Cell phones…

    Dec 12, 2014 

 National Newswatch – Mike Blanchfield, Canadian Press
Police get limited cell phone search power 

The Supreme Court of Canada has made its first ruling around cell phone searches.  The court ruled 4-3 that police have limited power to search a cell phone after an arrest if the search is directly related to the circumstances for an arrest.  Otherwise, a warrant is necessary except in cases of threat to persons or police or public safety.  http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2014/12/11/police-dont-need-warrants-to-search-cellphones-court-by-the-canadian-press/#.VInSjnuvtTR

 Toronto Star – Editorial (Dec. 12, 2014)
Supreme Court cell phone ruling opens door to privacy abuse  

The Star thinks that the law is sadly falling behind public expectations around privacy.  Cell phones, say the editorial, pose no risk to the safety of the person arrested or the p0lice officer, unlike a backpack.  The right to search appears to be “incident to arrest”  and could apply to any electronic devices.  http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2014/12/11/supreme_court_cellphone_ruling_opens_door_to_privacy_abuse_editorial.html   Related article: Blue Line News Week –  Supreme Court says police have limited right to search cell phones     http://blueline.ca/uploads/issue/pdf/559/BLNW_2014-12-12.pdf

Globe and Mail – Josh Wingrove
Canadian government rejects solitary confinement limits 

The inquest made 104 recommendations after the finding of homicide in the Ashley Smith case and many who are critical of the failure of Corrections Canada to respond more than a year after the inquest – Smith`s mother, Kim Pate of Elizabeth Fry, Howard Sapers, the Correctional investigator – have provoked finally a refusal from the federal government to consider any limitations on isolation of inmates in segregation cells.  The UN says that any segregation longer than 2 weeks is harmful to mental health and a violation of human rights.  Ashley Smith spent over 2,000 days in segregation, a common response to the mentally ill in prisons.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/government-rejects-changes-to-limits-on-solitary-confinement/article22049695

 CBC News – Daniel Schwartz
New prostitution laws unlikely to be challenged soon, legal experts say 

Legal experts are suggesting that a challenge to the new prostitution law will not likely happen quickly.  The new offense is a prohibition against advertizing sex and the purchase of sex, not the sale of ex.  Enforcement is not expected to change – police will likely not begin any new clampdown, even though prostitution is now illegal for the first time in Canada (previously public soliciting and living off the avails were illegal).   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/new-prostitution-laws-unlikely-to-be-challenged-soon-legal-experts-say-1.2870523  Related article:  Straight.com  – Gail Johnston     Canada‘s new sex-work laws ramp up risk for workers    http://www.straight.com/life/785851/canadas-new-sex-work-laws-ramp-risk-workers

 OECD – Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs
Focus on Inequality and Growth (Dec. 2014) 

The report focuses on the question of whether income disparity is a factor in economic growth and recovery.  The report suggests that confronting income inequality is not just about addressing poverty but also about addressing lower incomes generally.  Redistribution per se of income through taxes and benefits does not lower growth rates.  http://www.oecd.org/els/soc/Focus-Inequality-and-Growth-2014.pdf

 Globe and Mail – Affan Chowdhry
What happens to your body, mind when locked up in solitary confinement  

Symptoms show up after 48-72 hours, mental illness is intensified, more than 2 weeks is torture and the impact of longer periods in segregation can last a lifetime, says Dr. Nader Sharifi, a correctional doctor.  This informative video is 2 ½ minutes long.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/news-video/video-what-happens-to-your-body-mind-when-locked-up-in-solitary-confinement/article22050682/#video0id22050682    Related article: CTV News   Ashley Smith’s mother disappointed in feds’ response to inquest   http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/ashley-smith-s-mother-disappointed-in-feds-response-to-inquest-1.2143992#ixzz3LhkISxtl

 Ottawa Citizen – Dylan Robertson
Canadian police directing more resources to terror fight 

Urban police forces are diverting more resources to investigations and vigilance for terrorism but don’t really have a sense of what they are confronting, all in a time of shrinking police budgets.  The priority ranking of anti-terrorism activity would suggest that other police activities will suffer to make adjustments.  Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht says he has about one-tenth the ressources he needs.   http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/canadian-police-directing-more-resources-to-terror-fight

 Penal Reform International
Death Penalty Information Pack  (2014)

Penal Reform has updated its 2011 anti-death penalty package (33 page downloadable pdf) commentary that includes a 12 point plan for abolition.  Topics covered include: ‘Only the most serious’ crimes, Right to a fair trial and administrative safeguards, Mandatory death penalty, Conditions of imprisonment, Clemency and pardon procedures, Execution, Transparency, Public opinion, The concept of deterrence, Victims’ rights   http://www.penalreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/PRI-Death-penalty-info-pack-WEB.pdf