Mum the word?

Aug 18, 2017

CBC News
Military clergy struggle with directive to report sexual misconduct, documents show

The directive appeared first in 2015 and applies to all conversation between a pastor and his/her parishioner in a counselling situation with the single exception of a Catholic priest under the seal of confession.  West Coast chaplains are particularly concerned about the requirement to report and later testify in court and have sought legal advice.  The directive further requires turning over to the court all documents and notes from the interview with a possible perpetrator of a sexual offence.

Toronto Star – Victoria Gibson
How does an inmate with mental health concerns end up in indefinite segregation? By asking for it

Ontario has already declared a 15 day limit to segregation but Michael Storms is at 49 days and counting.  Why?  Basically because he asked for it.  The four possibilities resulting in segregation are protection, threat, misconduct or request.  The article speaks about the difficulty that can occur when the issue is mental health assessment as part of the trial and /or prison process.

National Newswatch – Joanna Smith, Canadian Press
Justice officials testing waters for sentencing reform promised by Liberals

Prompted by promises to address the mandatory minimums of the previous Conservative government, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is initiating an on-line survey to see what the tolerance or appetite is among Canadians.  Critics say that public opinion is not a good source for policy making but the Minister points out that approximately one half the charter challenges presently involve minimum sentences.    Government of Canada:  Why we are transforming the criminal justice system   National Justice Survey:

CTV News
Anti-racist group says it identified 2 Canadians at Charlottesville rally

Canadian media is rife with commentary and speculation about the potential for Neo-Nazi spill-over from Charlottesville into Canada.  This article says that there were Canadian racist organizations represented in the US latest incident.  The site also provides a review of the current activity of these organizations.  “The far right is becoming very bold in Canada as well and we’ve seen that in the run-up to the last (federal) election and right after that as well,” (said) Barbara Perry, a global crime expert at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.   Related article: CTV News    Far-right extremist groups on the rise in Canada, expert says

Toronto Star – Alex Ballingall
Almost 7,000 migrants have walked into Quebec since Canada Day

As time runs out on the US temporary visas that were issued after the Haitian crisis, the number of Haitians crossing the land border in Quebec has ballooned to around 7,000.  Many are presently housed in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium in make-shift housing but in early fall the stadium is no longer available.  The Canadian Army has set up a tent city and Minister Garneau says others will move to Cornwall.  The safe-third country issues are re-surfacing as Canadian officials begin to suggest that most will not be able to stay in Canada.   The Canadian Council for Refugees is asking Canada to withdraw from the safe third country agreement.   Related article: Toronto Star – Shree Paradkar    What white supremacy looks like minus the Charlottesville paraphernalia   Related article: Globe and Mail – James Whitmore Are Nazis as American as apple pie?

 Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
French attempts to release prisoners early are unsuccessful

This time, Webster reports on a French effort to release inmates into parole in order to reduce the prison population.  According to Professor Martine Herzog-Evans, the effort did not go well.  Under French provisions dating from 2014, release under constraints ran parallel to the normal process but was fast tracked and ignored contrary indications.  Additionally, probation officers were told specifically not to prepare at all for resettlement.   

Homeless Hub – Katrina Milaney, Kaylee Ramage, Xiao Yang Fang, Marilyn Louis
Understanding mothers experiencing homelessness: A gendered approach to finding solutions for family homelessness

The 30 page downloadable pdf report says that women make up approximately 25% of the adult homeless population, but they are the majority of lone parents in families experiencing homelessness.  “Women experiencing homelessness have high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (36%), mental health issues like depression (50%) (Bassuk, Volk, & Oliver, 2010) and report high rates of sexual exploitation, violence, and assault (Paradis & Mosher, 2012), which ranged between 37%-89% (Homes for Women, 2013).”   Related article: Blogger Katrina Milaney    Family Homelessness is Caused by Inadequate Policies and ‘Siloed’ Systems