April 24, 2014

Northumberland View
Statistics Canada: Firearms and violent crime in Canada, 2012 

 The article, based on Juristat statistics in 2012 (excluding Quebec stats) traces the use of firearms in violent crimes, by type of crimes involved and by provinces and region as where there are high numbers.  The article seems to ignore the use of other types of weapons except to report the comparison numbers between firearms and other weapons.  In the USD there are confirmed reports (as offered in communiqué) that knives are the weapons of choice over firearms.   Related article:  Yahoo News – Steve Mertl   Gun crime has fallen sharply in last few years, new StatsCan figures show   Related article: Stats Canada   Firearms and violent crime in Canada, 2012

 Calgary Herald – Jason Van Rassel
Mental illness and the courts: some context 

 The article itself is in the context of the recent killing of five young university students by another student.  Immediately questions surfaced about the mental condition of the offender.  The author locates the context and then publishes again a lengthy article called the crime of insanity examining the processes around the NCR defence and its impact on the people involved.

 Humber College – Sara Chapel
Humber professor launches new book about gangs in Canada 

 Mark Totten, professor of criminal justice, former John Howard worker, and a twenty year veteran of connecting to and studying the gangs of Canada, has a series of ten chapters of first hand stories from gang members in their own words.  Totten concludes the announcement for his book called Gang Life with some very sobering words:  “Kids aren’t born bad – they’re not born monsters,” he says. “The reason they do terrible things is because of the adults around them. They have to be held accountable, of course, but the current emphasis on more jails and longer sentences isn’t working. We need to invest more in helping high risk families – and if we cut the rate of child maltreatment, we’ll dramatically reduce violence.”

 Yahoo News – Dylan Stableford
What life is like in solitary confinement…

 This article is at once a description of solitary and an announcement of a new PBS video produced with unusual access to the Maine state maximum security prison’s solitary confinement cells.  The video is called “Solitary Nation” and is due to air shortly. 

 New York Times – Editorial
Abu Ghraib, 10 Years Later  

 The controversy around the torture of POW captured by Canadian Forces and handed over to the Afghani government was part of this story.  While the prison is now closed for fear it would be over-run by Sunni rebels, the US Fourth District Court is hearing a lawsuit from some of the victims of Abu Ghraib for incidents of torture involving a private contractor.  The court will decide on an appeal of a previous ruling about if the civil lawsuit can go forward.    Related article:  Digital Journal –Judge’s order on CIA secret prisons released in full 

 Penal Reform International – Rights of the Child
“Access to justice is not an additional right – it is a prerequisite for the enjoyment and protection of all other rights” 

 In the light of the recent International Day of the Rights of the Child, PRI is concerned about the number of children deprived of their liberty and the circumstances under which they are held.  The sessions focused on the needed international norms and questions around the mechanism for access to justice for children.  The gathering also considered a complaints mechanism for children called the Third Optional Protocol.

 ShareChat (NZ)
Equity crowd funding, latest step in much-hyped social capital, carries risks, high failure rate 

 New Zealand has just legalized social capital investment or equity crowd source funding.  The article reviews major crowd source funding companies in UK, US and suggests that less than 50% success rate attends them.

 Trivia: Here’s a departure for trivia.  Lots of our readers give talks on RJ or write about RJ.  Here’s a site filled with quotes which can be inserted for pleasure or appropriate illustration.  Restorative Justice Kids Quotes   (Follow the links for other topics as well.)