Mental health and criminal justice

January 30, 2013

 International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy – Fifth National Symposium (January 2013)  – Alison MacPhail and Simon Verdun-Jones
Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System

While this paper excludes consideration of NCR (Not-criminally Responsible) it may be helpful for a number of current issues: a summary of the research, the question of over-representation in the prison population, issues around administration of justice offenses, risk factors for criminality and recidivism, violence, and best strategies.  ICCLR website –

 Star Telegraph – Marilyn Armour and Stephanie Frogge
Restorative justice a less costly, more meaningful response to crime

The authors are directors for the Institute for Restorative Justice Dialogue at the University of Texas Austin School of Sociology.  The Grosmaire case from Jan. 6 is still generating a lot of ink in the US, this article on the cost of the mass incarceration approach.

 Toronto Star – Letters to the Editor
Mental health fix affordable

This link features a series of comments on the guest opinion piece delivered a few days ago by Sandy Simpson of CAMH on the lessons to be learned from the death of Ashley Smith.  The letters light some of the elements passed over in the original article.

 Blogger  Matthew Soerens
The Truth About Immigrant Detention Facilities

This article adds some US operational perspective to the issue of immigration detention facilities operated by private companies.

CBC News – Michael Kempa
How to keep Canada’s crime rate low

Kempa suggests that immigration keeps the crime rate low but that other “rational” crimes flourish when the family and cultural bonds of the immigrant are stretched.

 International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP)
Family Learning Signatures

The IIRP has an article on the Family Learning Signature as one of the RJ approaches.  FLS is a self-assessment tool in which a family discovers how the members learn together.  The link offers an eight minute video demonstrating. 

 PRWeb (Florida)
Mental Health Center Proclaims That Mental Illness Does Not Equate to Violence

The gun control debate has seen the gun lobby suggest that crimes with guns are typically violence from those with mental illness.  One mental health center takes exception to the claim, explicit or by innuendo, that mental illness equates to violence.

Winnipeg Free Press – Benjamin Gillies
More cops doesn’t fix public safety

Cities are now confronted by the sustainability issue on police funding. The usual tactic is to grow the numbers of police but there is little proof that the increased numbers of police has any impact on crime while there is growing evidence of the impact on crime from supporting community ventures aimed at confronting the harm to victims and the needs of offenders.  hyttp://