Jail net?

Aug 1, 2017

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
Email from behind bars? Prisoner advocates push for access to laptops, tablets and internet – Other countries allow offenders to connect to outside world through online computers

Since 2002, Corrections Canada has had a policy blocking the access to the internet by federal inmates.  The effect is that the rehab programs are lacking the most common resource found even in elementary schools and inmate have very limited access to stand alone computers at all.  Correctional Investigator of Canada Ivan Zinger on the issue:  “Given the investment we put in federal corrections, Canada should be leading on evidence-based practices, and one area where we are definitely far behind is in technology.”   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/prison-csc-computer-internet-1.4222230   Related article: San Quentin Prison in California has begun an internally produced podcast on life inside called Ear Hustle.  (First production is 3 min video on Youtube) https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/1010841605724013/

CBC News
Carolyn Bennett ‘agrees with’ MMIWG inquiry reset request

In a gathering of chiefs the Assembly of First Nations managed to avoid a motion requesting the resignation of the rest of the current commissioners on the MMIW.  But the assembly did endorse a demand for both greater transparency and focus on healing rather than legal processes.  Minister Carolyn Bennett agrees with the request to reset the inquiry.  The reset will involve an expanded time and more money.  (Ed note: the designation of the inquiry has added a “G” for girls in recent media reports) http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/carolyn-bennett-inquiry-reset-afn-1.4225767   Related article: Toronto Star – Thomas Walkom  The confusion behind inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/07/31/the-confusion-behind-inquiry-into-murdered-and-missing-indigenous-women-walkom.html

Globe and Mail – Karen Howlett
Provinces to be kept from recouping full medical costs of OxyContin crisis

Purdue Pharma, maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin, has offered $20 million to settle a lawsuit regarding its failure to inform people using the drug that it was addictive.  Part of the settlement goes to the provinces and the provinces agree not to pursue the company beyond the terms of the settlement.  Observers are calling for changes in the law that would allow the provinces to re-coup more realistic settlements than currently available.  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/provinces-to-be-shut-out-of-recourse-against-oxycontin-maker-purdue-pharma/article35840680/

 CBC News –
Ottawa ready to review Saudi arms deals amid crackdown – Canadian-made armoured vehicles apparently used by government forces in crackdown on Shia town

This is one of those ‘I told you so’ stories in which the rationale for the sale of military vehicles from Canada to Saudi Arabian involved assurances from the Saudi government that the vehicles would not be used in internal human rights violations.  The vehicle were built by General Dynamics in London, ON, under an arms export licence.  Critics want the export licenses cancelled.  A Global Affairs spokesperson says:  “If it is found that Canadian exports have been used to commit serious violations of human rights, the minister will take action.”  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/saudi-arms-deal-canada-shia-1.4227018

Toronto Star – Edward Keenan
If Toronto police are serious about restoring our faith they need to root out the bad-apple cops

This past month a number of reports about police misconduct and police themselves charged with offenses have surfaced.  Now the critics want to know if the news reports are really about just a few bad cops or if the misconduct is more widespread.  Cover-ups and secrecy around follow-up investigations are part of the pre-occupation as well, especially in the case of Dafonte Miller after an incident with Durham police.  Refusal of the police – both individual officers and leadership – to respond to Special Investigations Unit is also problematic.  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/07/28/if-toronto-police-are-serious-about-restoring-our-faith-they-need-to-root-out-the-bad-apple-cops.html   Related article: Toronto Star – Jacques Gallant  Ten months later, Hamilton family awaiting answers from SIU on police shooting death  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/07/31/ten-months-later-hamilton-family-awaiting-answers-from-siu-on-police-shooting-death.html