Military justice slow and costly…

Jan 11, 2018

CTV News

Report obtained by CTV News shows lack of confidence in military justice system

An as yet unpublished but interim study of the Canadian military justice system insists that there is widespread lack of confidence in the system through all ranks.  Ordered in May 2016, the 560 page report was completed in July 2017 but is still under wraps.  “Senior commanders have criticized the military justice system for being slow, light on punishment, and failing to protect victims’ rights.”  Costs are another problem with an estimated 30 times the expense of a civilian process.

 John Howard position available…

The John Howard Society of Ontario is hiring a new Program Evaluator to join the team!  You can find details here:

The deadline for applications is Wednesday January 24th, 2018.

Posted by: Michelle Keast, Director, Centre of Research, Policy & Program Development

John Howard Society of Ontario, 342 Queen Street East, 416.408.4282 Ext 234 –

Rewire (US) – Josephine Yurcaba
For Survivors of Prison Rape, Saying ‘Me Too’ Isn’t an Option

“The public thinks criminals deserve the sexual abuse they suffer while incarcerated, and there’s a persistent belief that they do not have rights.”  The current focus on sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace should serve to remind us that inmates in prison have no possibility of fleeing the threat from other inmates or from guards, witness the current concerns voiced in Edmonton.  Be aware that Yurcaba offers a graphic exposé of sexual assault and abuse in prison.   Related article: Newsweek – Nina Bala  California Won’t Jail Children for Being Poor. Will Other States Follow?

Ottawa Citizen – Joanne Laucius
Algonquin College names executive director of truth, reconciliation and indigenization

Algonquin College is the first to address the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission around education.  “Algonquin College has appointed an executive director of truth, reconciliation and indigenization — the first such role for a Canadian post-secondary institution.”  The intent is to improve access to Indigenous education and to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods in the curriculum for all students.  “Ron McLester, who was appointed as executive director of aboriginal initiatives and special adviser to college president Cheryl Jensen in August 2016, will be taking on the new role.”   Related article: CBC News  Federal government to spend $291M over 5 years to improve First Nations policing – Ottawa is also asking provinces, territories to increase their contributions

The Chronicle Herald – Tom Ayers
N.S. making new plans after court rulings on welfare

A court case over a request by child welfare authorities to remove a child from parental custody has resulted in a denial and rather a decision to improve the circumstances of poverty that contributed to the initial conflict.  The court said “despite challenges presented by mental health and income level, the parents are working in the best interests of their child.”  Judge Elizabeth Jollimore reversed a welfare decision to cut the family from its welfare roll.  The welfare department is also reviewing the adequacy of its payments.

Independent (London, UK) – Lizzie Dearden, Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Sadiq Khan accuses Government of driving rising violent crime with cuts after spate of murders in London

The mayor of London is accusing the British Labour government of being responsible through social service cuts for a startling increase in violence and murders on the streets.  “Mr. Khan claimed real-terms funding cuts to youth services, community groups, education, probation and the police since the 2010 general election had “reversed decades of progress in tackling the root causes of violent offending”.  Teenage violence is up 19% with 2017 the worst year since 2008 for teen murders.

The Daily Dot (UK) – JR Thorpe
Why short-term jail sentences are particularly damaging to mothers

Thorpe reflects on the Marshall report on the increasing number of women being jail and at the same time the UK’s Independent report on the familial impact of jailing women for as little as a week for minor and non-violent crimes when the women are care-givers for children and elderly relatives.  70% of women incarcerated fit the description: short sentences, minor, non-violent crimes; immense disruption in family life, sufficient says Thorpe to consider a total ban on short sentences.

Policy Options – Peter Hicks
The Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy should consider a pan-Canadian approach that would help the many actors across the country work together in fighting poverty.

Hicks is part of a distinguished group of policy advisors and advocates.  Traditionally there have been many ways of assessing poverty and its impact, mostly involving a single measure but Hicks and his group think that a cross Canada approach would help as a basis for poverty reduction.   “For most of these actors, an evolving “dashboard” of carefully selected indicators would be more useful than a single measure…For actors with a mandate to alleviate poverty using Canada’s income security system, the chosen indicators would likely focus on lack of current income. For actors with a mandate to prevent poverty from arising in the first place, the indicators would reflect resource lacks in areas such as skills, housing, employment and health.”