Feb 24, 2017

Homeless Hub Blogger – Ambar Aleman
Why do governments criminalize the homeless?

There is an element which thinks that by creating a law you solve a problem.  Sleeping on the sidewalk is one such example.  A $50 fine against a person who sleeps on the sidewalk may be a glaring proof of the nonsense that passes for good order.  The person asleep on the sidewalk likely does not have the $50 anyway but the law is not designed to fix a problem, just to move it elsewhere.  The article offers a fascinating view (for those of us with a proper place to sleep) of homeless laws across the country.   Related article: Homeless Hub   Canadian Definition of Ending Homelessness: Measuring Functional and Absolute Zero  (A seven page downloadable pdf)

Good Man Project – John D. Moore
How Men Must Change the Culture of Violence towards Women

Moore traces the historic cultural context in the process of defining what is manly and then suggests the deficiencies in the face of the growth over the years in cultural role of women.  Then he has four simple suggestions about how men can lead and promote an authentically human response to violence against women.

Harm & Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC) (Open University, UK) – Deborah H. Drake and David Scott
Prison Abolition in Question(s)

The link is the first part of a series intended to delve again into the rationale for prisons and the questions around the potential abolition of prisons altogether, a scary prospect for most.  The link concludes with a number of alternate solutions to putting people in jail and throwing away the key.

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (UK) – Susie Hulley, Ben Crewe and Serena Wright
The gendered pains of imprisonment

The link addresses the specific gender concerns around women inmates who are sentenced while relatively young to 15 years or more.  Generally, the number is so low that these inmates remain on the periphery of consideration whatever the issue.  Among the gender influenced issues are losing contact with people, power, autonomy and control issues, mental health issues, and trust, privacy and intimacy issues.  The authors think that the debasements suffered by women in jail are more intensely felt than males simply because they are women.   Related article: Blogger Russell Webster (UK)   What’s in the 2017 Prisons and Courts Bill?   Related article:  CBC News – Judy Trinh   Province gets ‘kickback’ from inmates’ collect calls, lawyer says – Michael Spratt may launch a charter challenge against Ontario policy of ‘punitive’ calls

World Economic Forum – Ceri Parker
4 dystopian novels that are trending in 2017

Dystopian suggests a world characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.  Davos uses a number of measures to assess the prevailing winds, one of which is the sale of novels.  This year, Amazon Books is reporting that four such views of the world are in the top ten for sales:  1984 by George Orwell, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Brave new World by Aldous Huxley, and It can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis.  These four have a common themes of totalitarianism and freedom, what it means to be human in the face of technology.   Related article: Washington Post – Shira A. Scheindlin     I sentenced criminals to hundreds more years than I wanted to. I had no choice

CBC News (Ottawa) – Laurie Fagan
Ottawa defence lawyers criticize plan to limit preliminary hearings – Attorney General Yasir Naqvi has pitched idea as a way to reduce court delays

The Jordan ruling from the Supreme Court limiting the delay before quashing the charges is prompting Ontario’s AG, Yasir Naqvi, to suggest that considerable time can be saved by “substantially limiting the process of preliminary hearings and moving directly to trial.  He still favours the preliminary for murder and treason.  Critics call the idea “a step backward.”   Related article: National Post – Christie Blatchford   Complacency is the culture in courts and a little shock treatment from the top court isn’t a bad thing

CBC News – Nicole Ireland
‘Such courage’: How one First Nation is fighting opioid addiction – After surviving the oxycontin crisis, Eabametoong First Nation in northern Ontario braces for fentanyl

As fentanyl availability grows even in the North, health and social agencies are looking to ways to fight the use of the drug, likely the most dangerous on the streets.  The link offers an insight into the way one First Nation is heading off more serious problems.  The program provides suboxone to the patients, a drug that stops the withdrawal agonies of the street drugs.  It’s working!