Orange – the new black…

   June 12, 2014 

 Ottawa Citizen – Justin Piche
Orange need not be the new black

Piche is at the University of Ottawa and promoting the International Conference on Penal Abolition (U of Ottawa – June 13-15).  He thinks that, with over 10 million in prison world wide,  we have accepted imprisonment as a default solution to a myriad of social problems, building  “an increasingly unjust world where we privatize profits and socialize debts.”  The numbers quoted mostly do not include those held in immigration detention.

 CBC News – John Nicol and Dave Seglins
Jail video police swore ‘did not exist’ released in brutality complaint  

 Udhbirprasaud ​(Joe) Bhikram was charged with uttering death threats but the charges were eventually thrown out.  Bhikram claimed that he was brutalized while in custody and in a court action required a video of the incident, a video police claimed had been erased and swore affidavits to that effect.  Now, in response to a judge’s order and five years later, the video has appeared, though it appears to have critical gaps missing.

Canadian Law Times –   Richard Cleroux
The Hill: Harper ignores Supreme Court in new prostitution law 

 Cleroux says that the biggest critics of this new bill on prostitution are the very women it supposedly protects but worse still, the legislation does not take directions from the previous SSC directions about what the court wanted fixed in any new legislation.

 Medill Notes (Chicago) – Natasha S. Alford
Teens teach each other lessons in justice 

 At Alternatives Inc, in Uptown,  students are trained in RJ approaches to conflict resolution in the Peace Ambassador program.  Restorative justice takes the form of peer mediation, conflict resolution, and general peace-building circles and can involve all the usual school rules problems.  

Guardian (UK) – Rick Muir  
Restorative justice can help heal relationships broken by crime 

 Muir thinks that crime is both a cause and a consequence of broken relationships.  The stats suggest that among young people foster care, father absent homes and abuse are factors in many cases but that the criminal justice system does nothing to address the failure in relationship or the social context from which it arises.  

 N.Y. Times – Matt Appuzo
War Gear Flows to Police Departments 

 Recently, the militarization of police departments has become an issue.  Police adopt approaches that portray military rather than community responses to interventions, tensions and conflicts.  Nowhere is that becoming more evident than in the move to equip police with military surplus:  armoured cars, machine guns, M-16 rifles, grenade launchers;  the new equipment reflects a national increase in the number of SWAT teams and the frequency of call outs.    

 VERA Institute of Justice (US) –
Screening for Human Trafficking: Guidelines for Administering the Trafficking Victim Identification Tool (TVIT)

VERA has provided a means of identifying just exactly who is a trafficked person that can be used by victim service agencies in assessing clients for sex and/or labour trafficking.  The tool includes tips for setting up interviews, and helpful questions along with some definitions of terminology and post interview suggestions.  The document is a 35 page free downloadable pdf available at the link.

 Social Media Frontiers (UK)
NYPD Tells Britain to Embrace Social Media In Order To Beat Gangs 

 Cops from the big apple are offering advice to London Bobbies about how to fight gangs using social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  “Professor David Kennedy, of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said that gangs’ need to brag, and these days that means creating a heavy social media presence, due to the wider audience this platform brings.”   Related article:   Opposing Views    Sarah Fruchtnicht    NYPD Executes Massive Gang Raid Using Millions of Facebook Posts