PTSD in Prison…

May 12, 2017

CBC News – Angela MacIvor
Number of prison workers suffering from PTSD much higher than official stats, union says – Approximately 1 in 20 employees at federal penitentiaries have been diagnosed with stress injuries

Dorchester in New Brunswick has the highest rate of guards suffering from PTSD – 53 over the five years from 2011-2016.  The stats follow an employee when he/she comes forward and may be considerably higher if levels less than requiring time off are examined.  Corrections Canada is divided into regions; PTSD stats are about equal for the West at 78 and Atlantic at 79.  There are some strains on the Employee Assistance Plan and the process of finding help as well.

Globe and Mail – Daniel Leblanc
Auditor-General expected to expose RCMP’s mental-health failings

As the rank and file RCMP begin the process of establishing a union to confront both the salary level and their experience of stress and fatigue consequent to shortage of constables, the isolation and the trauma, the Auditor General is expected to deliver several body blows to the way the command structure deals with the front line mental problems.  The Auditor is to release a new report on Tuesday on how the RCMP currently deals with mental trauma among its members.

CBC News –
Not a man, not a woman: Why this writer wants a non-binary Ontario birth certificate

Male or female as gender identifiers is no longer adequate.  So say many who feel outside the classification and so says the government which is coming to grips with alternate designations.  The federal government has started a revision of law to go beyond male and female and some provinces already have gender neutral health cards and driver’s licences.   Joshua M. Ferguson, who came out as a queer at age 15, now at 34, wants to be known as non-binary – neither a man nor a woman.

World Economic Forum – Stéphanie Thomson
8 sexist laws you won’t believe still exist

As Canada begins to look at the legalities involved in gender identification beyond male and female, and as we look to end discrimination around self-declared gender status, the article is a sober reminder of both how far we have traveled and how far there is to the end of the journey. The article offers a world-wide perspective about how far we have to go to remove violence and threat from the arena of gender identity.

Sentencing Project (US) – Marc Maurer
Federal prison population will expand under new DOJ Directive

The project is reporting a reversal of the directives from the Obama era that helped to reduce the number of people incarcerated for minor offences, the ‘low-hanging fruit’ in the US drug war.  Given the resurgence under Attorney General Sessions the expectation is an increase in mass incarceration and a growing racism with the justice and prison systems.  The Obama measures were known as Smart on Crime and followed several changes by the US Sentencing Commission, all of which is now rescinded by the reversal from Sessions.

Globe and Mail – Sean Fine
Liberals reshape judicial bench with appointments of women

Amid some controversy about the dangers of using a quota system and getting a strained quality, the federal government has begun redressing the inequality among federally appointed judges.  The government has appointed 56 new judges since taking office and 33 are women (59%) leaving still an imbalance (42% women). “We are beginning to demonstrate how it is possible to have a bench that truly reflects the country we live in,” says Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould.

 Toronto Star: Alex Boutilier
Canada’s spies examining ‘vulnerabilities’ in election system

The election news from the US and France on Russian hacking to influence election outcomes has excited Canada’s spy community who wonder if and how it may happen here in Canada.  While ordered by the Federal government in February the review is without a timeline for conducting a risk assessment on the possibility.   The study is also expected to provide guidance to agencies under potential threat.   Related article:  National Observer – Carl Meyer    Canadian spies mobilized after Montreal airport terrorism scare   Related article: Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze   Canada’s no-ransom policy is flawed, hypocritical: ex-CSIS official   Related article: Globe and Mail – Andrew Ellis (Op Ed)  Canada must do more for the taken