Hot knives

July 6, 2013

 CBC News
Do the knives come out when it’s hot?

 Is there such a thing as ‘stabbing weather’?  A CBC analysis of four years in Regina is suggesting that July is the hottest month and the most likely month for a stabbing.  There are likely other factors as well but watch-out in July!

 Border Criminologies – Stephanie J. Silverman
Changes to the Canadian Immigration Detention System

 Silverman, from Human Rights, Security and Crime, Osgood Hall  Law School, explains the changes, and dangers,  brought by Bill C-31, passed in December 2012.  “The Act’s ambiguous definitions and allocation of enhanced discretion and powers to the Canadian Minister of Public Safety raises several sets of questions,” says Silverman.     Bill C-31 Related article: UN paper on Alternatives to Detention of Immigrants in Toronto and Geneva

 South Dakota Public Broadcasting – Amy Varland
Teen Court Gives First-Time Offenders a Second Chance 

 One of twelve teen courts in South Dakota, the founder of the teen court in 1995, Marlene Todd offers her assessment of how RJ diversion helps as peers play the role of attorneys and jurors. (The link offers a 5 minute audio as well.) 

 The Irish Times – Conor Lally
A Dickensian jail of filth, psychological cruelty and abusive physical treatment

 Given the recent report by the Ontario ombudsman on guard violence towards inmates, this article is a timely reminder about what can happen when accountability is taken out of the prison equation. 

 Associated Press – Charles Wilson
US prison warden: Muslims formed gangs when allowed to pray in groups larger than 2

 The prison is under order by a federal judge to make group prayer available to some 42 Muslim inmates.  ACLU lawyers are petitioning the court to rule that the warden is in contempt of the court order and that the security needs do not over-ride the rights to worship.

 Ann (MI) – Kyle Feldscher
CDC: Prescription painkiller deaths among women grew by 400 percent in last decade

 The Center for Disease Control sees an alarming increase in the frequency of emergency treatment and deaths from an overdose of prescription drugs.  The increase seems to relate to the increase in the frequency of prescription among women from 25-54 years of age. The abuse of prescription drugs seems connected as well to the abuse of opioid such as heroin. 

 Truthout – Mike Ludwig
A Culture of Abuse: Why Some Immigrant Rights Advocates Oppose the Senate’s Reform Package

 As the US immigration reform bill – the SAFE Act –  passes the senate and heads to the House of Representatives, some human rights advocates are voicing dissent because of long embedded abuses that will continue given the primary thrust of enforcement.  A path to citizenship over 15 years means effectively that more poor people will pay for medical and social services that none will receive.  Related article: PBS Immigration Detention in the United States

Medscape (UK) – Deborah Brauser
Violent Crime Against Mentally Ill Prevalent, Underreported

 People with severe mental illness are three to seven times more likely than the general population to be a victim of a violent crime but over one third never get reported.  Also, the mentally ill are twice as likely to be a victim of a property crime.  “We think the public health impact of these people being victims is greater than the public health impact of them being aggressors. And we need to make that clearer,” says lead author Hind Khalifeh, MRCPsych, consultant psychiatrist in the Mental Health Sciences Unit at the University College London (UCL) Medical School.  (Ed note: Access to the site requires sign-in but is free.)

 Medscape (UK) – Fran Lowry
Single Dose of ADHD Drug May Help Treat Cocaine Addiction

Methylphenidate is used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).  Physicians at Mount Sion Hospital in NY have found a single oral dose reduces the craving for cocaine and seems to restore some of normal brain circuitry.  Journal of American Medical Association / Mt Sion article