Victims rights still an issue…

   April 6, 2014

 Globe and Mail – Sean Fine
Victims rights bill doesn’t live up to its name, critics say 

 Critics say that the bill is bogus because it does not give victims the right to legally enforceable rights and remedies by court access if their rights are abused by the system.  Lori Triano-Antidormi, a psychologist in Hamilton, and well know victims advocate, said the bill may create false hopes in victims about their right to participate in decisions.   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Sean Fine   Harper lifts curtain on victims bill of rights

 Toronto Star – Donovan Vincent
Chaplain Dan Haley’s house of forgiveness 

 Convicted murderer Ronald Gourgon has some medical problems that have led to his release to die in a little more dignity than a prison would afford.  The Peterborough respite house for convicted criminals is where chaplain Dan Haley provides inmates and CSC with an opportunity for compassionate hospice release in the final days.  The article has a four minute video at the link.    Related article: Toronto Star – Donovan Vincent   Greying inmate population strains Canadian prisons

 Huffington Post (US)
Are We Torturing The Mentally Ill?  

 “Zoo keepers,”  says Dr. James Gilligan, clinical professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine and adjunct professor in the School of Law at New York University, “are not allowed to keep zoo animals in the kind of housing that we put human beings in.”  He has in mind as the worst examples the LA County Jail and Rikers Island in New York.   Related article: Mother Jones –  Dana Liebelson    Lawsuit Alleges Cruel and Unusual Conditions for Mentally Ill in Montana Prison

 University of Exeter (UK) – Professor Huw Williams
Repairing Shattered Lives:  Brain injury and its implications for criminal justice 

 This 36 page down-loadable pdf is focused on Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and the implications of trauma on justices processes, especially developmental maturity.  The study reviews the current literature and makes recommendations.  The study applies to both genders and suggest an epidemic of ABI at he moment,  “The consequences of brain injury include loss of memory, loss of concentration, decreased awareness of one’s own or others emotional state, poor impulse control, and, particularly, poor social judgement.”

 Victoria Advocate (Texas) – J.T. Turner
Crime Prevention: Senior Safety 

 This article has a series of helpful suggestions about senior citizen safety, given that they are generally more fearful of crime than actual victims of crime.  The advice includes around the house measures, when the house is empty and while out doing chores.  The article also touches on scams.

 Aljazeera – Julia Parnell
Restoring Hope 

 The article describes an incident using restorative justice in New Zealand under the Maori model of community justice.  The incident was a brutal and violent attack by a young offender who also had a life partner and a child.  The encounter was prompted by research for a documentary film but left a deep impression on author / film maker Parnell. 

 N.Y. Times – Michael Winerip
De Blasio Setting Up a Test: Prison Reformer vs. Rikers Island

 N.Y. Mayor De Blasio has just hired a new corrections commission in 67 year old Joseph Ponte, a man who brought serious reform to Maine state correctional institutions.  The two major reforms he pursues are the use of solitary and the way the mentally ill are treated.  The Rikers Island complex is 6 times the size of what he left in Maine and critics charge Rikers is much more violent.  There is a five minute video at the link.