Policy may help…

Aug. 7, 2020

Edmonton Journal – Lauren Boothby
Illicit drugs readily available at Edmonton Max, but drug treatment withheld: prison justice society

John Howard Society reminds us that illicit drugs are readily available inside the prison, even most prisons, but not addiction treatment.  “Ricky Leslie, an Indigenous inmate, has had an opioid addiction for 20 years. He was prescribed buprenorphine/naloxone, sold under brand name Suboxone, as part of Correctional Service Canada’s opioid agonist treatment (OAT) in 2018 after a fentanyl overdose, according to the Alberta Prison Justice Society. The medication reduces the urge to use opioids, reverses its effects, and prevents withdrawal symptoms, making it safer to quit.”   https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/illicit-drugs-readily-available-at-edmonton-max-but-drug-treatment-withheld-prison-justice-society/wcm/4c999fcf-8dbd-4a82-89e0-6753849feaa2/

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
25,000 Canadians hospitalized or killed by self-harm last year, research says – Experts fear numbers will climb due to stress brought on by the pandemic

In this number, about 3800 died, death rates highest among men 45 years old and older.  “Hospitalization rates were highest among girls and women aged 10-24, who were three times more likely to be in hospital due to self-harm than males in that same age category.”  Knowing how to access community mental health care and the last resort use of emergency hospital wards seem problematic.  The stats used pre-virus information and the expectation is that the virus will increase the incidents.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/self-harm-suicide-canada-covid19-1.5675451

 National Newswatch – Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
Leadership apologizes after report finds systemic racism at human rights museum

Of all the institutions or places to have a racist orientation, the Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg should be the last.  Pauline Rafferty, the museum’s board chair and interim CEO, has apologized for both racist and homophobic behaviour, and the CEO John White has resigned. “The third-party report reviewed allegations of racism, homophobia and censorship by current and former employees. The museum closed Wednesday and Thursday to give staff an opportunity to review the report.”  https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2020/08/05/leadership-apologizes-after-report-finds-systemic-racism-at-human-rights-museum/#.XywV8TV7k2z

The Intercept (US) – Ryan Devereaux
Border Patrol Launches Militarized Raid of Borderlands Humanitarian Aid Camp – For the second time in two years, Border Patrol launched a raid against No More Deaths within days of the group releasing embarrassing information about the agency.

The tit-for-tat context for the conflict between the US Border Patrol and the people of Portland (Org) has another face on the southwest border where US citizens are trying to save lives of desperate refugees coming out of the dessert in life threatening condition.  No More Deaths is a humanitarian group setting up medical aid camps where these refugees cross.  The raid by the Border Patrol, in military combat clothing and some members of the BORTAC (Border Tactical teams), also obviously had a public relations intent to intimidate as well as pay back for recent criticism from No More Deaths.   https://theintercept.com/2020/08/02/border-patrol-raid-arizona-no-more-deaths/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=The%20Intercept%20Newsletter   Related article: Arizona Mirror – Victoria Traxler/News21   Experts: Latino youth ‘invisible’ in juvenile justice data    https://www.azmirror.com/2020/08/04/experts-latino-youth-invisible-in-juvenile-justice-data/

Kitchener-Waterloo Crime Prevention
Porch chats continue:

Becoming an Active Bystander https://bit.ly/PC4-2020   Thu, September 24, 2020

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

Understanding the Impact of Trauma and Abuse on Children & Responding Together

https://bit.ly/PC2-2020  Wed, August 12, 2020 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

 CBC News – Shanifa Nasser
A mentally ill man died after a run-in with jail guards in 2016. Now Ontario police say no one will be charged – Family of Soleiman Faqiri says they were told it was impossible to know who dealt the fatal blow in 2016 death

This is a horrendous story of what is currently fueling the civic outrage against police and prisons.  There were more than fifty points of injury on Fagiri’s body, he had been pepper sprayed twice and six guards participated in his beating.  OPP then announced that it was impossible to determine who delivered a fatal blow.  The inquest ignored evidence from a second inmate in a cell across from Fagiri’s.  Kawartha Lakes Police and the OPP both decided not to lay charges.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/soleiman-faqiri-ontario-jail-charges-1.5674400   Related article: Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis  ‘We made the wrong decision that night’: New interim Toronto police chief apologizes for not calling SIU over Dafonte Miller beating  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/08/06/we-made-the-wrong-decision-that-night-new-interim-toronto-police-chief-apologizes-for-not-calling-siu-over-dafonte-miller-beating.html    Related article: Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis   Crown appeals Theriault brothers’ acquittals in Dafonte Miller beating case   https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/08/06/crown-appeals-theriault-brothers-acquittals-in-dafonte-miller-beating-case.html  Related article: Justin Piché – Twitter string @  https://twitter.com/JustinPicheh/status/1291140583688470536

 National Public Radio (US) – WQLN
Louisiana Supreme Court Won’t Review Life Sentence for Man Who Stole Hedge Clippers

This article shows one of the most incomprehensible legal situations ever.  Prison reform based on costs alone would provoke a horror reaction but in this case the entire story should provoke condemnation and immediate correction.  It doesn’t – witness the appeal denial of the Supreme Court of Louisiana where only one judge dissented.  Convicted in 1997 under the habitual criminal law, Fair Wayne Bryant, a Black man with four previous convictions – only the first violent – Bryant was sentenced to life.  Disproportionality is the only assessment possible.  https://www.npr.org/2020/08/05/899525589/louisiana-supreme-court-wont-review-life-sentence-for-man-who-stole-hedge-clippe  Related article: NBC News – Tim Stelloh    He’s serving life for trying to steal hedge clippers. A high court won’t review his case.  In a dissent, the chief justice of Louisiana’s Supreme Court compared the punishment to post-Civil War laws that aimed to “re-enslave African Americans.”  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/he-s-serving-life-trying-steal-hedge-clippers-high-court-n1236083

Toronto Star – Rosa Saba
‘The EI program is not up to the task’: Millions of CERB recipients will transfer to EI next month and many will fall through the cracks

The article is suggesting that the current status of the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Payment) payments and UI system is such as to demand a complete revision of the system to achieve any kind of livable income for those dependent on them, Covid-19 or not.  The current CERB payments are about to expire; this article is from the arts and performers perspective but the virus has, in fact, exposed the inadequacy of the system itself across the board.  “Labour advocacy group Workers Action Centre said many of the four million people who will be moved onto EI when CERB runs out will get between $600 and $1,000 a month if the program remains the same, compared to the $2,000 a month CERB provides. The organization is concerned low-wage and part-time workers won’t get enough from EI to make ends meet.”  https://www.thestar.com/business/2020/08/07/workers-and-advocates-call-for-changes-to-the-ei-program-as-cerb-nears-its-end.html   Related article: Toronto Star – Rosa Saba   On CERB and concerned about the move to EI next month? Here’s what we know so far  https://www.thestar.com/business/2020/08/07/more-questions-than-answers-heres-what-to-expect-as-cerb-gives-way-to-ei.html

Aug. 10 – Prisoner Justice Day

“Prisoners’ Justice Day began on August 10, 1975, when prisoners at Millhaven Institution held a 24-hour hunger strike and work stoppage to honour the one-year anniversary of the death of Eddie Nalon in a solitary confinement cell. In 1976, prisoners at Millhaven organized a 110-day strike to protest the death of another prisoner in segregation, Bobby Landers. Since then, prisoners across Canada have observed Prisoners’ Justice Day by refusing food and/or work. It is now recognized as an International Day of Solidarity with Prisoners, marked by allies on the outside and on the inside.”  (cpepgroup)   The theme this year is 10 Days of Abolition extending from Aug 1 – 10.  Cf https://www.noprisons.ca/10-days-of-abolition  Elizabeth Fry Poster for Prisoner’s Day:  https://twitter.com/EFryOttawa/status/1291540064019906561

Washington Post – Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger
New York attorney general seeks to dissolve NRA in suit accusing gun rights group of wide-ranging fraud and self-dealing

Attorney General Letitia James says NRA leaders drained $64 million from the nonprofit, according to a civil suit.  “James accused the NRA leaders of flouting state and federal laws and signing off on reports and statements they knew were fraudulent, while diverting millions of dollars away from the NRA’s charitable mission to benefit themselves and their allies.”  In remedy, James is asking for the dissolution of the NRA, the firing of CEO Wayne Lapierre, prohibition of four senior board members from charity boards in the future, and restitution of the re-directed funds.  The Washington branch of the NRA is also under civil suit by the DC Attorney General.  Criminal charges may also eventuate.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/nra-lapierre-ny-attorney-general/2020/08/06/8e389794-d794-11ea-930e-d88518c57dcc_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most

 Washington Post (US) – Ruth Marcus
The Supreme Court invented qualified immunity. Now, a judge’s blistering opinion shows why it must go.

One of the elements of the defence against outrages of police brutality is the ‘qualified immunity’ that the Supreme Court has attached to charges against police, and presumably prison guards and anyone else in law enforcement such as the border police in Portland.  When this doctrine prevented U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves of Mississippi from a just decision, “Reeves issued an opinion that dutifully followed the law — and blistered the justices for the all-but-insurmountable barrier they have constructed to shield police officers from being held to account.”  Reeves’ outrage shows through the decision as he enumerates other incidents that have encountered this barrier and notes that qualified immunity has become absolute immunity.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-supreme-court-invented-qualified-immunity-now-a-judges-blistering-opinion-shows-why-it-must-go/2020/08/05/f72778e6-d74a-11ea-930e-d88518c57dcc_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most   Related article: Text of the Reeves’ decision  Jamison v McClendon  (72 page downloadable PDF)  https://www.scribd.com/document/471416046/Jamison-v-McClendon?campaign=VigLink&ad_group=xxc1xx&source=hp_affiliate&medium=affiliate