Lawsuit on Solitary…

    Jan 21, 2015

National Post – John Ivison
Group launching legal challenge to limit use of solitary confinement in Canadian prisons 

The BC Civil Liberties and John Howard Society of Canada have decided to launch a legal challenge to the practice of solitary confinement in Canada’s prisons.  The lawsuit will argue that solitary or administrative segregation, as CSC calls it, administrative segregation is unconstitutional, amounting to “cruel and unusual punishment” that discriminates in particular against mentally ill and aboriginal inmates.   The Canadian Medical Association concurs with the position.   Related article: National Post – Douglas Quan, Postmedia News    Solitary confinement is ‘cruel and usual punishment’: Canadian Medical Association    Related article:  Globe and Mail (Editorial, Jan 19, 2015)   Solitary confinement should be rare   Related article:  CTV News  interview with Catherine Latimer of John Howard Society of Canada on Solitary Confinement

 Guardian (UK) – Ray Jones
Plans to privatise child protection are moving at pace

Perhaps the ultimate in downloading services is here.  The UK government is going at a full clip to unload the responsibility for child care protection from the government sponsored bodies to the marketplace and whoever wants to deliver the service. The plan apparently includes child protection and investigations.  Commercial for profit companies will likely set up non-profit subsidiaries in much the same way as G4S and Serco in the prison business.

Sudbury Star – Mary Catherine Keown
Sudbury homeless advocate talks about arrest   

Here’s a sad commentary on how quickly we forget the spirit of Christmas, human values and the constant confrontation between rules and regulations on the one hand and human need on the other.  Crystal Kimewon, of the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (SCAP) was arrested and charged with causing a disturbance and trespassing.  “This is the criminalization of advocating for homeless individuals,” she says. “It was not a protest — that is one thing SCAP will stand firm on.”

Nation Talk – James Keller, Canadian Press
B.C. Crown seeks dangerous offender designation for man who ‘grooms’ young girls

Martin Tremblay is charged with criminal negligence in the deaths of two Aboriginal teens in 2010.  Tremblay invited the two teens, 17-year-old Martha Jackson and 16-year-old Kayla Lalonde, to his home in Richmond and plied them with drugs and alcohol, video-taping himself fondling the girls after they passed out.  If found acceptable to the court, the dangerous offender status will mean life in prison for Tremblay.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Centre of Excellence (US)
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and the Criminel Justice System

The article is a fact sheet on the impact of FASD and at once an alert about several concerns when a person with FASD gets involved in the criminal justice system.  The article offers seven areas of concern and suggests how the justice system can better address and cope with FASD victims.

CBC News – Kady O,Malley
Does Ottawa’s skip-the-media strategy get the message out? 

There is another communications furor poking its nose above the public media noses: a suggestion by government that direct communication to Canadians is a way around the journalistic failure to grasp the many positive messages offered by government personnel and agencies when briefing the formal press.  So far, says O’Malley, the effort does not appear to be working.

Globe and Mail – Sean Fine and Justin Giovannetti
Alberta shooting suspect’s record sparks bail debate

Shawn Maxwell Rehn, now deceased, but the alleged offender in the shooting of two RCMP officers in St. Albert, has set off a debate in Canada around bail and bail conditions when an accused is already on bail and with a long criminal record.  The focus is whether chronic or career criminals are able to access bail too easily.