Bonding through bars…

   Dec. 30, 2013

 Bonding through bars 
Giving voice to the silenced children of imprisoned parents

 A five minute Youtube video in which parents recall the anguish of being separated from their children by imprisonment.  The video is an outcome from the International Research Roundtable held at the Peter Wall Institute for Research at UBC, May 2013.  Related article:  Samantha Sarra    Children of a broken system

 Edmonton Journal – Otiena Ellwand 
Cree brothers band together to crack code of silence in Hobbema 

The reserve once had thirteen gangs with about 300 members and a population of 15,000. plagued by gang activity and violence.  Two Cree brothers, both RCMP officers are trying to make a difference by “being around when they are not needed.” 

 Sacramento Bee (CA) –  Randy Pench
Sentencing commission, suggested in Sacramento, faces long odds

The notion that sentence reform is at the heart of the reform of the mass incarceration is staggering a little as hopes for its implementation diminish.  Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, says “These are emotional issues, and to have politics infused in all of our decision-making does not create the most sound public policy.”  

 CBC News
Elderly patient Tadeusz Czubak discharged to empty house not a ‘one-off’ case 

Ambulance personnel asked a next door neighbour to check occasionally on Czubak, aged 89, who was suffering from blood clots and an infected knee.  The neighbour found him collapsed on the staircase.  “The seniors’ advocacy group CARP says the health-care system is too fragmented, causing vulnerable patients like the elderly to fall through the cracks as they transfer from hospitals to other points of care.”

Toronto Star – Laura Kane
Is pedophilia a sexual orientation? 

CAMH Dr. James Cantor has researched the issue of pedophilia for over a decade and is suggesting that rather than a psychological disorder, pedophilia is a sexual orientation. Between 1 and 5% of males are permanently sexually attracted to children.  The evidence seems to suggest an atypical wiring in the brain.   

 Law Times (Canada) – Michael McKiernan
Public input integral for real equal justice

Calling the access to justice “abysmal” former deputy attorney general and chair of the bar association Access to Justice Committee John Sims wants the public to engage extensively in the question, suggesting that none of the reports 31 objectives will be met unless public outrage insists.   Full Report:  170 page downloadable pdf   Equal Justice: Balancing the Scale  

 Sun Journal (Maine, US) – Editorial
Affluenza defense highlights disparity in U.S. sentencing 

A ten year probation with a year in treatment at parental expense for drunk driving involving four teen deaths and a fifth paralyzed has begun a conversation about discrepancies in sentencing, especially in the context of race.  The same judge, a year earlier,  had sentenced a 14 year old Black boy to 10 years in jail for punching a man who struck his head in the fall and later died.   Related article:  Poughkeepsie News (NY) – Rekha Basu   ‘Affluenza’ excuses crime; poverty gets you prison  

  Shreveport (Louisiana) – Fred Van Liew
Try to be as good as good old Mr. Scrooge 

Van Liew offers a reflection on “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens and invites us to see Scrooge as a RJ figure who recognizes the multiple errors of his ways and does in fact faithfully embrace an alternative.  The reflection focuses on Tiny Tim and the children of imprisoned parents.   

 Huffington Post (US) – Hispanically Speaking News
New ICE Deportation Statistics Are No Cause for Celebration

 Here’s a year end analysis of the removals numbers and the circumstances surrounding the reasons for removal.  Overall, the rate of removal is down 10% but the overwhelming majority have no criminal records, and are not a threat to offend or a security threat.