The real lesson from the US?

   Feb. 4, 2014

Toronto Star – Jennifer Carlson
America’s cautionary tale of mandatory minimums 

 There is surprising support from Republicans and conservatives for sentencing reform in the US.  Lessons for us in Canada?  The fall in crime rates and the huge increase in imprisonment have given rise to concerns other than the usual ‘tough-on-crime’ conclusions.  All political factions are recognizing a financially bloated justice system in an age when the state of the economy is replacing fear of crime in the minds of the average voter.   Related article: ACLU – Two Steps Forward, One Step Back    Related article: Mintpress – Carey L. Biron   US States Leading Fight Against Over-Incarceration 

 Toronto Star – Tonda MacCharles
Security officials deny violating Canadians’ privacy in airport operation 

 Two top security officials appeared before a Senate Committee to defend the gathering of data from unsuspecting Canadians at various airports in Canada.  They suggest that if the interception is restricted to ‘metadata’ then they are not violating the law, even that they are authorized by law, a point on which the privacy commissioner disagrees.

 Toronto Star
New prostitution laws to be introduced before December deadline 

 Federal Minister of Justice Peter MacKay says that the new legislation around prostitution will be ready well before the December 2014 deadline, even though there needs be consultation with the provinces.  

 Government of British Columbia
Second Justice Summit Report

 Convened by the provincial government under The Justice Reform and Transparency Act (2013), the 46 page report of the sessions held in November 2013 has a Values and Vision document, a report on identifying gaps with reality and a series of recommendations about how best to close those gaps.  The report also has a number of Appendices identifying participants and preliminary objectives reports. (US)
Statistics on Women in the Justice System 

 The report (2012) by a commercial site is largely using US Bureau of Justice statistics and the report connects the information to the Bureau of Justice stats.  The report provides offense information on state and federal inmates as well as health and re-entry info.  US Bureau of Justice site:

 Newsmax – Bloomberg News
IMF’s Lagarde Calls for Broad Cooperation on Wealth Gap

 The International Monetary Fund wants ‘a new multilateralism’ hat is non-negotiable  to address the growing income disparity.  Lagarde references high debt and banking stability but also suggests a new context – adjusting to a growing and aging population, overcoming global warming and reducing income inequality.

University of Toronto – Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies
“Losing Our Balance: Old and New Directions in Canadian Criminal Justice Policy” 
Presented by Professor Anthony Doob, Emeritus Professor

Thursday February 6th, 2014
4:30 pm to 7:00 pm

University of Toronto
Kruger Hall Commons
Woodsworth College
119 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A9 


Attendance is free of charge but registration is required.

Please RSVP by  Wednesday February 5th, 2014 to