UK prisons…

Nov 30, 2016

Ministry of Justice (UK) – Prison Reform Trust
Prison Safety and Reform November 2016

The original report came out in early November and is available at,4MZ2I,6JSCMH,HA57P,1   Peter Dawson, Executive Director of Prison Reform Trust, reacts to the report in A new dawn for prison reform?,4MZ2I,6JSCMH,HA12K,1  In a related article, Michael Gove, former Secretary of State for Justice, delivered the Longford Lecture entitled What’s Really Criminal about our Justice System,4MZ2I,6JSCMH,HA12K,1 (A 15 page downloadable pdf)

Homeless Hub (Canada) – Girls and Boys Club of Calgary
Haven’s Way Evaluation Report

The link is to a full evaluation of a model of response to girls and women aged 14-24 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  Called the Foyer Model, this approach has been operating since 2004 and offers an extensive description and assessment with prospects of improvement as well.

Hill Times (Ottawa) – Chelsea Nash
Bellegarde: no movement on TRC calls to action, one year later

Perry Bellegarde, the head of the Assembly of First Nations, says there has been zero movement on the part of the government to the 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  The federal government has concluded that the work of incorporating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People will require a different approach and that the inquiry on the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women is underway. Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett  says the federal government is already working on 30 of the 45 actions that fall under federal jurisdiction.

National Newswatch – Jordan Press, Canadian Press
Auditor marks midway point in mandate with earnest call for change

Canada’s Auditor General, Michael Ferguson, says that the government must act immediately to prevent repetition of mistakes from previous governments.  Ferguson reviewed a number of departments where the spending controls and/or mistaken estimates are continuing; the military for its subs and fighters, long delays in resolving tax issues at CRA, the failure to provide re-entry assistance for Indigenous inmates, and to resolve land claims.  The solution, he says, is in part for the various departments to focus on solutions rather than process.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Gloria Galloway   Government consistently fails to fix mistakes, Auditor-General says   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – David Akin   Auditor General slams incompetence, indifference and neglect in federal government: ‘Deja vu all over again’

 Vice News (Canada) – Justin Ling
Inside the RCMP’s plan for a ‘new public narrative’ on cyber surveillance

The paper obtained a four page memo that came from the RCMP prior to a meeting of the Five Eyes Intelligence Group (Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain).  The document lists four perceived short comings that the RCMP wants to push in Canada:  “a lack of interception hardware on Canadian telecommunication networks, the use of encryption to protect communications, the deletion of user data by companies, and the inability to obtain users’ data hosted in some foreign countries.”  The items have already shown up in national security consultations with Minister Ralph Goodall.

CBC News – Catherine Cullen
8 burning questions about the coming federal pot report – Who can buy and sell pot, where it will be sold, and who gets the profits, all up in the air 

The closer we get to the promised report from the federal government on the legalization of marijuana, the more questions are popping up.  Today, the report goes to the government from the committee but the government does not have to accept the report in full or in part.

Policy Options (Canada) – W. Scott Thurlow
Political financing rules and our Charter rights

With all the furor over political fundraising and the law / ethics to be observed, this article invites us to reflect on the process used to fund our political parties, governments and oppositions.  Thurlow suggests that financing political parties is an exercise in free speech, within limits, he says.  He also objects to limits on the candidate’s use of their own money, and he passes some further remarks about corporation – and union – donations and the current legal limits on those.  Finally, he speaks about the burning issue of the moment: cash for access.