Go gently…

June 16, 2020

Globe and Mail – Genesee Keevil
Four officers, no weapons, no charges: A Yukon First Nation’s solution for keeping the peace

Here’s an article that may inject some fresh thinking into the notion of community policing.  Four young men help to respond and settle whatever is amiss among the people of Kwanlin Dun in Whitehorse.  The home-grown solution followed tensions with local RCMP and delays in response time.  By choice, the four officers do not lay charges and do not carry guns.  “The distinction has earned them trust and respect in the community, as well as national and international attention.”  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-four-officers-no-weapons-no-charges-a-yukon-first-nations-solution/?fbclid=IwAR1UFsHuXo_fGxTODBXgchEZmFFqwZjGz0cUAdlFTOw-VIFEYo7saaZFDeE   Related article: Globe and Mail – Mark O’Neill  Canada has a long, documented history of racism and racial discrimination. Don’t look away   https://www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/opinion/article-canada-has-a-long-documented-history-of-racism-and-racial/?__twitter_impression=true   Related article: Toronto Star – Editorial (June 12, 2020)  Let’s save some outrage for treatment of Indigenous people  https://www.thestar.com/amp/opinion/editorials/2020/06/12/lets-save-some-outrage-for-treatment-of-indigenous-people.html?__twitter_impression=true   Related article: Huffpost (Canada) – Samantha Beattie  Recent Claims Of Police Brutality In Canada Are ‘Tip Of The Iceberg’ For Indigenous People – Top Mounties claimed that systemic racism doesn’t exist.  https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/amp/entry/police-brutality-canada-indigenous_ca_5ee3dc4ec5b699cea5318697/?ncid=other_twitter_cooo9wqtham&utm_campaign=share_twitter&__twitter_impression=true

Globe and Mail – Marie Henein
Breaking the law: How the state weaponizes an unjust criminal justice system

As a distinguished defence lawyer, Henein is questioning a fundamental priniciple of justice is this article.  “There is a rational reason that Black Lives Matter marches have been accompanied by demands to defund police, enforce police oversight and decrease the epidemic of mass incarceration. It is because the state’s weaponization of the criminal justice system for the purpose of racial marginalization has a long, well-documented history. Using the criminal law is a dependable and effective method to double down on marginalizing the marginalized and sidelining the racialized.” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-state-is-kneeling-on-the-job/  Related article: Toronto Star – Douglas Quan   How do we weed racism out of juries? This court decision offers one way forward   https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/06/15/asking-prospective-jurors-are-you-racist-doesnt-cut-it-when-trying-to-detect-bias-in-the-courtroom-experts-say.html

 Just Mercy (US) – Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson, a US lawyer who has devoted much of his career to bringing justice to youth serving life without parole, wrote a book of the same title and directs the activity of the Equal Justice Initiative.  When the web site was name best NGO site for the year, Stevenson accepted the award with a five word address: “Do Justice! Love Mercy! Hope!”  The link offers a free viewing of the film.  https://www.justmercyfilm.com/?utm_content=buffer29a30&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer    Equal Justice Website: https://eji.org/

N.Y. Times – Mariame Kaba
Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police – Because reform won’t happen.

Kaba puts the efforts to reform as redundant as the violence against Blacks and suggests that reform has been tried and financed so often there is no resolution except to disband.  “There is not a single era in United States history in which the police were not a force of violence against black people… Regardless of your view on police power — whether you want to get rid of the police or simply to make them less violent — here’s an immediate demand we can all make: Cut the number of police in half and cut their budget in half. Fewer police officers equals fewer opportunities for them to brutalize and kill people.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/sunday/floyd-abolish-defund-police.html#click=https://t.co/zzgksCo2Cz   Related article: Toronto Life – Lara Zarum  “Do I believe we can have a police-free future in our lifetime? Absolutely”: Policing expert Robyn Maynard on how defunding would work in practice   https://torontolife.com/city/do-i-believe-we-can-have-a-police-free-future-in-our-lifetime-absolutely-policing-expert-robyn-maynard-on-how-defunding-would-work-in-practice/   Related article: CTV News – Sarah Turnbull   ‘Systemic racism needs systemic change,’ says AFN national chief on policing in Canada  https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/systemic-racism-needs-systemic-change-says-afn-national-chief-on-policing-in-canada-1.4982452?utm_source=Morning+Brief&utm_campaign=6f1bf228c6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_12_02_COPY_846&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a43c5d924a-6f1bf228c6-206962393  

Quartz.com (US) – Annalisa Merelli
There are more Covid-19 cases in some US prisons than in entire countries

The Black Lives Matter activity has eclipsed the concern around the danger of prisoners getting the Covid-19 in prisons.  Here are the distressing facts:  “Overall, there are over 1,600 clusters of 50 or more cases of coronavirus across the US. A cluster is a group of cases that can be traced to one place (for instance, a nursing home) or a situation (such as an event). All the larger clusters in the US—over 1,000 cases—are centered in one of two institutions: prisons, and meat processing facilities.”  https://qz.com/1868445/there-are-more-covid-19-cases-in-some-us-prisons-than-in-entire-countries/amp/?__twitter_impression=true   Related article: The Marshall Project (US) – A State-by-State Look at Coronavirus in Prisons – The Marshall Project is collecting data on COVID-19 infections in state and federal prisons. See how the virus has affected correctional facilities where you live.   https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/05/01/a-state-by-state-look-at-coronavirus-in-prisons?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=opening-statement&utm_term=newsletter-20200612-2022&utm_source=The+Marshall+Project+Newsletter&utm_campaign=06b2d8b8bf-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_06_12_11_47&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5e02cdad9d-06b2d8b8bf-174493825

Margot Van Sluytman

Announcing the International RJ2020 eConference, where I will be presenting on: Sawbonna: Victim-Led Restorative Justice, based on my recently published research paper:

English: https://www.victimsfirst.gc.ca/res/cor/VLRJ-JARV/index.html

French: https://www.victimesdabord.gc.ca/res/cor/index.html

Seeking presenters: You will have the opportunity to “attend” a rich gathering of those working in this ever-evolving field, where new research, new strategies, more voices to the table continues to grow. http://rjworld2020.com/