Prison Health…

Oct. 26, 2017

Pew Charitable Trust (US)
Prison Health Care Costs and Quality – How and why states strive for high-performing systems

The Pew Foundation and VERA Institute for Justice together have produced this report looking at the data derived from two 50 state surveys on the state of health care in prisons.  The amount spent on the individual inmate varies considerably and the report includes those amounts on per state basis.  The amount varies from $2100 to $20,000 with a median expense of $5,720. The aim of this first ever study is to begin to create a comprehensive view of costs and delivery of health care in prisons across the country.  (Includes an overview) Full Report (A 140 page downloadable pdf)   Prison Health Care: Costs and Quality

2016 Census Demonstrates Urgency of First Nations Priorities, says AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde

The Stats Canada results of the 2016 is supporting strongly the claims of the First Nations about both needs and the urgency of those needs.  In the last ten years the First Nations population has increased by 39% and the average age of First Nations is 30 years old.  Housing is in a seriously deficient state with 44% in need of major repair and 36% over-crowded. – Jesse Thistle
Reframing the Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada

This link is a report on 12 Dimensions on Indigenous Homelessness as collected by cross Canada interviews with Indigenous people.  The result is a thought provocative reflection on how homelessness is caused and how it is best addressed, likely for general population as well as Indigenous people.  Well worth a serious and attentive read.

National Newswatch – Maryam Rezaei
How Canada can end energy poverty and winter cut-offs

Several research groups have agreed on what constitutes energy poverty in Canada:  “Energy poverty occurs when a household has a hard time meeting energy needs.”  This originally British definition gives room for flexibility while describing the impact of electrical cut-offs for non-payment of hydro bills, a problem plaguing vulnerable populations for years without any specific effort to intervene in real solutions.  Typically, there are interest charges and re-connect fees as well.  Most Canadians spend about 3% of their income on energy but if double the average rate constitutes a hard time then 2.8 million Canadians will again experience energy poverty.  Rezaei offers five solutions to mitigate the impact on children and seniors in particular.

 National Immigrant Justice Center –
Advocates Respond to Immigration Detention RFI with Information about Escalating Due Process and Civil Rights Violations

While the US Homeland Security and ICE are looking for additional jail cells for immigrants, 14 different agencies have begun to offer evidence that any expansion of immigrant jail facilities will simple increase the rate and extent of rights violations for those detained.  One major concern is the right of access to legal representation but the failure to inform and facilitate access to the immigrant facing deportation.   Related article: Rollcall (US) – Private Prisons Boost Lobbying as Federal Detention Needs Grow   Related article: Reveal –     Sarah Macaraeg    Inside a private prison’s $150M deal to detain immigrants in New Mexico

Harvard Law School (US) – Fair Punishment Project
Pay-to-play in diversion

In this newsletter, the pay-to-play side of diversion or prosecution deferral cases comes to focus.  A person charged and eligible for a diversion from the usual trial, conviction, sentencing prospects, may be hinder from that option by the fee imposed by the District Attorney to enter the diversion program.  Critics suggest that much of the pay-to-play is a fundraising practice and is extremely prejudicial to poor people.   Related article: Pro Publica (US) – Duaa Eldeib   For Some Youths, ‘Minor’ Offenses Lead to Major Sentences in Adult Prison – Cases threaten to undermine Illinois’ efforts at juvenile justice reform