Results of double bunking…

   May 16, 2014

 Star Phoenix (SK) – Betty Ann Adam
Overcrowding caused 2012 jail death, union official says 

 Bob Bymoen, president of the Saskatchewan Government Employees’ Union, representing the prison guards says that the killing of Elvis Lachance, 28, by a cell mate less than 24 hours after placement in the cell is directly caused by overcrowding.  Police say both men had connections to street gangs and were double bunked.  

 iPolitics – Guest Steve Sullivan
Ottawa and prisons: Talking tough and spending stupid

 Sullivan was Canada’s first victims’ advocate.  It’s not just that the government wants more inmates in prison longer.  It’s a safety issue within the prison and in the public space when they are released without treatment.  What’s more it’s a cost issue.  It costs more to keep an inmate in a higher classification than required.  Then the feds have also gutted the community resources for helping with inmates when released so inmates stay in prison when they could be in the community.  Says Sullivan:  “But the public is poorly served by a government that seems to take a perverse pride in making prisons worse, and by a government that slashes good programs instead of investing in them to protect the public.”

 CBC News
Mental illness in prisons demands study, NDP says 

Two beds in Brockville Forensic Hospital are not enough and hardly answer the myriad of questions around the capacity of the prison system to identify and respond to the mentally ill.  The NDP wants a parliamentary study of the prison system.  Public safety critic Randall Garrison says that 58 suicides while in custody is testimony to the need for solutions, particularly since little has come from the recommendations around the death of Ashley Smith.  

 CTV News (Atlantic)
Cross-Canada tour highlights importance of treating PTSD in first responders 

 First responders are the emergency personnel who are first on the scene of sometimes nasty stuff.  There is increasing concern that they are likely suffering from PTSD from their work.  Tema Conter Foundation, started by first responders, has undertaken a 48 city tour called the Heroes are Human Tour to draw attention to the problem.

 Digital – Pen Canada
Privacy could vanish if cyber-bullying act became law, says PEN Canada 

 The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act (Bill C-13) is about to become law but has heard some surprising opposition in committee.  PEN Canada is suggesting that the Bill goes too far in mingling issues of cyberbullying and privacy and in effect contributes significantly to a surveillance state.   cf also   Related article:  Ottawa Citizen – James Gordon    Cyber-bullying, privacy measures should be dealt with separately

CBC News (SK)  – Bonnie Allen
Sask. women giving ‘Angel Dresses’ to grieving families 

 Here’s an article with a powerful and positive response to grieving  mothers who have loss a child in childbirth.  The strength of community is at the heart of this movement in which brides provide a wedding dress to volunteer seamstresses for a burial dress for a still born or a child who passed away.

 Daytona Beach News Journal – Barney Bishop
Florida reels in prison cost 

 The Florida Smart Justice movement thinks it has achieved a measure of success in responding to prison costs.  While crediting enforcement and tough sentences for a falling crime rate, the movement claims that the success is derived from changing the juvenile system from punitive to preventative and diversion.  Lawmakers are looking now to the adult justice system with a number of changes passed and en route to the governor for signature. – Laura Dimon
A Modern Day Slave Plantation Exists, and It’s Thriving in the Heart of America 

This article is a reflection on the life of Robert King, a Black man, activist for the Black Panther Party, one of the Angola 3, and author who spent 31 years in Angola, 29 of them in solitary.  “We were focused on civil rights, but we didn’t have human rights,” he said.  Now he is 71 and free from Angola where little has changed he says.