Unequal justice

March 4, 2013

Toronto Star – Patty Winsa and Jim Rankin
Unequal Justice: Aboriginals caught in the justice system trap

While there does appear to be a difference in why Aboriginals are sent to jail compared to other populations, they are well over-represented and likely treated more harshly, once caught in “the justice trap.” This is the second part of a series called Unequal Justice. http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2013/03/03/unequal_justice_aboriginals_caught_in_the_justice_system_trap.html

 Toronto Star – Jim Rankin and Patty Winsa
Unequal justice: Aboriginal and black inmates disproportionately fill Ontario jails

Aboriginal boys are five times over-represented in custody facilities in Ontario, girls ten times.  Black male children are four times over-represented.  Young male incarcerations have steadily declined since the Youth Criminal Justice Act was introduced ten years ago. http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2013/03/01/unequal_justice_aboriginal_and_black_inmates_disproportionately_fill_ontario_jails.html

 Huffington Post – Politics – Marvin Ross
Good Mental Illness Policy Includes the Violence Taboo

Ross criticizes Bill C-54 for its failure to consider the families – mostly parents and siblings –  of the NCR who will come out of prison and go home. “It is families who bear the brunt of care for those with serious mental illnesses…they leave themselves open to potential violence from those loved ones they are trying to help.” http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/marvin-ross/mental-illness-violence_b_2803050.html

 Department of Justice, BC
White Paper on Justice Reform – Part two: A Timely, Balanced Justice System

The second part of a BC government effort to establish “a transparent, timely and balanced justice system.”  Part two is pre-occupied with changes to effect the solutions sought.  ( A 40 page downloadable pdf with an executive summary on p. 5)  http://www.justicebc.ca/shared/pdfs/WhitePaperTwo.pdf 

 Vimeo – Pat Shannahan
Justice Delayed: The Bill Macumber Story

The story of a man convicted of a double murder and then released after 38 years of a life sentence.  Macumber maintained his innocence throughout, even when offered parole and reflects on how dangerous a prison becomes when hope is lost. Video:   http://vimeo.com/60943946 Article: http://www.azcentral.com/news/macumber

 Vancouver Province – Glenda Luymes
Accused in West End apartment rampage tries to leap to his death in North Fraser Pretrial lockup

Lawyer Bob Bellows said he felt sad for his client, who suffers from mental illness… Because Bonneric was not “certifiable” — that is, deemed not to be a danger to himself or others — he was jailed instead of hospitalized while awaiting trial. http://www.theprovince.com/news/Accused+West+apartment+rampage+tries+leap+death+North+Fraser+Pretrial+lockup/8041101/story.html#ixzz2MWWVVIdh

 Nova Scotia Criminal Justice Association
Dalhousie Restorative Justice Pilot Project

The joint project with Dalhousie, Halifax Regional Police and the NS Department of Justice seeks to resolve criminal cases involving Dalhousie students before they get into the criminal justice system using a RJ model for pre-charge and post charge.  http://www.nscja.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/NSCJA-Newsletter-Winter-2013-3.pdf 

 Vera Institute – Daniel F. Wilhelm et al.
Youth, Safety, and Violence: Schools, Communities, and Mental Health

A series of three commentaries by Vera personnel on Keeping schools safe; Mental illness, stigma, and violence; Mental health and youth violence: the provider perspective.  (A 12 page  free downloadable pdf. ) http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/youth-safety-and-violence.pdf

 Vera Institute – James Austin and Michael P. Jacobson
How New York City Reduced Mass Incarceration: A Model for Change?

The paper acknowledges a threefold context for the question: a decrease in crime rates, an increase in incarcerated population and an increase in critique of police practices.  The report seeks to enunciate more effective policies in the context identified.  (A 28 page free downloadable pdf)  http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/how-nyc-reduced-mass-incarceration.pdf