Update from CoSA…

  Mar 18, 2014

 From our friends at CoSA – Susan Love
Circles of Support & Accountability Update

 As many of you have heard, on February 21st CoSA sites across Canada were informed by Correctional Services Canada (CSC) that contracts would not be renewed after March 2014.  After a vigorous letter campaign by CoSA providers and many supporters like you, to key stakeholders, in particular, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, CSC reversed their decision and contracts are now being drawn up for the new fiscal year.  CSC was providing $650,000/yr spread across all CoSA sites in Canada – this is the amount they have agreed to reinstate.  For us in Ottawa, this represents $12,000/yr.  The funds from CSC, together with the 5 year funding 16 CoSA sites have been receiving from the National Crime Prevention Centre, total $2.2M/yr.  The NCPC funding concludes on September 30, 2014, with no option for renewal. 

 The funds from both CSC and NCPC have allowed CoSA sites to operate at capacity – including: hiring at least one full time and one part time staff and rent office space.  This has allowed us to maximize the number of core members (former offenders) we can work with. 

 Although we are very pleased that CSC has agreed to reinstate their funding to us, we are concerned that with the loss of the NCPC funds, which represents approximately 80% of our budget at CoSA-Ottawa, we will be forced to reduce our operations considerably, directly affecting the number of core members we can safely manage.  Although we have been vigorously seeking alternate sources of revenue, fundraising over $15,000 this year, we have found that our mandate does not align with the priorities of most private funding organizations.  If you have any suggestions of possible funding sources, or would like to discuss this, we would love to hear from you.

 Thank you so much for your support, concern and advocacy during this difficult time.

Susan Love, CoSA Program Co-ordinator  slove@cosa-ottawa.ca    tel: 613 288-2284  cell: 613 266-6309   fax: 613 237-6129 

 Canadian Mental Health Association (ON)
The Canadian Psychological Association focuses on criminal justice and mental health 

 The most recent journal of the CPA is dedicated to the intersection of criminal justice and mental health and the introduction is followed by a number of articles dealing with a variety of points of intersection.   https://ontario.cmha.ca/news/the-canadian-psychological-association-focuses-on-criminal-justice-and-mental-health  Full Report from CPA:  http://www.cpa.ca/docs/File/Psynopsis/2014/Psynopsis_Winter2014.pdf

 Comox Valley News – Scott Standfield
Visiting judge surprised by Community Justice Centre methods 

 Judge Ross Green of Saskatchewan was recently the presenter at the Iona Campagnolo Lecture on Restorative Justice on Thursday at North Island College. Green said:  “When you’re provided a context and environment in which truth-telling can occur, and people are communicating with each other, very often the vengeance or the retribution being sought by complainants, or the huge amount of shame sometimes felt by respondents, can just melt away.”     http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/250667691.html  

 Politix – Greg Zeman
Uncovered Documents: California Police Using Powerful Surveillance Tools with No Oversight 

 The ACLU has uncovered a practice by California police agencies involving the use of a ‘stingray,’ an electronic device that mimics a cell tower and allows tracking of targeted individuals through cell phones.  The device was supposed to help with terrorist but is now used for normal police operations.  Part of the problem is an apparent subterfuge to acquire the device in the first place.  http://politix.topix.com/story/10970-uncovered-documents-california-police-using-powerful-surveillance-tools-with-no-oversight?minipoll=1  

 My Northwest. Com – Tim Haeck
Seattle research explores adult lives of gang members 

 The article reports on a rare longitudinal study tracking the impact of youthful gang membership on adult lives.  The study began while in grade five and now most subjects from then poor neighbourhoods are in their 40’s.  Gang members were more likely to have, among other problems, health problems such that gang membership could be view as a public health concern.  http://mynorthwest.com/11/2475504/Seattle-research-explores-adult-lives-of-gang-members     Abstract for the full report:(Membership needed to access the report) http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301821  

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
UK Justice Policy Review 3 

 This report, the third tracking developments over a year in justice and prison issues, has a focus on who makes money from the current system.  You may not be surprised to learn that multi-national, private companies are under contract with the government for services valued at almost £600 million or 40% of the money spent.  What is equally interesting is the different faces presenting, all connected to a couple of core companies – Serco and G5S.    http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/publications/uk-justice-policy-review-volume-3    Full report:  (32 page downloadable PDF) http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/sites/crimeandjustice.org.uk/files/UK%20Justice%20Policy%20Review%203_0.pdf