Senate calls special meeting to deal with systemic racism in federal prison system

A Senate committee has heard that Canada must deal with systemic racism in the federal prison system.

The Senate's human rights committee heard yesterday that structural change is needed.

The special meeting was called to look at the experience of black female inmates as part of Black History Month.

Black Canadians make up just three per cent of the overall population, but 8.6 per cent of those in federal prisons.

A recent report by the corrections watchdog found that black inmates were also more likely to be in maximum security or solitary confinement, and to be involved in violent incidents.

A second special meeting of the Senate's human rights committee is set for the end of February.