Youth violence as a health issue

 Sept. 8, 2013

 Winnipeg Free Press – Joel Schlesinger 
Emergency intervention: Dr. Carolyn Snider is leading a research project that could help stem the tide of violence on Winnipeg’s mean streets 

 What happens when you start to treat violence, especially gang violence, as a health issues?  Snider has attracted limited funding for a research project involving 180 youth.  “Snider hopes to build on this initial success with the more in-depth pilot program this fall. If it is successful, the program could lay the groundwork for a new national standard of care for young people who suffer injuries from violence.”  

 Toronto Star – Linda Diebel
Mother works to make fighting gun violence national priority 

 In December 2003, Joan Howard’s son, Kempton, aged 24, was killed by a bullet to the head.   Since then, 166 people his age and under have been murdered, 72 of them teenagers.  This summer, Joan Howard canvassed house-to-house to gather signatures for national action to close off the pipeline of illegal guns coming into Canada.  “It’s only black on black violence. Why should we care?” she said Thursday, to describe the attitude she sees. 

 Globe and Mail – Kim Mackrael
MacKay vows review of Canada’s bail-granting rules

 Canada’s new Justice Minister, Peter MacKay, says the federal government will look at the way the bail process works.  From 2000 – 2010, the number held in remand has doubled and has contributed significantly to the court backlogs.  As many as two thirds of those in jail at any time are under remand in provincial and municipal jails. 

Toronto Star – Kamila Hinkson
Stephen Harper says tougher laws coming for child sex offences 

 On Thursday past (Sept. 5), in Toronto, Harper announces an intent to introduce new penalties for child offences, to make the sentences consecutive rather than concurrently and to force spouses to testify.  The intent is to make the changes applicable to child porn as well and to any offences involving multiple victims.

 Globe and Mail Editorial
A lesson for Canada as the U.S. turns against mandatory minimums 

 The key to the US ‘war on drugs’ has been the mandatory minimums that removed discretion from judges and resulted in a policy of mass incarceration.  The premise, in the US and Canada, is that jail is the primary response to crime, however minor the offense or circumstances.

 Restorative Justice in British Columbia (RJ in BC)

 This link is to a page with recommended reading in restorative justice.  The latest addition to the reading page is an article on shame and shaming but there are several other links as well.  You can request to get on their mailing list for notices of activities in BC and other helpful connections.

 Guardian (UK) – Zoie O’Brien 
Public asked to shape law and order policy 

 Here’s a novel approach for democracy – the public is invited to suggest how those charged with community safety should spend their time protecting the citizens. The Community Safety Partnership, which includes the police, probation workers, Epping Forest District Council and other agencies, is asking residents to outline their priorities.  Here’s the link for the survey itself: 

 People’s World – John Bachtell
Dream 9 recasts immigration fight with bold border action

 The Dream 9 are nine young people who grew up in the US but whose parents were undocumented.  They deliberately left the US and then attempted to return requesting humanitarian entry to be re-united with family.  Immediately arrested, the Nine were jailed, one put in solitary for starting a hunger strike when refused outside contact.  Since released, here is their ‘inside’ story.

 Las Vegas Sun – Associated Press
New social network for law enforcement to launch

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton are ready to launch Blueline, a social media site for police officers across the country.  The site will go live in late October at the annual meeting of the Association of Police Chiefs.  Said Bratton:  “Our intent is to have officers locate their counterparts and closely interact with each other on a number of topics such as gangs and counterterrorism as well as share their best practices and strategies.”

 Toronto Star
Toronto mom sentenced to 6 years for daughter’s death 

 Sabrina Siconolfi, a 34 year old mother of three other children, was convicted of criminal negligence causing the death of her two year daughter, Sakina Abdurahman.  With reference to the brusing on the child’s body, Crown attorney Dominique Kennedy said:  This is not a one-time mistake. This is not a slip-up. This is not an impulsive act. This is something that occurred over a long period of time.”