May 4, 2013

 Hamilton Spectator
Cyberbullying: growing trend that takes a toll – Social media make hatred so much easier, Grade 11 student tells panel

 Teen advocate Rebecca Sampson says at a hate crime forum that 47% of parents have reported a case of their child bullied on social media, one in three children.  She says it’s just another name for hatred.  “Hatred comes in many different forms, but from a teen perspective the way that hatred comes across is through bullying,” Sampson said.–hate-crime-forum-hears-about-the-toll-of-cyber-bullying  Related article: Coalition youth fight back against cyber bullying

 Flamborough Review – Richard Leitner – Metroland West Media Group
Hamilton hate crimes dip amid rise in ‘ambiguous’ incidents

 With a limited number of hate crimes, and declining numbers at that, Hamilton Police point out that the criteria for hate crime involves proving motivation, difficult to prove, leaving ambiguous statistics at best.  Hate-bias overtones often accompany the ambiguous stats.  As focus for the hate crime, Blacks are most frequent, followed by religion (almost all anti-Jewish), followed by gender bias. Related article – ‘Ambigous’ hate crime statistics blur problem

 Mercury (San Jose, CA) – Jeremy Thomas and Katy Murphy
Cyberbullying tips, resources for parents

 The News offers tips for the various age groups and links to sites for further help from Common Sense Media and others.

 Walrus Magazine – Julian Sher  and Adrienne Kammerer
Trials and Error – Bad forensic evidence and junk science continue to send innocent people to jail

With no apologies to CSI and Hollywood, the ‘forensic science’ is called by Innocent Project Director and Osgood Hall law professor Alan Young the second leading cause of wrongful conviction after mistaken witnesses.  By Young’s reckoning, 15 of 24, or more than 60% of recent wrongful convictions, are traced to false science or what he calls the “CSI effect.”

 VERA Institute of Justice (N.Y.)
A Guide to Calculating Justice-System Marginal Costs

Given that budgets for all government projects/services are not pushed to the edge, the notion of cost benefit analysis is increasingly a tool to determine the usefulness of programs and services on the edge or marginal.  VERA offers a guide to the application of cost benefit.  A fact sheet accompanies the guide.  Both were supported with the Bureau of Justice funding.  Fact Sheet: 

 MSN News
California prisons spend big on anti-psychotic meds

 The state is spending nearly $1 of every $5 within the pharmaceutical costs (nearly $145 million per year) on anti-psychotic medication, leading some, including J. Clark Kelso, the federal court-appointed receiver who controls prison medical care, to think that prisoners are over-medicated. Related article: 

 Globe and Mail – Ian Bailey
B.C. anti-gang police release report about international activity

 Estimating gangs at 188 different units, for the first time police are suggesting widespread international and inter-provincial activity for gangs with headquarters in BC.

 Arizona Central .com  – JJ Hensley
ICE to probe 2 inmate suicides at Eloy detention center

 Two detainees who committed suicide at a Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) privately run facility have prompted a federal review of the institution’s suicide prevention practices and the staffing model used.

 The British Psychological Society
Prisoner Reform and the DFP response

 The prison service known as the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) has some severe criticism for government decisions to make the first two weeks in prison more difficult and memorable and therefore discouraging of recidivism.  The changes are mostly repressive and even involve less money for phone calls to family.  The Society points out, among other things, that the first two weeks are already so disorienting that the period is prime time for suicide.  

 L.A. Times – Paige St. John
Solitary confinement inmates seek class-action status

 The plaintiffs are all prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison, confined to the Security Housing Unit (SHU) for what the state says are active ties with prison gangs.  The court filing says there are about 1,000 inmates in Pelican Bay’s SHU; half have been there more than a decade, and 78 for more than 20 years.  A federal judge has refused delay in hearing the filing.,0,3566059.story?track=rss

 Aleteia (Ohio) – Stephen M. Krason
On Our Dysfunctional Criminal Justice System

 Stephen M. Krason, Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies at Franciscan University of Steubenville, speaks out on the kinds of matters we try increasingly to bring under criminal law, enforcement and punishment.  Addressed to Catholics and Christians, he thinks we have a crisis in all these areas of the criminal justice system and we have abandoned the historic principles of justice.

 CanIndia News
MP Gill’s Anti-Gang Recruitment Bill passes in House of Commons

 The private member’s bill passed the House of Commons by a vote of 240-36 and is now en route to the Senate before being proclaimed law.