, adequate funding for stakeholders to provide support to Indigenous offenders, and the need for Indigenous offenders to heal. Adopting the outcomes of this research has implications for social change by reducing breaches and recidivism among Indigenous offenders in Canada.

Included in

Social Work Commons