Spousal rights…

 April 8

 Canadian Press – Terry Pedwell
Spousal exemption an obstacle, says MacKay 

 Under Canadian law, spouses do not have to testify against the other spouse.  Exceptions are for sexual assault and cases involving children.  Justice Minister Peter MacKay has pronounced the exemption “outdated” at a recent Ottawa victims of crime conference.   The provision of the new Victims legislation has drawn little fire from defense lawyers because it appears to a relatively little used recourse.  http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2014/04/07/spousal-exemption-an-obstacle-says-mackay/#.U0L_TFfAswJ  

 Toronto Star – Editorial
Ontario must target violence in its jails

 Incidents of violence in Ontario’s jails have jumped by almost one third in the last year.  The government has long had warning about the violence, deriving largely from over-crowding and long in need of a fix.  Critics are doubtful, though, that two new facilities will in themselves solve the violence problem.   http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2014/04/07/ontario_must_target_violence_in_its_jails_editorial.html

 The Manitoban – Tariq Sohail
Canada should rethink tough-on-crime strategy 

 The article in the University of Manitoba campus paper questions the persistent reliance on the ‘tough-on-crime’ strategy in the face of lower crime rates, citing as examples of the cracks in the approach the US Republican changing views on sentencing and prisons.  http://www.themanitoban.com/2014/04/canada-rethink-tough-crime-strategy/19877  

 Globe and Mail – Sean Fine
Convicted criminals to contribute to cost of victims’ rights bill 

 No one is saying how much, but following the Victims Rights legislation, convicted criminals will be expected to pay their part.  Likewise, Peter MacKay is not saying how much the government’s bill is going to cost the taxpayer.  It seems that the mandatory Victim Surcharge fines, which judges have resisted, were the game plan for the restitution provisions of the bill. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-mum-on-price-tag-for-victims-bill-of-rights/article17865607

 Canadian Law Times – Editorial: Glenn Kauth
Just the facts, please 

 Would you believe deliberate misrepresentation on the part of the lawyers for the Canadian government and immigration to keep immigrant applicants locked up in Canada?  Here’s a case the editor felt was significantly objectionable to merit an editorial commentary.  A federal judge, noting that the misrepresentations were “very disturbing,” ordered a new panel to hear admissibility arguments.http://www.lawtimesnews.com/201404073895/commentary/just-the-facts-please?utm_source=responsys&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CLNewswire_20140407

 Toronto Star – Jennifer Pagliaro
Chief Blair proposes fee increase to improve police check backlog 

 Under pressure to improve the wait time for the vulnerable persons background check for students and volunteers in particular, Blair is proposing an increase from $50 to $65 for most and $15 to $20 for volunteers.  Blair is estimating approximately 13 hires for $1 million to clear the backlog and reduce wait time to a maximum of two weeks.  http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2014/04/08/chief_blair_proposes_fee_increase_to_improve_police_check_backlog.html

 Digital Journal.com – Karen Graham
Montana State Prison sued over treatment of mentally ill 

 Three minute interviews appear to be the basis for the diagnosis of ‘malingering’ and the prelude to denial of medication even in cases of well documented mental illness.  Charges included prolonged isolation of inmates.  The allegations are directed against both the Montana State Prison and the Montana State Hospital.   http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/politics/montana-state-prison-sued-over-treatment-of-mentally-ill/article/379943#ixzz2yIiCycuC  

 Star Ledger (N.J.) – Peggy McGlone
Newark student’s anti-bullying video selected as finalist in national contest 

 High schooler Eric Arce has produced a 2 minute video that tries to articulate the potential consequences of cyberbullying.  He has done well enough to be a contender in a national video contest.  The link has the video for viewing.  http://www.nj.com/education/2014/04/newark_students_anti-bullying_video_selected_as_finalist_of_national_contest.html 

Washington Post – Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News
Report: Jails House 10 Times More Mentally Ill than State Hospitals 

 Gold is quoting a report from the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs’ Association which says that there are 35,000 in state mental hospitals but 356,268 in prison with diagnosed mental illnesses. Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, a psychiatrist and lead author of the report, says: “We’ve basically gone back to where we were 170 years ago.”   http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/report-jails-house-10-times-more-mentally-ill-than-state-hospitals/2014/04/08/96b22836-bf04-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_story.html    Full report with executive summary and recommendations:  http://www.tacreports.org/treatment-behind-bars