End carding…

April 18, 2017

Toronto Star – Peter Rosenthal
Compelling report must end harmful carding practice by police

Two of Canada’s premier criminologists, from U of T, Rosemary Gartner and Anthony Doob, have issued a report on the practice of carding, or stopping people without reason and recording the contact information.  The report, commissioned by the Toronto Police Services Board, leaves no doubt about the “harm of such practices both to the person subject to them and to the long term and overall relationship of the police to the community.”  What is in doubt is the Police Board’s willingness to confront the report’s findings and end the practice.  The Board wants to let the response evolve over time while Doob and Gartner think such an approach defies the accumulated evidence of the harm incurred.  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/04/18/compelling-report-must-end-harmful-carding-practice-by-police-opinion.html

CTV News – Laura Payton
Justice Minister unapologetic over proposed pot penalties

Under the new Liberal pot legislation, selling pot to youth will draw a maximum of 14 years in jail.  “We are not advocating or encouraging young people to engage and smoke cannabis. We are putting in strict penalties to ensure that anybody that invites a child or uses a child for any of the prohibited actions within the code… will suffer a severe penalty.”   http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/justice-minister-unapologetic-over-proposed-pot-penalties-1.3368320  Related article: CTV News – Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press     No plan for pot-conviction amnesty amid legalization move: Liberals   http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/no-plan-for-pot-conviction-amnesty-amid-legalization-move-liberals-1.3372927   Related article: CTV News – Kristy Kirkup   Minors would avoid criminal records for pot possession under new law    http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/minors-would-avoid-criminal-records-for-pot-possession-under-new-law-1.3372242  Related article: Globe and Mail – Margaret Wente   Marijuana legalization: What was Justin Trudeau smoking?   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/what-was-justin-smoking/article34723818/?reqid=1e2dd9fd-4c63-4778-9ec4-4b0dce968530

 Toronto Star – Nathaniel Schutten
Fewer prisoners on parole isn’t making us safer

At the heart of the rationale for parole is the notion that there is a process needed for an inmate to adapt to rehabilitated life in the community.  The tough-on-crime approach dictates holding inmates until the last moment before sentence expiry and then release without supports in place.  Schutten argues that ignoring this reality by delaying parole is not contributing to safer communities.  He adds an economic argument to bolster the view that early parole is better than too late parole.  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/04/17/fewer-prisoners-on-parole-isnt-making-us-safer-opinion.html

Canadian Law Times – Ron Poulton
Two solitudes: the treatment of non-citizens and criminally accused in Canada

This is a different two solitudes the status and the practice of criminal law with Canadian citizens and then that same status with immigrants and refugees.  Poulton says that the gap is widen by the Federal Court ruling in Chung v. MCI 2017 FCA 68 (March 31, 2017).  The decision, says Poulton, “reinforces the belief that a non-citizen is just a little less worthy than any person accused of a crime.”  http://canadianlawyermag.com/6406/Two-solitudes-the-treatment-of-non-citizens-and-criminally-accused-in-Canada.html?utm_term=Two%20solitudes%3A%20the%20treatment%20of%20non-citizens%20and%20criminally%20accused%20in%20Canada&utm_campaign=CLNewswire_20170417&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email

Toronto Star – Laurie Monsebraaten
Ontario embraces no-strings-attached basic income experiment

Harkening to the Dauphin, MB., experiment in minicome, the Ontario government is about to try the impact of a no strings attached basic income for people.  Of particular interest is the potential impact for health, housing, education and jobs, all of which appear to have taken a turn for the better in the Manitoban experience.  The Dauphin experiment was perhaps more rural than urban at the time and the impact was not studied until more recently.  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/04/18/ontario-embraces-no-strings-attached-basic-income-experiment.html   Related article: Toronto Star – Helen Ries with Jihan Abbas     How Ontario traps those with disabilities in lives of poverty   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/04/15/how-ontario-traps-those-with-disabilities-in-lives-of-poverty.html

Open Democracy Net (US) – Molly Rowan Leach
Facing up to our shadow side with compassion – Restorative justice makes real the fact that conflict, pain, suffering and crime are part of all our lives.

Restorative Justice has its history in an alternate response to retributive justice, an eye for an eye.  This link by a well-known RJ advocate brings us face-to-face with both the personal and the mental illness often in the shadow of confrontation with criminal law. “Restorative justice values and strives to honor the needs of everyone involved in the most humane ways possible and in a safe environment—those who commit crimes, and those who suffer from them. In so doing, it brings humanity back into the justice system. It converts a limited worldview based around isolation and individualism into a much more positive vision that is rooted in honesty, accountability, and the visible connection of causes with effects.”  https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/molly-rowan-leach/facing-up-to-our-shadow-side-with-compassion