High Indigenous prison rate ‘unacceptable’: Supreme Court chief justice

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OTTAWA — The Supreme Court’s chief justice says the over-representation of Indigenous people in prison is unacceptable and reveals a serious problem.

Richard Wagner tells a news conference today he’ll leave the politics to others, but the court will make its voice heard on issues of Indigenous justice.

He points to a decision this month in which the court said the federal prison service had failed to ensure its psychological assessment tools were fair to Indigenous inmates.

Wagner says the high court has a role to play in the national reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

The chief justice also says he is trying to make the Supreme Court more open and accessible to Canadians.

He muses the court might even hold a hearing outside of Ottawa one day.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

The Canadian Press