Victims’ rights extension

 July 12, 2013

 CBC News
Advocates at odds over victims’ rights bill 

 The federal government consultation on victims’ rights has had an extension of deadline for submission and participation but it also has had a considerable controversy over the measures already known about the bill.  Even victims rights group are divided and the federal ombudsperson for victims, Sue O’Sullivan, has thirty recommendations for the bill.  Catherine Lattimer of John Howard thinks that giving victims access to every stage of the justice process is likely to clog the system. 

 CTV News – Angela Mulholland 
Toronto Board of Health approves report supporting safe-injection sites 

 The Board of Health has approved the report suggesting a safe injection site along the lines of the Vancouver approach.  Proponents say that a safe site would help reduce deaths from overdose, reduce the danger around needle disposal, and make communities safer.  There is still some controversy over whether the sites reduce property crime and a criticism that such sites also need to work on getting people off drugs as well.

 Montreal Gazette – Chinta Puxley, Canadian Press
Manitoba Tory bill would strip cyberbullies of electronics, force parents to act

 A private member’s bill from the Conservative Manitoba Education critic tries to legislate a solution to cyberbullying by confiscating computers used and allow victims to get protective orders while exposing parents of bullies to fines if the parents knew of the activity. The bill appears to have little chance of passing into law under the province’s NDP government who introduced their own measures some time ago.  Related article:   Goertzen introduces cyber-bullying legislation that returns power to powerless

 Vancouver Sun – Zoe McKnight 
‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery gets approval for transfer to Canadian prison 

 Emery was convicted of selling marijuana seeds through his mail order business, extradited to the US and sentenced to five years.  US authorities have now approved his transfer to Canada for the remainder of his sentence.  The decision is now waiting for Vic Toews, or given his resignation on Monday past, his successor to approve and implement.  Toews’ history on such approvals is not good.  Government normally has 90 days for the approval process. 

Sydney Morning Herald – Mark Baker
Locked away without hope

 “He is receiving treatment as a victim of torture and trauma and weeps uncontrollably in sessions with psychologists. They warn he’s a suicide risk.” The Australian Security Intelligence Organization has concluded, without revealing why, that he is a threat to national security and he, now 45, could be held for a life sentence.  A court review of his detention, along with 50 others in similar circumstances, may be without effective results since the court can not order the ASIO to do anything and the ASIO are saying nothing about these cases.

 Huffington Post – Pierre R. Berastaín
Restorative Justice Behind Prison Walls 

 Here’s a new side to RJ.  The inmates themselves, mostly lifers, in MCI Norfolk Prison organized, planned and delivered a RJ retreat to other inmates in which the purpose was to invite rehabilitation, to mend harm and promise communities inside and outside the walls to live more honourably.  Parents of murdered children spoke to the assembly of survivors and victims of crime, inmates, judges, law enforcement officials, spiritual leaders.

 The Rockport Pilot (Texas) – Charles Stewart
America’s cynical growth industry: private prisons 

 The US debate around the immigration reform has always had the shadow of private prisons looming over the opinions voiced.  This article names names and amounts of financial support from CCA and Geo – the two largest private prison corporations – to the prominent politicians vocal about the reform process.   Related article on Serco, an Australian and International private prison corporation: Herald Sun News (Australia): Gemma Jones   Asylum budget under pressure 

 CTV News
Did CIA prison spawn top-secret vacuum cleaner from hands of a terrorist?

 What to do with a terrorist, imprisoned in a secret CIA prison in Poland,  who needs to be sane in order to charge and put him on trial?  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11, is also a mechanical engineer, asked if he could re-design your typical vacuum cleaner.  The results of the new design are top secret.

 Guardian (UK) – Peter Ship
How to make human trafficking a priority for law enforcement agencies

 Police reduce crime through intelligence and prioritizing specific crime activity.  Estimates suggest that there are over 10,000 slaves in the UK but the crime slips under the radar.  Raising public awareness and police agencies targeting the crime would help.

 Counsel and Heal Mental Health – Christine Hsu
Yoga Improves Mental Health Behind Bars, Prisoner Study

 An Oxford University study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research says that there is evidence that Yoga, after as little as ten weeks, can provide inmates with reduced stress levels and give greater accuracy in scores of computerized testing for control of attention and impulse behaviour.