Justice and safety…

 Dec. 4, 2013

 Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety (SK)
New organization and website

 This newly formed Centre combines the former Saskatchewan Justice Institute (SJI) and the Canadian Centre for Public Safety and First Responders.  This new organization represents a shift in thinking and a new sort of organization around public safety.  “Overall, Canada needs an independent, third party organization that is responsible for researching, developing and testing tools and programs that will help first responders and other public safety organizations tackle health and well-being, cybercrime, communications and surveillance issues across the country.”  The site has a number of pieces of timely research and analysis as well.   http://www.justiceandsafety.ca/home  

 Toronto Star – Carol Goar
Legal Aid Ontario releases pioneering mental health strategy 

 Indications are that Legal Aid Ontario will move into new territory when the report is finalized.  At the moment, the plan is moving towards public consultations and is proposing a four step strategy for the way Legal Aid will deal with mental health in the justice system.    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/12/03/legal_aid_ontario_releases_pioneering_mental_health_strategy_goar.html   Legal Aid Mental Health Strategy Discussion Paper (a 31 page pdf):    http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/publications/downloads/mentalhealth/Mental%20Health%20Strategy%20consultation%20paper.pdf

 Star Phoenix (SK)
Minimal custody for teens in 2011 freezing death 

 Two years ago a trio of youths chased another into a freezing lake and threatened to beat him should he come out.  The incident followed an all night house party and a fight around leaving the house where there was evidence of cocaine and alcohol use.  The offenders were charged with criminal negligence causing death.    http://www.thestarphoenix.com/health/Minimal+custody+teens+2011+freezing+death/9244590/story.html

 The Nation (US) – Jessica Weisberg
The US and Canada Are Failing Asylum Seekers 

 Weisberg is reflecting on a new Harvard University study in which the Canadian border policy changes over the last year or so are approaching failure to meet international obligations towards refugees.  Canada appears to pass screening obligations to transportation carriers and most refugees do not appear to even get a chance to present their case.    http://www.thenation.com/blog/177427/us-and-canada-are-failing-asylum-seekers  Full pdf (115 pages) : Bordering on Failure: Canada – US Border policy and the Politics of Refuge Exclusion    http://harvardimmigrationclinic.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/bordering-on-failure-harvard-immigration-and-refugee-law-clinical-program.pdf   

 Guardian (UK) – Julian Norman
Isa Muaza’s botched deportation is an inhumane show of power 

 A few days ago, Immigration Minister Theresa May insisted that the UK deport Muaza who was critically ill at the time.  Nigeria refused to allow a private plane hired for the deportation to land and Muaza is now back in the UK.  The incident has sparked bitter criticism of the government and the minister for the exercise of power over blatant humanitarian concerns.     http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/03/isa-muaza-deportation-immigration-inhumane-power-theresa-may 

 N.Y. Times
The Making of the Three Strikes laws

 The Times has produced a 11 ½ video history of the creation of ‘the three strikes and you are out’ laws.  The drive started in California and spread quickly around the US after several very shocking crimes by habitual criminals.  The failure to produce the desired change considers the mass incarceration and the life time incarceration of low level criminals.   http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000002579045/the-making-of-the-three-strikes-laws.html?WT.mc_id=VI-D-I-NYT-MOD-MOD-M334-ROS-1213-HDR&WT.mc_ev=click&WT.mc_c=231735 

 CBC News
Soldier’s death becomes 4th apparent suicide to hit military in a week 

Canada’s record with appropriate and timely mental health treatment for returning veterans is the issue.  The suicide of 46-year-old Master Cpl. Sylvain Lelievre in Quebec is the fourth in a week and raises serious concerns around the mental health of returning veterans and their treatment.  Then, Canada’s most famous PTSD veteran, former General and now Senator Romeo D’Allaire acknowledged that he was dealing with sleep deprivation when he fell asleep at the wheel on Parliament Hill and hit a light post.   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/4th-canadian-soldier-dies-in-apparent-suicide-in-over-a-week-1.2450095    Related article – CTV News    Another Canadian soldier dies of apparent suicide     http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/another-canadian-soldier-dies-of-apparent-suicide-1.1573335  (2min 20 sec video)

 Defense One (US) – Bob Brewin
How the Government Is Handling 700,000 Jailed Veterans 

 A major conference in Washington DC is shedding light on the extent of combat veteran involvement in the US criminal justice system.  Since 2008, the first Veteran’s Court has grown to 130 and the problems of addiction and mental health are front and center.  One in six returning veterans and 81% of the veterans arrested have an addiction problem.    http://www.defenseone.com/management/2013/12/how-government-handling-700000-jailed-veterans/74831/?oref=d-channelriver