Justice overhaul…

     Nov. 15, 2015

CBC News – Kathleen Harris and Alison Crawford
Trudeau mandates pot legalization, overhaul of Conservative justice reforms

Based on the mandate letters for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale we can expect a serious review of the Conservative tough-on-crime legislation for the last ten years.  The review resolutions are expected to involve more restorative justice alternate measures to prison and to address disproportionalities of Aboriginals in the system.  The mandate also includes the implementations of the recommendations from the Ashley Smith inquest.  The Attorney General will also likely drop most of the appeals to the Supreme Court involved failed criminal law.   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberal-crime-justice-reform-1.3317891

GQ (US) – Jason Zengerle
What a Jail Sentence Taught One Politician about Prisons 

A rising star for the US Democrats, it seemed that Jeff Smith, a political science Ph.D. turned politician and Missouri state senator had the world before him but he would up spending a year in prison for obstructing justice where he learned first-hand about what prison is like.  His story and his observations are told in a book called: Mr. Smith Goes to Prison.  Zengerle interviewed Smith after his release in the light of the current interest in prison reform in the US.  http://www.gq.com/story/mr-smith-goes-to-prison-politician-sentenced

National Post – Margaret MacMillan
Terrorism almost fully died out in the 20th century. It could burn out again

Here’s a needed historical perspective on the recent terrorism in Paris which does not help make the event any easier but may create a historical perspective that may help us avoid mistakes in how we respond to the use of terrorism for political gain. The aim of terrorism, says MacMillan, “is not just to panic societies but to sow divisions among them.”    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/margaret-macmillan-terrorism-almost-fully-died-out-in-the-20th-century-it-could-burn-out-again

Toronto Star – Peter Edwards and Fakiha Baig
Peterborough mayor’s church offers space to arson-stricken mosque – Crowd-funding campaign raises more than $73,000 after fire deliberately set

A fire that caused an estimated $80,000 in damages brought out the best in people in the Peterborough area.  Several local churches have offered space for Muslim services and a fund raising effort has generat4ed $73,000 to date to help in the recovery.  The Mark Street United Church where Mayor Daryl Bennett is a member will be used for the Masjid Al-Salaam Congregation.  http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/11/16/fundraising-surges-for-torched-peterborough-mosque.html   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Canadian Press   Vandals shatter windows at Kitchener, Ont., Hindu temple http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/vandals-shatter-windows-at-kitchener-ont-hindu-temple/article27278595/

Toronto Star – The Canadian Press
No custody for teen convicted of murdering York police officer – The driver was 15 when he was involved in a crash in East Gwillimbury that killed Const. Garrett Styles

Rendered a quadriplegic in a crash that killed Const. Garrett Styles four years ago, the nameless teen who was convicted of first degree murder was sentenced to nine years of conditional supervision.  Justice Alex Sosna said the teen “is already serving a life sentence because he is a prisoner in his own body.”   Sosna also found that the teen had already been rehabilitated. http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2015/11/16/sentencing-today-for-teen-convicted-of-murdering-york-police-officer.html   Related article: Globe and Mail – Diana Mehta     No time in custody for teen found guilty in Ontario officer’s death  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/no-time-in-custody-for-teen-found-guilty-in-ontario-officers-death/article27275344/

Globe and Mail – Justine Hunter
Victoria lawyers trying to ensure families in crisis have access to justice

The families of children apprehended by Child Welfare Services have a hard time because there are often delays in bringing the matter to court for want of legal aid lawyers.  Forrest L. Nelson, one of those lawyers, has a special concern around the disproportionate number of Aboriginal families.  The article relates the circumstances to the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations that sees the high incidence of Aboriginal apprehensions as part of the poverty problem.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/victoria-lawyers-trying-to-ensure-families-in-crisis-have-access-to-justice/article27267400/

CTV – Canada AM
Canadians shouldn’t fret over refugee security concerns 

Peter Showler is the former chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board and is not concerned about the security issues around the 25,000 proposed Syrian refugees expected in Canada shortly.  The security screens are mostly absent for the 700,000 flowing across the EU borders but in a selection process the measures are quite different.  Showler says:  “If you’re living or working on the ground… you actually know a lot about refugee flows,” he said, noting that experts and staff working in camps will be able to generally determine which refugees pose a security risk and which don’t.”   http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/canadians-shouldn-t-fret-over-refugee-security-concerns-expert-1.2660279

Juvenile Justice Initiative – Chad Posick
Schools Need Restorative Justice to Keep Kids Safe, Out of Trouble

Given a society that believes in exclusion as a way of confronting people problems, Posick is of the opinion that the notable failure of the approach should suggest substituting restorative justice practice as a diversion from the prison and hardening of the youth in alienation by their exclusion.  He thinks incorporating rj practices into the schools is one way to mitigate the re-offending, to increase the victim satisfaction and to make our communities safer.  http://jjie.org/schools-need-restorative-justice-to-keep-kids-safe-out-of-trouble/

Early warning:  Call for papers
Centre for Interdisciplinary Justice Studies

A conference on the theme of Placing Justice – May 9-11, 2016 in conjunction with the Justice Research Institute at the University of Winnipeg and as a follow-up to the national conference series.  https://www.facebook.com/CPEPgroup/posts/862450317201263 Link to conference:  http://cijs.ca/conference

Church Council on Justice and Corrections (CCJC)
Celebrating Restorative Justice Week:  A five-part restorative justice infographic series   http://ccjc.ca/restorative-justice-week/?utm_source=Monday%3A+Restorative+Justice+Week+2015+Infographic&utm_campaign=Infographic+Campaign&utm_medium=email