Strain and breakdown…

  Nov. 13, 2013

 Ottawa Citizen – Chris Cobb
‘Tough forensic guy’ John Bradford opens up about his PTSDPsychiatrist who analyzed notorious sex killers broke under strain of graphic video evidence 

 This article is about Canada’s top forensic psychiatrist and the strains that came with professional services around Canada’s most notorious and grisly murderers.  Later diagnosed with PTSD, Bradford acknowledges the break down that followed his viewing the video tapes of Russell Williams’s sexual assaults and describes the personal impact of the work when professional detachment from the crimes failed. 

 Yahoo News (Canada) – Steve Mertl
Judges still resisting Harper government’s tough-on-crime policies 

 This article reviews several incidents in which judges have criticized the tough-on-crime policy of the Harper government.  Additionally, there is a video in which Evan Solomon of CBC Power and Politics and Howard Sapers, the Correctional Investigator, comment on the practice of double bunking (dates from March 2013). – Stephen Maher
Stephen Harper’s silence, Jim Flaherty’s tears and the problem with punishment 

 This article draws a cord through the various reactions to the news of Rob Ford and the reaction / response from some of the leading Conservatives who support Ford.   Maher’s commentary points to the limitations of the government’s tough-on-crime and punishment approach.

 Globe and Mail –
How income inequality hurts every Canadian’s chance of building a better life. 

The article includes a video entitled The Wealth Paradox (3 min 14 secs).   The gap between the middle class and the rich has grown in that the income levels of the middle class are static while the income for the wealthy keeps growing.  So the likelihood is that unchecked the quality of life will deteriorate for large segments of the population. 

 Prison Reform International (PRI)
Protecting children’s rights in criminal justice systems: a training manual and reference point for professionals and policymakers

 “…designed to strengthen the capacity of those involved in working with children involved in the justice process and will be relevant for a wide range of professionals and policymakers” the manual has ten chapters with case studies at the end of each.   There is a related resource also called: Ten Point Plan for Fair and Effective Criminal Justice for Children.

 RJ on line – Blogger Kris Miner
Restorative Justice listening . . . to bare witness.

 The title is a play on words to help focus on the type of listening that Miner suggests is a deeply important part of the circle experience.

 The Chronicle (NC)
A murder transforms woman into criminal justice reformer

 Therese Bartholomew’s life changed in 2003 when a phone call told her that her brother had been murdered.  First a personal speaking tour, then a book and finally a documentary film called:  The Final Gift.  Says Bartholomew:  ““The problem with our criminal justice system is we create abstracts and adversaries. The victim becomes abstract to the offender – the offender really doesn’t see what he or she has done.  …In my case, I really needed to sit in a room … with this person who had hurt me so much, and my family. I needed to see that abstract turn into something real. For me, that was the critical piece.”   Bartholomew’s web site:

 Miami Herald Editorial
Smart justice  OUR OPINION: Consider a plan to reduce both crime and prison costs

Not quite the understanding of SJNC but recognition that least the dual prongs of reduced costs and more effective response to crime are worth pursuing.  Florida has the nation’s third largest prison system and anticipates increased population for the next two years.