Punish or rehab?

Dec 28, 2017 

Globe and Mail – Michelle Zilio
Canadians prioritize prosecution over rehabilitation for jihadi suspects: poll

A Nanos poll has found that 62% of Canadians favour criminal charges and jail over rehabilitation for returning Jihadists.  The survey was commissioned by the Globe and Mail and critics say that the either / or framing of the question is at fault.  The matter became controversial when many of the coalition nations spoke in favour of killing the Jihadists.  “Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has acknowledged this problem (evidence for trial), saying it is hard to translate intelligence information on suspects into evidence that will stick in court.”  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadians-prioritize-prosecution-over-rehabilitation-for-jihadi-suspects-poll/article37432097/  Related article:  Indiana WIBC – (US)  Indiana’s Next High-Tech Hiring Pool: Prisons – State will launch computer coding classes in 2018 for inmates nearing release  http://www.wibc.com/news/local-news/indianas-next-high-tech-hiring-pool-prisons   Related article: Truthout – Ryan Harvey and Sammy Didonato   Climate Change Meets Mass Incarceration: California’s Incarcerated Firefighters   http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43040-climate-change-meets-mass-incarceration-californias-incarcerated-firefighters

Toronto Star – Canadian Press
London, Ont., police investigating after inmate found dead in cell at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre

Given the mandate of prison to assure the safety of the inmates, the repeated instances of the death of inmates is beyond puzzling.  The public reports and the lack of accountability of the jailers to both public and to the families of the inmates is an added bizarre note.  On Tuesday, a 29 year old inmate of the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre was found dead in his cell about noon on Boxing Day. https://www.thestar.com/amp/news/canada/2017/12/27/london-ont-police-investigating-after-inmate-found-dead-in-cell-at-elgin-middlesex-detention-centre.html    Related article: RightRelevance.com / inthesetimes.com  – A Brief Case for Prison Abolition   http://inthesetimes.com/article/20764/a-brief-case-for-prison-abolition-racism-classism

The Independent (UK) – Rob Merrick
Women hit hardest by ‘shameful’ short prison sentences, new figures reveal – ‘A few weeks in prison are enough to lose your home, children and job and cause harm to mental health’

The practice of sentencing women serves to illustrate another great injustice of the criminal justice and prison system: more likely to be given short sentences, those short sentences can wreak complete havoc with family and personal life, creating an unspoken but severe secondary tier of punishment in addition to the prison time.  In the UK, one in four women are sentence to a month or less.  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/women-prison-sentences-short-jailed-periods-less-month-inmates-minor-offences-children-labour-a8124896.html   Related article: San Bernardino Sun (US) – Brian Whitehead   How the Center for Employment Opportunities in San Bernardino gives those on probation or parole a second shot   https://www.sbsun.com/2017/12/26/how-the-center-for-employment-opportunities-in-san-bernardino-gives-those-on-probation-or-parole-a-second-shot/amp/?__twitter_impression=true   Related article: HuffPost – Eleanor Goldberg   It Doesn’t Make Any Sense To Arrest People Who Are Homeless – For one, it’s a sure fire way to perpetuate the problem http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/arresting-homeless-people_us_5a39843de4b0b0e5a79dfbc8#click=https://t.co/Bfua7Oz9Fd

The Nation (US) – Jessica Pishko
‘We’re Basically Guessing on These Cases’: Louisiana’s Disastrous Resentencing Hearings – SCOTUS has required the reconsideration of hundreds of sentences that put kids in prison for life.

Louisiana has a problem.  In 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that automatic life-without-parole sentences were unconstitutional for people under 18.  There are over three hundred such cases awaiting re-consideration in the state.  Even after the Supreme Court ruling, juveniles continued to be sentenced to life without parole since the SC objected to an automatic sentence.  In 2016, SCOTUS ruled the Miller decision retroactive and Louisiana began a legislative process around the mandatory reviews.  https://www.thenation.com/article/were-basically-guessing-on-these-cases-louisianas-disastrous-resentencing-hearings/

The Tyee (BC) – Henry Giroux
Fascism’s Return and Trump’s Way on Youth – Call it ‘fascism American-style’ — and be prepared to fight back.

Here’s a Canadian reflection on where the current form of American government derives from and where it is going.  Giroux, a professor at McMaster, has very specific concerns around the impact on youth.  “But in the Trump era, remnants of fascism exist in different shapes and forms and include a celebration of the cult of the leader, systemic racism, the embrace of a toxic macho-populism and state support for ultra-nationalism, racism and the threat of violence against critics…And it’s more than willing to sacrifice the future of young people for short-term political and economic gains, if not democracy itself.”  https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/12/27/Trump-Fascism-Return/

Policy Options – Jennifer Ditchburn
 The coolest government org you’ve never heard of

Policy Horizons is the federal government’s in-house strategic foresight think tank. The group listens and watches to “weak signals,” little data blips that suggest the edge of change.  “What’s shaping the world, what’s shaping the country that others aren’t noticing” is how chief futurist Peter Padbury describes those signals.”  http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/december-2017/the-coolest-government-org-youve-never-heard-of/