Right at home…

Sept 21, 2017

Homelesshub.ca – A Way Home Canada and Canadian Observatory on Homelessness – Stephen Gaetz; Erin Dej; Tim Richter; Melanie Redman
A Policy Brief – The State of Homelessness in Canada 2016

Many in advocacy for social justice are used to working in siloes preoccupied with a significant part of a particular arena.  This group at Homeless Hub are consistently putting forth more comprehensive views of social issues and an illustrated link to housing.  The newsletter is helpful for anyone whose focus touches on homelessness and housing.  The latest newsletter inquiries about how to end youth homelessness, and the federal government’s role, and includes several perspectives around the point.   http://www.homelesshub.ca/  (Newsletter subscriptions at link.)  Related article: National Post – Canadian Press    Liberals will dole out $11.2B over decade for housing strategy — and plan to declare housing a right   http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/liberals-poised-to-make-housing-a-right-in-new-homelessness-strategy

MacLean’s – Jessica Leader
Born addicted to opioids

Known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, babies who are born with exposure to opioids are generally sent directly to intensive care.  In the last decade there has been a 16 fold increase in the incidence – 950 babies last year.  The baby is first stabilized with morphine and then goes through a controlled withdrawal.  There are consequences as well for the mother, psychologically and medically who may simply be under legitimate opioid use for pain, and not an illicit drug user.  “Tragically, many people become addicted to painkillers through legally obtained prescriptions.”  http://www.macleans.ca/society/health/born-addicted-to-opioids/  Related article:  Toronto Star – Rob Ferguson    Ontario considers price of $10 per gram in government stores for marijuana once it’s legalized next summer  https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2017/09/20/ontario-considers-price-of-10-per-gram-in-government-stores-for-marijuana-once-its-legalized-next-summer.html

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Can Probation Deliver?               

The UK has been struggling publicly for some time over issues relating to crime and prisons.  Here Webster offers the insights from Probation Chief Inspector Dame Glenys Stacey who identifies problems and cures for the waning UK probation system.  The Webster link gives the entire speech and further connections at the end of the speech.  http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?e=10ab936adc&u=f3b97d02b5235c9e7c9b3a65b&id=6d1388736e   Related article: The Root – Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-Southern California)  Bail Reform Is About Criminal and Economic Justice   http://www.theroot.com/bail-reform-is-about-criminal-and-economic-justice-1818504734

The Pew Charitable Foundations (US)
U.S. Juvenile Commitment Rate Falls by Half

In one decade, the commitment (to custody) rate for juveniles has dropped by one half.  The rate is measure against 100,000 population and has gone from 201 to 100; since 1997 the rate has dropped 67%; 24 states have reduced the rate by at least 50%; Connecticut leads.  “The nationwide reduction in commitment parallels the decline in juvenile violent crime arrests—including for murder and non-negligent manslaughter, aggravated assault, and robbery—which fell by 49 percent from 2006 to 2015. The tandem drops illustrate that juvenile crime and incarceration can be cut at the same time.”   http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/analysis/2017/09/18/juvenile-commitment-rate-falls-by-half-nationally-in-10-years?sl&utm_campaign=2017-09-20+PNN&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Pew

Washington Post – John Shjarback, Scott Decker, Scott Wolfe and David Pyrooz
Did the Ferguson shooting make police less proactive?

The question of police-community relationships in the US have been heavily influenced by the question about whether the public reaction in Ferguson to the police shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown served to intimidate police into non-enforcement (also known as ‘de-policing’) in Black areas.  The answer, it appears, is that yes, through the state the police reduced the number of stops and arrests but that no the crime rate did not increase.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/did-the-ferguson-shooting-make-police-less-proactive/2017/09/18/a5ac91f2-76fb-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html?utm_term=.fb1ec4301d92#comments Related article: Justice Today – Rebecca McCray   Sessions scales back federal reform as police-community relations continue to crumble   https://injusticetoday.com/sessions-scales-back-federal-reform-as-police-community-relations-continue-to-crumble-43f56ab5f4a0

Wellesley Institute –
Mental Health & the Megacity

The Wellesley Institute is pre-occupied with the social determinates of health.  This is an effort, with partner CAMH, to focus specifically on the issues that mental health displays in a mega-city.  In Ontario, 85% of the population lives in the city.  20% of the population will suffer from a mental health crisis in their lifetime.  The link goes to a Youtube site with several speakers from the September 6/17 conference.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn5yIFRtt8M&feature=youtu.be

 Toronto Star – Nicholas Keung
The law says refugee claims must be heard in 60 days. So why are people waiting 16 months?

It’s the backlog – and it’s because there are simply not enough staff to process the current numbers while dealing with other issues.  As of Aug. 31, the numbers are about 34,000, some dating back to as early as 2012.  Current capacity is about 2,000 cases per month.  The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) has struck a special task force to confront the backlog but it continues to grow with changing circumstances such as the recent Haitian arrivals.  https://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2017/09/20/the-law-says-refugee-claims-must-be-heard-in-60-days-so-why-are-asylum-seekers-waiting-16-months.html