Rights of Aboriginal kids…

    April 28, 2015

 Toronto Star Editorial (April 28, 2015)
First Nations kids deserve the same protection as others 

Much controversy surrounded the decision of Ontario Justice Gethin Edward to allow Aboriginal tradition healing to replace medical care for J.J., an 11-year-old Haudenosaunee girl with cancer.  Justice Edward at the request of all the parties involved in the ruling has issued a clarification saying that the rights of the child remain paramount over the Aboriginal tradition.  The Justice says in his clarification:  “Aboriginal rights must be taken into account, “among other factors,” he said, in any analysis of the best interests of the child, and whether the child is in need of protection.” Still, at the end of the day the child’s welfare trumps other considerations.”     http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2015/04/27/first-nations-kids-deserve-the-same-protection-as-others-editorial.html    Related article: Ottawa Citizen: Tom Blackwell  Lawyers say aboriginal judge behind unusual chemotherapy ruling has reputation as ‘very fair’     http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/national/Lawyers+aboriginal+judge+behind+unusual+chemotherapy/11009202/story.html   Related article: Globe and Mail – Bill Curry    Federal medical care for remote First Nations inadequate, auditor says    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/federal-medical-care-for-remote-first-nations-inadequate-auditor-says/article24149495/     Related article: Toronto Star: Elizabeth Sheehy and Isabel Grant     A tragic tale of two Gladues   http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/04/27/a-tragic-tale-of-two-gladues.html     Toronto Star Editorial (April 11, 2015)     Victims Bill of Rights confers few new “rights” but weakens protections for accused      http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2014/04/11/victims_bill_of_rights_confers_few_new_rights_but_weakens_protections_for_accused_editorial.html    Related article:  Canadian Press / National Newswatch – Mike Blanchfield   Auditor takes aim at First Nations health, prisoners and tax-credit oversight   http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2015/04/28/auditor-takes-aim-at-first-nations-health-prisoners-and-tax-credit-oversight/#.VT_HdJNQRUZ

Toronto Star – Les Whittington
Prisoners not being prepared for release says Canada’s auditor general – Corrections officers are failing to prepare offenders to re-enter society without committing more crimes, auditor general Michael Ferguson warns

Canada’s Auditor General has reached the same conclusion as many reformists around the tough-on-crime agenda: “Corrections officers are failing to prepare offenders for parole in a timely fashion, driving up prison costs by nearly $100 million a year and undermining efforts to prepare offenders to re-enter society without committing more crimes,” says Ferguson.   http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/04/28/prisoners-not-being-prepared-for-release-says-canadas-auditor-general.html    Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Lee Berthiaume     Auditor General: Prison inmates spend more time behind bars   http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/auditor-general-prison-inmates-spend-more-time-behind-bars

 Ottawa Citizen –  Jesse Winter
Fix broken parole system, experts urge as AG prepares prison report  

Mary Campbell, a former director general of Corrections Canada and the criminal justice directorate of the Department of Justice, thinks that the National Parole Board is no longer practicing parole the way it was intended.    “Parole is not so much for the offender. It’s for you and me,” she said, adding that when used properly, paroling eligible inmates helps smoothen their transition back into society, which reduces their likelihood to reoffend.”   Equally concerning is a drastic drop in release rates and a decision by many inmates to delay applying for parole, problems that appear to account in large part for the 6% increase in the prison population.    http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/fix-broken-parole-system-experts-urge-as-ag-prepares-prison-report

 Winnipeg Free Press – Kathleen Saylors
Homeless people suffer disproportionately higher rates of violent crime – Not having a safe place to go home to, the homeless are constantly exposed to crime  

Stephen Gaetz is a professor at York University and the director of research-based Homeless Hub. “Eighty per cent of people who are homeless experience crime every year, and more than once per year,” says Gaetz.  “On average, 40% experience violent crime and at least three times per year.”     http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Homeless-people-suffer-disproportionately-higher-rates-of-violent-crime-301491901.html

 Benedictine University (US) – Ryan Blackburn
Author cites need for new social movement to end mass incarceration

Benedictine invited author and civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander – “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” – as the keynote in a speaker series for the Center for Civic Leadership.  “Today, more than half of African-American men living in the nation’s large urban areas have criminal records and are subject to “legalized discrimination” in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits for the rest of their lives,” according to Alexander.  http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20150427/submitted/150428834/