Violence in Youth Centre

  June 26, 2014

 Toronto Star – Patty Winsa
Self-defence training, protective equipment ordered for youth jail guards after attacks, union says 

The Roy McMurtry Youth Centre in Brampton has had several recent incidents of violence in which guards and youth workers were hurt, prompting the decision to better train and equip the custodial staff.   Part of the problem lies in the fact that some of the inmates are actually adults (over 18) and held for charges stemming from when they were youth (12-17).  Built for 192, the facility only houses some 70 youths but has been a concern around violence since it was built in 2009.   Related article:  The Crime Report (US) – Tara Tabachnick    The ‘Tragedy’ of Jailing Kids

 Ottawa Citizen – Kathryn May
Justice department aims to cut $52 million in legal services 

The federal government cuts are in the face of steadily increasing legal costs, particularly from outsourcing to private legal firms.  Employing about 2600 in house, the Justice Department is looking to reduce its numbers by 65 lawyers, in addition to the recent cut of 100 or so.  The key goal is to reduce the demand for legal services, a project that the lawyers say has no alternative but increased work load on those remaining.

 Toronto Star – David Bruser News Reporter, Jesse McLean Investigative News reporter, Andrew Bailey Data Analyst
Dangers of off-label drug use kept secret 

Off-label drugs are drugs that are not approved by Health Canada for a particular condition or age group.  The number of incidents of un-anticipated side effects with these off-label prescriptions – nearly 400 cases from 2010 to 2013 – has been growing but Health Canada does not release the information though the agency collects the data.

 Toronto Star – Rachel Mendleson
Ontario’s eldercare laws under review as dementia rates rise 

When an elderly person has dementia and has not signed any power of attorney, the decisions governing the care of the person can get complicated fast.  A hard-to-understand power of attorney process and the laws themselves are difficult to understand and provide poor navigation when there is no one person with the power of attorney.  The Law Commission of Ontario is launching a review of the legislation.

 Juristat Canada – Mary Allen
Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2012  

Hate crimes were marginally higher in 2012, the latest year for which we have stats.  The crimes were about 51% race or ethnically based, about 30% religious based and about 14% gender based.  The majority of incidents were against property and consisted of vandalism.

 Huffington Post – Daniel Altman
Global Day of Protest against the Drug War  

June 26 is the UN Day against drug abuse and international trafficking.  At first, one may think this day is most worthy but there are considerable variations in the forty year old war on drugs, including executions and torture around enforcement.  Altman hopes that we can spend the day looking to how to improve our own response to punitive laws in favour of a health approach.  The futures of many young Canadians are forever changed because they are the ‘low-hanging fruits’ for marijuana enforcement.

 U.S. Congress
H.R.3401 – Restorative Justice in Schools Act of 2013 

US Representative and Democrat Steve Cohen from Tennessee has introduced a bill to establish RJ practices in the schools.  The Bill, an amendment to the 1965 Elementary and Secondary School Act,  will allow federal funds to be used for training and education in restorative justice approaches.