Another death…

Nov. 22, 2019

CBC News – Ariana Kelland
Inmate’s death shines light on fetal alcohol disorders in justice system

The problem is not only the difficulty of diagnosing fetal alcohol disorder syndrome but the fact that one must leave Newfoundland to get the diagnosis.  Jonathan Henoche, an Inuit man from Happy Valley – Goose Bay, Labrador, was brain damaged and died in custody Wednesday past consequent to a violent altercation with a corrections officer at HMP in St. John’s.  Henoche was awaiting trial on murder changes.

CBC News – Kim Pate
Let’s fix broken system for suspending criminal records

Senator Kim Pate has a plea for justice in Canada: Let’s fix the problems around pardons, real pardons rather than record suspension.  Her argument is focused, and rightly so, on the 250,000 Canadians convicted of possession of marijuana before the legalization and the 44 to date who have successfully navigated the suspension process.  Says Pate:  “Continuing to allow criminal records to bar their access to employment, education, housing and other community involvement extends their punishment beyond the end of their sentence.”

Valley Advocate (MA, US) – Dave Eisenstadter
Editorial: The Horrors of Unfair Prison Visitation Practices

The practices described by this small town paper editorial are likely one of the better indications of the failure of prison reform to penetrate very deeply the broken system that overshadows the prisons.  The effort to get a system responsive to the elements that are known to contribute to rehab are still remote and denied in many cases, as in this instance of the rules and their application to visiting families of the incarcerated.

US Bureau of Justice Statistics – Barbara A. Oudekerk, Ph.D., BJS Statistician, and Heather Warnken, J.D., L.L.M., BJS and OVC Visiting FellowLynn Langton, Ph.D., former BJS Statistician
Victim Service Providers in the United States, 2017

Selected Highlights:

  • Almost 90% of VSPs were non-profit or faith-based organizations (45%) or governmental agencies with staff or programs to serve crime victims (43%).
  • Most governmental VSPs operated in prosecutors’ offices (18% of all VSPs) or law enforcement agencies (15%).
  • Hospital, medical, or emergency facilities with dedicated victim programs made up 3% of VSPs.

Findings are based on data from BJS’s National Census of Victim Service Providers, which provides national data on all programs and organizations that served victims of crime or abuse.

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
Time limits for criminal trials also apply to cases involving youth, Supreme Court rules

Lawyers wanted a 12 month limit but the SCC has ruled the current 18 months for adult trials applies to juveniles as well.  The adult ruling of 18 months for provincial court and 30 months for matters before the Superior courts came from the Spencer ruling in 2016 but the ruling ignored the application to juvenile cases.  “Unless and until it can be shown that Jordan is failing to adequately serve Canada’s youth and society’s broader interest in seeing youth matters tried expeditiously, there is in my view no need to consider, much less implement, a lower constitutional ceiling for youth matters,” Justice Michael Moldaver wrote for the majority opinion released on Friday.”

Toronto Star – Meg Inwood
I lived on the streets for years — here are the things Toronto’s homeless could really use this winter

Here’s a helpful reality check for those who help the homeless on the streets during winter, coming from someone who has been on the streets until just recently.  Socks, blankets, ground sheets, water bottles, hot beverage containers, tents, all these items need careful consideration for street people.  Related article: The Tyee (BC) – Paula Ethans  The Climate Crisis Will Kill Women First   Related article:  Toronto Star – Liz Beddall   Working together unlocks solutions to poverty