Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Rick Sin




Racism within the criminal justice system is a serious concern. Yet, despite the unfortunate circumstances and injustice confronting racialized inmates, there are very few studies, which critically examine the rampant racial discrimination that they experience on a daily basis in Ontario's jails and detention centres.

This exploratory study describes a qualitative investigation of racism from the perspective of racialized ex-inmates who have been through the Ontario criminal justice system. Based on semi-structured, qualitative interviews, the purpose of this project is to open up the debate about what is missing when we examine racism in institutions. In bringing this new knowledge forward, the analysis is based on major themes such as: everyday racism, racial profiling, dual and intersecting oppressions, whiteness, and solutions and barriers.

The results exemplify the subtle yet deliberate attempt to subdue any discussion of everyday racism and to downplay incidents of racist behaviour. This study emphasizes that efforts to contribute to the elimination of racial injustice in correctional social work practice must not be on conflated notions of cultural differences or on theoretically driven anti-oppression models but rather on the everyday reality of racism.

McMaster University Library

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