Two tier policing?

  May 20, 2014

 Toronto Star – Betsy Powell
Two-tiered policing inevitable, criminologist says 

 A number of jurisdictions and commentators are suggesting that the costs of policing are unsustainable and that therefore the work of policing needs division into what requires the highly trained, well armed officer and what can be done by an officer without the heavy investment in training and equipment of our present front line.  Police officer turned criminologist Rick Parent at Simon Fraser University says that “There are different duties within policing that probably don’t require this five-star, highly trained, highly equipped, highly armed police officer, in fact you don’t need a gun to do a lot of police duties.”  Toronto Police Services board are currently facing over $1 billion in expenses and involved in a controversy over off-duty paid policing. 

 Toronto Star – Editorial
Peter MacKay should heed evidence, not eliminate it

 The Star’s editorial is reacting to the news that the federal government is cutting $1.2 million – 20% of the total – from the justice department’s research budget.  “The choice represented by the latest research cuts is not one of fiscal prudence or conservative values, as it is being framed, but once again of planned ignorance now and for the future. And so we will make less informed decisions and be less informed about their high-stakes consequences. What a shame.”

 Globe and Mail – Gabreille Scrimshaw
My sister and I know it: We need an inquiry into murdered aboriginal women 

 A guest columnist, Scrimshaw is a co-founder of the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada and offers a personal perspective on the murdered and missing Aboriginal women.  She points out that the Commons Special Committee also recommended a national inquiry but that recommendation was deleted from the final published report.  Additionally, the numbers in the recent RCMP report have doubled what was suspected, putting end to the notion that there was any comprehensive response or tracking for the problem.    Related article:  Toronto Star – Tim Harper    Six questions on murdered and missing aboriginal women that must be answered  

 Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research & Howard League Scotland – Kelly Hannah-Moffat 
Problems Implementing Human Rights in Prison Practice  

 Hannah-Moffat is a criminologist at the University of Toronto and was the guest speaker at a meeting of the SCCJR .  The high lights of the speech (not available in its entirety) focused on human rights of prisoners and suggested that, as in the case of Ashley Smith, having laws on the books is inadequate in itself for human rights to prevail.   

 San Francisco Gate – Meg Kinnard
South Carolina prisons agency appeals mental health ruling 

 Judge Michael Baxley ruled in favour of two groups suing the corrections authority over alleged constitutional violations, including a lack of effective counselling and overreliance on tactics such as isolation and pepper spray to subdue unruly, mentally ill prisoners.  Baxley also refused to re-consider his ruling, leading to an appeal by the corrections authorities. 

 Regents School of Austin, TX    2014 Senior Thesis
Incarceration Nation – The Case for Restorative Justice and Reducing Juvenile Imprisonment by David Reinis 

 This is a 38 minute video featuring a young man who links the current justice system for juveniles, the impact of DNA on crime and the processes of restorative justice.  Reinis advocates imprisonment of juveniles as a last resort only and offers a scholarly and comprehensive analysis in his fascinating and insightful presentation.  The 20 minute presentation is followed by a Q&A.