Boys and trauma…

May 24, 2019

National Post – Colin Perkel, Canadian Press
Focus on traumatized boys critical to gender equality, new research shows

The distinction between the extent of traumatization between boys and girls is one of those thoughts that is somewhat startling.  “Boys in poor urban areas around the world are suffering even more than girls from violence, abuse and neglect, ground-breaking international research published on Monday suggests.”  The Journal of Adolescent Health is suggesting that the ACEs or the Adverse Childhood Experiences of boys were reported at higher rates for violence and abuse; researchers say that the boys are more likely later to develop violence in response while the girls exposed to violence and abuse are more likely to suffer depression.  The report insists that growth towards gender equality has to consider these findings.   Related article: Toronto Star – Tanya Talaga   Ontario turns away from a path to reconciliation

CBC News – Nick Murray
Food insecurity rising in Nunavut since launch of Nutrition North: study

In spite of efforts to subsidize the costs of food in the North since 2011, the prices are increasing and creating real nutritional insecurity.  Families are opting to buy other necessities instead of food and are known to by-pass both individual meals and whole days without food because of the costs.  46% of Nunavut families are impacted as of 2016 but the situation appears to be deteriorating further.  No one is able to definitively identify the cause of the growing insecurity but advocates are conceding that the federal program Nutrition North alone is not solving the problem to anyone’s satisfaction.

Thrive Global (US) – Ali Power, Fortune Society
Mental Health after Prison: What I Wish You Knew

The author is a therapist at a clinic for former inmates.  She describes some of the last after effect on the capacity of former inmates to cope with having spent long years in solitary.  She offers five lenses through which the harm to both inmate and family can be viewed and better understood.  Her first lens is that prison is so traumatizing that one of the common after effects is PTSD, acquired through witnessing and participating in violence and continuing after release.  There are four other impacts at the link.    Related article: The Intercept (US)  Maryam Saleh and Spencer Woodman      A Homeland Security Whistleblower Goes Public About ICE Abuse of Solitary Confinement     Related article: The Intercept – Spencer Woodman, Maryam Saleh, Hannah Rappleye, Karrie Kehoe    Solitary Voices: Thousands of Immigrants Suffer in Solitary Confinement in ICE Detention

NBC News – Janelle Richards, Michelle Cho and Kim Cornett
When they see us…  directed and co-written by Ava DuVernay

The Central Park Five story has been made into a Netflix film now available called When They See Us. The story involved a rape for which five young Black and Latino boys were convicted and which led to Trump calling for their conviction, re-institution of the death penalty and execution in a full page ad in the New York papers.  The boys, 14-16 at the time of the crime, who were admittedly beaten to confess falsely, were later exonerated by DNA evidence after serving time.

Alberta Restorative Justice National Symposium (Nov 17-19, 2019 – Banff, AB)
Diverse Perspectives, Meaningful Solutions

Call for Presenters: Deadline June 30, 2019  ( )

The Broadbent Institute – Daniel KoniKoff and Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
Big Data and Criminal Justice – What Canadians Should Know

This article seeks to examine what are called ‘predictive justice technologies,’ or how justice supporting agencies use big data to project likely outcomes based on past performance.  The justice version of garbage-in and garbage-out raises the concern that if the data is already biased going in to the analysis then the analysis itself continues whatever bias already there, and all projections or predictions are simply sustaining the build-in bias.   The article scans the various software programs available as well comments on impact on courts, corrections and population segments.  Though widespread in use in the US and Canada, the effectiveness of these programs remains largely unknown.  (An 11 page downloadable pdf)   Related article: Blogger Russell Webster (UK) Criminal Justice Statistics for 2018

CBC News – Kate McKenna
126 cases and 0 criminal charges: Is Quebec’s police watchdog doing its job?

Just on odds alone, there is something wrong with this picture.  The Quebec’s Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes  (BEI) is tasked with investigating police incidents where civilians are killed or injured.  Two years ago, the parents of Koray Celik of Île Bizard  watched as four policemen punched, kicked and struck with batons their son on the floor of their house.  Koray has been on pain killers for a dental problem and was drunk.  Little did the parents expect this result when they called police to help with the son’s belligerence, especially as they tried to call off the police action when Koray had calmed down by the time of the police arrival.  The Celiks and advocates say that the BEI, which uses ex-policemen, does not have the real independence to perform their duties.

CBC News –
Sexual misconduct persists in military despite efforts to curb assault, StatsCan reports

Two years from the start of Operation Honour, the Canadian military has made only marginal improvement in the struggle against sexual assault; in fact, almost 900 cases were reported, a 1.6 % ratio to personnel in 2018 vs a 1.7% two years ago.  There is a higher rate among reserves as opposed to regular CAF personnel.    Related article: CBC News – Sarah Leavitt  Secretly filmed by boyfriend for years, Montreal-area woman says ‘it felt like the end of the world’   Related article: CBC News – David Thurton   Judge allows women’s rights group to challenge use of past sexual history in Joshua Boyle’s trial

CBC News – Donna Carreiro
The fight for sobriety behind bars: 4 inmates share their story

Inside Headingley Correctional Centre four inmates meet with a CBC team to record their reactions to a provincial inside-jail addiction program, one of only two in Canada (the other is in Nanaimo, BC).  Not court ordered and in a separate building in the jail, the four men think they enjoy a real advantage in doing the program inside where they remain drug free.  Said one of the four:  “If you don’t heal what has hurt you, you’ll continue to bleed on people who never even cut you,”

City News (Toronto) – Canadian Press
Convictions that have led to consecutive murder sentences in Canada

This may be a helpful item around the practice of judges imposing sentences beyond the 25 years to life for murder.  A judge, consequent to a Harper government change in the law, can, in the case of multiple murders, impose sentences that run after one another for each of the murders.  Known as a consecutive sentence, when the first term is finished, the second begins and a convicted murderer no longer has access to parole after 25 years.  The practice is inspired by the dictum that ‘life means life.’  The alternative is known as concurrent sentencing and would allow parole eligibility after the 25 years maximum.  The 25 years max is intended as ‘a faint hope’ clause that may promote good behaviour while in jail and a willingness to embrace rehab programs.   Related article: BuzzFeed News (UK) – Emily Dugan   A Woman Died In Prison Six Years Beyond The Sentence For Her Crime.  Now Her Family Have to Crowdfund to Prepare for Her Inquest   (Examines the UK indefinite sentence or Imprisonment for Public Safety or IPP)  Related article: CBC News – Alison Crawford  Public safety minister vows to overhaul ‘punitive’ criminal pardons system

Edmonton Star – Omar Mosleh
Supreme Court orders new trial for man accused in Cindy Gladue’s death

Cindy Gladue was a 36 year Metis Indigenous woman and mother murdered viciously in an Edmonton motel bathroom.  The man accused of her murder, a White trucker named Bradley Barton, was tried by a jury of 10 men and two women, none of whom were Indigenous themselves.  Allegations are that the reason for the not guilty verdict was in the composition of the jury.  The use of the victim’s preserved pelvic tissue for evidence in court prompted outcry protesting the indignity of first ever use of actual body parts in a trial.   Related article: CBC News  Supreme Court to rule on whether Cindy Gladue’s accused killer will face new trial  Related article: Globe and Mail   Kathryn Blaze Carlson  More than a tragic headline: Cindy Gladue dreamt of a happy life