Budget cuts, again…

Aug. 22, 2014

 Kelowna Now – Anita Sthankiya
Millions in Budget Cuts to BC’s Anti-Gang Units 

BC has had a very serious gang problem with violence spilling into the streets.  The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit’s (CFSEU) was formed to allow police in different jurisdictions to join together in the anti-gang struggles.  CFSEU “will see its budget slashed by $2.8 million while major crimes, which handles murders and missing persons cases is being slashed by $1.4 million.”  The decision highlights the constant problem of long term funding for policies that work well.  http://www.kelownanow.com/news/bc_news/news/Provincial/14/08/20/Millions_in_Budget_Cuts_to_BC_s_Anti_Gang_Units  Related article: Globe and Mail – Ian Bailey   B.C. cuts anti-gang budget in austerity drive    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-cuts-anti-gang-budget-in-austerity-drive/article20148265

 National Post – Jennifer Hough
RCMP considers outsourcing creation of Harper government’s planned public sex offender registry  

While Canadians await further toughing of sexual offender penalties promised for this fall, the RCMP are looking for a private company to whom they could outsource the tasks around a new and improved offender registry.  Presently the 33,000 names are available only to police but the planning is for a publicly accessible site.  http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/21/rcmp-considers-outsourcing-creation-of-tories-planned-public-sex-offender-registry

 Globe and Mail – Peter Szatmari
Five ways to ease the family stress of a child with a mental-health challenge  

Szatmari reviews the stress involved in raising a child with mental health problems or developmental health problems and looks at the further stress found in navigating the health services that may be needed.  He offers five pieces of advice about coping.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health-advisor/five-ways-to-ease-the-family-stress-of-a-child-with-a-mental-health-challenge/article20077997

 The Atlantic (US) –  Jenny Gold
Where the Police Are Part of Mental-Health Care 

In San Antonio, Texas, a call involving a person named Mason in mental health crisis is more than likely going to a special group of six officers specially trained to cope with this type of distress.  Calling it “smart justice,” the services in the regional municipalities involved acknowledge they are simply making more effective use of the same services that would be used anyway.  It makes a big difference to Mason… http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/08/san-antonio-police-have-radical-approach-to-mental-illness-treat-it/378780  Related article: Politics and City Life (Chicago, IL)  Whet Moser    San Antonio Reduced Its Jail Population By Treating the Mentally Ill   http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/August-2014/San-Antonio-Reduced-Its-Jail-Population-By-Treating-the-Mentally-Ill

 BBC News (UK) – Sima Kotecha
Chris Grayling insists prisons are ‘not in crisis’  

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling knows about the violence in UK prisons but insists there is no crisis.  An admitted shortage of personnel does not dampen his denial of the crisis.  But critics are adamant that the assaults, the attacks on guards, the suicides in recent years are all indicative that the system needs serious fixing.  http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-28810439

 The Economist (UK) –
To have and have not – A disturbing study of the link between incomes and criminal behaviour

The connection between poverty and criminal activity has long been assumed to hold some merit but is often hard to prove.  This article reflects on a longitudinal study from Sweden.  Kids from families with low income were followed into adulthood to see if they were more likely to behave criminally.  There was a surprise for researchers around kids in families whose circumstances improved. http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21613303-disturbing-study-link-between-incomes-and-criminal-behaviour-have-and

 The Oregonian – Brian Denson
Oregon prison tackles solitary confinement with Blue Room experiment  

Snake River Correctional Institute has 216 inmates in solitary where they often spend 23 hours and 20 minutes a day locked in solitary in what is called the Intensive Management Unit.  The prison took some ideas from an ecologist and Evergreen College professor, Nalini Nadkarni, who also identifies herself as a tree researcher, and began to project images from nature on the otherwise sterile walls.  Her ideas are part of a TED talk as well.  http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/08/oregon_prison_tackles_solitary.html   TED talk (with transcript): http://www.ted.com/talks/nalini_nadkarni_life_science_in_prison

 Canadian Resource Center for Victims of Crime (Ottawa)
Grief, Trauma & Healing 

The workshop, jointly sponsored by the Ottawa Victim Services, features Dr. Lori Triano-Antidormi whose infant son was murdered in 1997.   Contact: Email: crcvc@crcvc.ca  Phone: 1.877.232.2610   Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grief-trauma-and-healing-tickets-12683852745