Bail reform … 

March 22, 2016

Toronto Star – Daniel Brown
Time to overhaul Canada’s unjust bail system

“I can no longer call it a court of law,” Julia Lauzon, an Ottawa Justice of the Peace, said. “Unfortunately, Ottawa’s bailout court, and others, have devolved into dysfunctional and punitive bodies, devoid of rule of law.”  The comments evoke more frustration with the failure of the legal system to respect the right to bail of an accused person under the law.  The result is that jails are packed, lives are ruined, and due process is no process.

Globe and Mail – Katheryn Blaze Baum
Recent hotel stays highlight Manitoba’s child-welfare challenges

Manitoba has announced that they had phased out the practice of using rental facilities like hotels to house foster children, even on a temporary basis.  In two cases, the foster children have been housed in a hotel room for what various branches of government say are exceptional circumstances but that critics of the Manitoba Child welfare system see as failures in the policy.

Maison Cross Roads (Montreal, QC)
Les territoires du vieillissement

Lors du Colloque qui se tiendra les 10 et 11 mai 2016, dans le cadre du 84e congrès de l’ACFAS à Montréal, quelques présentations, dont une de Maison Cross Roads, feront état des réflexions les plus récentes qui sont tenues sur les personnes judiciarisées âgées. Le thème du colloque « Les territoires du vieillissement. Dialogues interdisciplinaires et regards transatlantiques – colloque 430 » réunira des chercheurs du Québec et de la France.

Pour plus d’information : contact :   

Public Safety Canada – Dr. Irvin Waller
National and International Perspectives on the Prevention of Crime and Victimization

Dr. Waller of the University of Ottawa offers a cross Canada call-in to hear about domestic and international developments in crime prevention and victim assistance among organizations and governments.  The toll free event, conducted in English with the possibility of questions in English or French, happens on March 291-2 PM EST.  For more information, contact

Globe and Mail – Canadian Press
Investments in water for First Nations key in budget: Bellegarde   

This link is a one minute video in which “boil water” orders are reviewed on First Nations communities.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Canadian Press   –  Mysterious rash affecting Kashechewan children not water-related

Ottawa Citizen – Andrew Seymour
Province promises 2,000 new correctional officers

Yasir Naqvi, minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, has announced the provincial government’s intention to hire 2,000 more correctional officers to relieve the current strains and serious limitations on the operations of a number of provincial jails where staff shortages have been identified as the major cause of tensions and dysfunctional services within the jails and in movement to and from the court.

Vera Institute for Justice (U.S.) –
The Human Toll of Jail

Supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the Vera Institute recognizes that admission to a jail anywhere initiates a destructive path involving the prisoner and all those related to the prisoner.  The link provides a series of commentaries on the impact beyond the jail for both secondary victims and  those working to alleviate the harm.

Fort Erie Times (ON) – Cheryl Clock
When offender and victim heal the harm

Wolfgang Guembel was angry at what the youths had done to his concession stand and went through all the options that he personally would have faced from his parents had he done such damage himself in his youth.  Instead of parents, Heather Ranger, co-ordinator of Niagara Youth Justice Committee (NYJC), showed up some time (and $6,000) later with a request that he meet with one of the offenders in a St. Catherine courthouse.  “When you steal from me,” he told the boy, “in my mind, you’re stealing from my son and my family.”  At the end of the session says Guembel, “I left the room thinking that a very good number of good people put all the tools on the table for him…I hope he takes what he’s been given and does something great with it.”    Related article: Huffington Post (US)  – Christopher Zoukis   Restorative Justice Curbs School-to-Prison Pipeline