Aug 10, 2018 – Prisoner’s Justice Day

(Poster from NOPE Canada: )

Prisoners’ Justice Day commemorates deaths in custody and demand justice for human rights abuses behind bars
History of the Odyssey Group and Prisoner Justice Day:  Robert Gaucher – Journal of Prisoners on Prisons, Vol 3, No 1 / 2 Spring 1991
CBC (BC) News – Jason Proctor
Corrections sued over violent death of double-bunked pretrial inmate

Twenty-five year John Murphy was convicted of drunk driving causing death in 2011 and was arrested and in pre-trial for violating a driving restriction when he was double-bunked in segregation (?) with another inmate with a history of violence.  Parents Kenneth and Sandra Murphy are suing claiming that corrections officers “failed in their public duty by placing him in a segregated cell with the man who killed him.”  – Dale Huxtable
Improve Health Care in Prisons!

The link is to a petition circulated by pressing for health care – medical and dental – for federal inmates and urging both federal and provincial authorities over prisons to pursue the immediate improvements needed to establish proper health care as available outside the prisons for the inmates.  The petition is seeking UN rights based provisions as the yardstick for the changes sought.  At the same time, the petition may serve as a criteria for proper prison health care in the light of aging inmates, the increase in women in prison, the indigenous over-representation, and the recent attention to deaths in prisons.

Prison Reform International

The Mandela rules for the treatment of prisoners has been an international guideline under UN Human Rights for some time. “Produced by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Penal Reform International (PRI), this document provides guidance for implementing the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the UN Nelson Mandela Rules.” First approved by the UN in December of 2017, the revision, the change seek to enhance the protection of prisoners from torture and mistreatment.  Guidance Document on the Nelson Mandela Rules (186 page downloadable pdf:

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Ten prison performance trends

Webster is summarizing the HMP Prison and Probation Service Annual Digest, an official sort of state of the union of prisons in the UK (note that in spite of the title, there is nothing on probation services).  Webster offers ten measures in the state of prisons in the UK.  The overview would suggest a steady deterioration of conditions over the past year compared with previous years.

CBC News – Dean Beeby
Border agency, Transport Canada clash over gun rules

There has been a four year fight between Transport Canada and the Canadian Border Services Agency over the question of which and when border personnel may be armed in Canada’s airports.  Ground crossing border guards are already armed (since 2006) but the clash here is about whether personnel not legally defined as peacekeepers can bear arms at the airports.  The dispute has led to the intervention of the Privy Council but as yet is without resolve.  Perhaps we can also arrive at why border guards greeting pre- security cleared travelers need firearms.

The Marshall Project (US) – Jeffrey Neff
Senators Take Aim at Bail Industry Backers – Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown, both Democrats, want answers from the insurance industry.

While prison reform has had a serious focus on the contribution of the bail bond industry to the mass incarceration, no one saw the industry as a financial marketplace sustained by insurance companies.  Booker and Brown say:  “Many of our nation’s insurance companies may be pursuing profits at the expense of economic security for vulnerable families and the goals of public safety.”   The two Senators want the insurance companies to acknowledge the role they play in the lucrative cash bond business and have written 22 insurers asking for clarification.    Related article: The Marshall Project – Celina Fang, Photographer Brian L. Frank   The California Inmates Fighting The Wine Country Wildfires   Related article: Re-wire News  Tina Vasquez  Protesters Continue Amid Threat of Lawsuit From Private Prison Company GEO Group   Related article: National Public Radio – Joseph Shapiro   Lawsuits Target ‘Debtors’ Prisons’ Across the Country Related article: National Public Radio – Vanessa Romo   Federal Judge Rules Against Imprisoning Those Who Can’t Pay Court Fees

Criminological Highlights – Anthony Doob and Rosemary Gartner, Professors – U of T Department of Criminology

Here’s the line-up for the summer edition of the Highlights:  1) Why might it be useful for US President Trump to read this Highlight?  2) Are some people’s lives made more difficult by prohibiting employers from asking job applicants if they have a criminal record?  3) Are there risks to encouraging gun ownership?  4) How can we predict which youths who offend as adolescents will still be committing offences in 10 years?  5) Which Americans should prefer to be sentenced by a judge appointed by President Trump?  6) How can police actions with youth lead youths to believe that violence is justified?  7) How have changes in the law in England & Wales affected sentencing and imprisonment?  8) Are youths from high socioeconomic families protected from the harmful effects of criminal justice contact?    To subscribe: