Beyond the crime blotter…

Jan. 30, 2014

 London Free Press (ON) – Jennifer O’Brien
LONDON GANGS: Beyond the (crime) blotter 

O’Brien notes improved enforcement and then asks what else needs to happen to address the gang issue.  She roams a little to five  people active in the field to seek out answers about how communities can to go beyond policing alone.

Ted Talks Video
Anne Milgram: Why smart statistics are the key to fighting crime 

Former Attorney General of the state of New Jersey and a former federal prosecutor, Anne Milgram wants to change the way the criminal justice system works by making it data and analysis driven to predict violent behaviour and by providing the system with a predictive tool.  

The Justice Gap (UK)
What do victims want from restorative justice? 

RJ is attracting a strong renewed interest throughout Europe.  A new two year project undertaken by RJ organizations from five countries linked by the Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) wants to identify how to respond to victims and at once encourage professionals in the various RJ practices.  Report from IARS:

 The Guardian World News (UK) – Helen Davidson from Australia
Prison system is almost full, and overflowing in some states, report says – Productivity Commission report also details the cost of corrective services and the high Indigenous incarceration rate

The story sounds hauntingly familiar.  The prisons are full and there is a bias towards Aboriginals!  Costs vary by as much as five-fold from state to state and the secure prisons are at 99% capacity, with Aboriginals who make up 2% of the population constituting 27.5% of the prison population (almost a rate of 2400 per 100,000 imprisoned.)  

 Baltimore Sun (US) – Barbara Sugarman Grochal 
Restorative justice for all – The reparative system of reform benefits both the offender and victim, yet it is too rarely used 

A director of conflict resolution programs at the University of Maryland School of Law, the author asks an increasingly more frequent question: if RJ works and satisfies the community, why are we so reluctant to use it?  Grochal relates the issues to the practice of zero tolerance in the schools as well.  

 San Francisco Chronicle Gate – Joe Garofoli
How the income disparity gap could start closing in California soon 

California, like a few other states, has taken the matter of income disparity into its own hands by starting an initiative to raise the minimum wage to $10 / hour.  If the gathering of signatures is able to total 500,000 by next June, the initiative will be on the fall ballot.   Related article: National Journal – Clara Ritger   Obamacare Will Reduce Income Inequality, but Quietly article:  E-News Park Forest, Ill   National Nurses United to President Obama: Steps to Fight Inequality

 The Conversation (UK) –
Prison suicides betray problems with our criminal justice system 

 In 2013 in the UK there were 199 deaths in prison, 70 of which were suicides.  Noting that offenders have a much higher health care need, and that there are higher levels of substance abuse among them, the population is ageing and therefore one can expect rising rates of death within the walls. 

 National Newswatch – Canadian Press
Bieber deported? White House has to answer 

 When the petitions on the White House website go beyond 100,000 signatures the White House has to offer the public an answer on the petition.  The site has reached that mark in a petition to deport and deny the green card to naughty kid Justin Bieber.