Suicide epidemic…

      April 7, 2015

 Toronto Star – Sandro Contenta
Nunavut’s youth suicide epidemic — ‘Who is next? How do we stop this?’   

There were 45 suicides in Nunavut in 2013.  The number dropped in 2014 to 27.  Few drew comfort that the number was lower in a small community of 36,000.  All were afflicted with great sadness because the problem is a persistent one.  For the last two decades the rate in Nunavut is 10 times the rest of Canada. “Inuit males under 25 account for 56 per cent of all suicides in Nunavut; across Canada, males that age make up 7 per cent of suicides. Researchers say women attempt suicide at least as often as men, but more often survive because they use less lethal means.”

 Globe and Mail – Kathyrn Blaze Carlson
Five months later, Rinelle Harper gives a voice to the missing and murdered    

Rinelle Harper is the Aboriginal teen from Winnipeg who was beaten and dumped in the freezing Assiniboine River.   She managed to crawl out of the river only to be beaten a second time by two men passing by and left for dead on the river bank.   Though a minor, police and parents decided with Rinelle to release her name and her story in the hope of encouraging others to come forward. “One thing that has been happening is that other women and girls have been approaching us to talk about how they were attacked,” she wrote in Facebook. “Many women told us that they never came forward, and that they carried that with them, some for many years. I believe more women and men who have been assaulted should come forward.”

 Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Ministry – ON Correctional Report on Seg and mental health  

The ministry has released a report with ten steps which the ministry judges are public interest recommendations and decisions around how the Correctional Services will deal with mental health needs within the justice system.  The first recommendation is a 18 month window of opportunity to determine what type of facility would best serve women who suffer from mental health issues.   Related article:  iPolitics   Janice Dickson –       Prisons falling behind in treating fetal alcohol cases: Sapers   Related article: Vera Institute of Justice  –  VERA Selects Five Correctional Departments for Initiative Aimed at Reducing Solitary Confinement  Related article:  Huffington  Post / iPolitics  Harper’s Change To The Criminal Code Serves No Value to the Mental Health System   Huffington Post (US) Emily Grossman   Justice for All?

 American Civil Liberties Union
The ‘wHOLE’ Truth Behind Solitary Confinement   

This is a timely link for Canadians in the light of the denial by Peter MacKay that Canada’s federal prisons practice solitary.  He thinks the system practices administrative segregation, though the difference is elusive and Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers says is often used to control the mentally ill in prisons.  The article pursues a distinction between punishment and treatment.

 Herald Tribune (Tallahassee, FL)
Juvenile justice? Bill touts new way 

Smart Justice in Florida appears to be making some headway.  The legislature is preparing a bill which would expand the use of civil citations for misdemeanors.  The notion is to have an alternative to a criminal record for life for juveniles who make minor mistakes and get caught.

 iPolitics – Steve Sullivan
An Opposition in name only?

Sullivan, a victims’ rights advocate, thinks that the Opposition parties do a good job of putting their finger on the problems but flee from advocating or proposing solution because the issues can be volatile.  He offers the opinion in the light of the recent Broadbent Institute Summit in Ottawa last week.  The weakness comes not in opposing the weaknesses of the legislation but in voting for the legislation when it reaches the house.

 Huffington Post (US) – Brandon Roberts and Deborah Povich
Among Low-Income Working Families, a Sharp Racial and Ethnic Divide   

The controversy around income disparity has prompted researchers to look for both causes and relational influences on who and why some people are poorer than others.  This article draws a connection between being a racial or ethnic minority and a lower rate of income: if you belong to an ethnic minority you can anticipate up to 18% greater chance of suffering the income disparity.  “While minorities make up 40 percent of all working families, they constitute 58 percent of all low-income working families.”

 US Catholic News Agency –
US bishops: Stop shameful detention of migrant families 

The Bishops and some Lutheran colleagues are protesting the practice of detention centers for women and child, a growing reality in the US as centres specifically for families are opening across the country, often by private contractors.   “Why do we feel compelled to place in detention such vulnerable individuals – traumatized young mothers and children fleeing persecution in their home countries?” stated Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio in a March 27 statement following his visit to the detention center for immigrant families located in Dilly, Texas.”