No deterrence…

  Sept. 10, 2014

 Globe and Mail – Sunny Dhillon
The BC Civil Liberties says that mandatory minimums don’t deter crime

B.C. rights group says mandatory minimum sentences don’t deter crime, disproportionately impact on vulnerable populations and considerably increase the costs of corrections without benefit.  The Canadian Bar Association funded the study and Eric Gottardi, chair of the criminal section of the CBA says that “we need to understand that these policies really, long term, make us all less safe, not more safe.”

 CBC News – Maureen Brosnahan
Prison suicide report focuses on lack of preventative measures  

Corrections is expecting a new report called A Three Year Review of Federal Inmate Suicides to be released today, Wednesday, Sept 10.  The report was prepared by Howard Sapers, the Correctional Investigator.  Sapers looks at almost 30 suicides and why repeated recommendations have not been implemented.    “The fact that recommendations are not being followed is not just counter-intuitive, it’s ridiculous,” says Kim Pate of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies   Related article: CTV News   Nearly half of federal inmate suicides occurred in segregation cells, review finds

 Winnipeg Free Press- Bruce Owen
Inmates lose telephone privacy – Rules relaxed for greater snooping 

Manitoba correctional officers as of Oct. 1 will have the power to record and file all conversations by phone whether the topic involves a crime or not.  The new practice, says government, is meant to help prevent drug trafficking in jail and to prevent three-way calls.  Officials now just need to declare to the inmate, not necessarily the other party at all, that the call is subject to monitoring.  The regulation also applies to the 65% in remand.  Calls to lawyers are exempt and the practice does not apply to federal prisons where the officials must have reasonable grounds to believe a crime is talked about or there is a threat to security.

 ThinkProgress – Nicole Flatow
Mentally Ill Inmates At Michigan Women’s Prison Report They Were Hog Tied Naked, Deprived Of Water 

The American Civil Liberties of Michigan has compiled witness reports from Michigan’s Huron Valley Women’s Prison that testify to deprivation of food and water for extended periods, naked and hog tied inmates, often while mentally ill inmates were in solitary confinement.   A letter from ACLU suggests that “we believe many corrections experts would characterize their (the inmates)  experience as a form of torture.”

 CBS News – John Blackstone
A change of tune for LAPD as community policing makes gains 

Watts, then and now, as LAPD switch tactics to community policing techniques rather than confrontation and escalation.  Though far from perfect, the relationship is much improved over what it was, as the consequences following a recent police killing show.

 Huffington Post (US) – Matt Ferner
World Leaders Condemn Failed Drug War, Call for Global Reform

The Global Commission on Drug Policy wants to treat addiction as a health issue rather than a crime. Global Commission on Drug Policy urged all governments to embrace models that include decriminalization of consumption, legal regulation of drug markets and strategic refocusing of criminal enforcement.  The UN wants to target some of these changes for 2016 U.N. General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS).  Full UN Report:  Taking Control:  Pathways to Drug Policies that Work – 2014   Related article: CBC News – Kathleen Harris     Decriminalize cocaine and psychedelics, global group urges – Commission of ex-world leaders, activists claims more human approach would be fiscally prudent