Evidence based…

Oct. 15, 2020 

The Prosecutor (US) – National Association of District Attorneys
21st Century Prosecutions —Miami-Style Smart Justice

By Katherine Fernandez  Rundle – Miami-Dade County State Attorney, Miami (FL) and Stephen K. Talpins – Miami-Dade County Chief Assistant State Attorney, Miami (FL)

This link offers a considerable and credible break through against punitive justice.  Note the source is the professional magazine for state attorneys and here is what the two Miami state attorneys are saying about punitive justice:  “The traditional punitive approach to justice is unduly expensive, does not work as well as it should, and has unnecessary and devastating consequences for lower level offenders and their families.”  What’s the alternative:  “Miami-Style Smart Justice is an evidence-based, outcome-oriented, medical-legal approach that addresses crime, punishment and rehabilitation in a wholistic manner.”   Readers may be interested in the basic tenants of Miami Smart justice found on p. 31.  http://www.miamisao.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Miami-Style-Smart-Justice-NDAA-April-2020KFR-and-Talpins-1-1.pdf

NPR (US) WQLN – Urooba Jamal
In Pandemic Downturn, Canada’s Drive for Guaranteed Basic Income Picks Up Speed

The link, though to US Public Radio is providing a summary update on the progress of the universal liveable income as a response to the Vovid-19 virus and its economic impact on Canadians.  The commentary includes an update on the Winnipeg experiment and talks about how to pay for a liveable income as well as replacing other social safety net programs.  https://www.npr.org/2020/10/13/921606901/in-pandemic-downturn-canadas-drive-for-guaranteed-basic-income-picks-up-speed   Related article: N.Y. Times – Concepción de León  Princeton to Pay Nearly $1.2 Million to Female Professors to Address Inequity – A U.S. Department of Labor review of staff wages from 2012 to 2014 found disparities between male and female professors.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/us/princeton-female-professors-backpay-discrimination-lawsuit.html?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20201014&instance_id=23119&nl=the-morning&regi_id=110555067&section_index=2&section_name=the_latest_news&segment_id=40949&te=1&user_id=c1cafc396faee3c8803b1cebf56254fc   Related article: Our Windsor.com  – Nadine Yousif    COVID-19’s impact on women’s mental health is on the rise, CAMH study says   https://www.ourwindsor.ca/news-story/10222425-covid-19-s-impact-on-women-s-mental-health-is-on-the-rise-camh-study-says/   Related article: CBC News – Josee St. Onge  Courts inconsistent on domestic violence cases during pandemic, study suggests  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/access-justice-domestic-violence-court-pandemic-covid-1.5758246

Toronto Star – Douglas Quan
RCMP union pushes back against ban on ‘thin blue line’ symbol, says it has ordered custom patches

The issue of the thin-blue line patch is not going away.  The patch is a talking point from police officers who say they put their lives on the line each day and are announcing solidarity with one another.  Critics say it divides citizens and police.  The union, the National Police Foundation, is ordering enough patches for its 20,000 members.  “The thin blue line symbol has come under increasing scrutiny by critics calling for police reform. Some say such symbols create an us-versus-them mentality and do not foster trust in communities police are meant to serve.”  https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/10/12/rcmp-union-pushes-back-against-ban-on-thin-blue-line-symbol-says-it-has-ordered-custom-patches.html

 L.A. Times – Kiera Feldman
California kept prison factories open. Inmates worked for pennies an hour as COVID-19 spread

Why so slow confronting the impact of the Coid-19 virus inside prisons?  Could profit be the answer, as crass as it sounds?  Here’s the answer from one California women’s prison – California Institution for Women – and one working prisoner – Robbie Hall:  “Hall was one of thousands of incarcerated workers who stayed on the job in high-risk positions during the pandemic, making wages that ranged from 8 cents to $1 an hour. They cooked the food. They walked from cell to cell delivering meals. They cleaned everything from communal showers to COVID-19 units in prison hospitals. And they labored in prison factories making products, such as masks, hand sanitizer and furniture, that were sold to state agencies for millions of dollars.”  https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-10-11/california-prison-factories-inmates-covid-19

LMTonline.com  – Laredo (Texas) – Arielle Breen

Texas and Michigan see benefit from addiction courts and District Judge Thomas Brunner says the program “treats the underlying criminal behaviour.”  Two counties –  Manistee and Benzie counties, are receiving funding to assist with specialty problem-solving courts for certain alcohol and drug-related cases.  David Thompson, 85th District and 19th Circuit courts chief judge, said in an email that problem-solving courts like the two in Benzie and Manistee counties are important because they “address recidivism among non-violent criminal offenders with substance abuse disorders.”  https://www.lmtonline.com/local-news/article/Manistee-Benzie-court-programs-awarded-88-000-15640101.php

Washington Post – (US)
Born with Two Strikes – The Story of George Floyd’s America

The link is to a three part series that tries to contextualize the life of George Floyd in the realities of Black life in America.  The series examines system racism and the hopes of the younger Floyd to escape its impact through sports, and finally the influence of racism on Floyd’s death at the hands of police.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/george-floyd-america/systemic-racism/?itid=sf_race-america    Related article: Australian Broadcast News – Samantha Jonscher   Australian-first Life Skills Camp, an alternative to custody, opens in Alice Springs for Aboriginal women   https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-09/life-skills-camp-combats-high-rates-of-aboriginal-incarceration/12745040

The Intercept.com (US) – Alice Speri
Stop-and-Frisk Never Really Ended. Now It’s Gone Digital – A federal class-action lawsuit accuses New York police of unconstitutionally detaining people in order to run their IDs.

The very notion of stop-and-frisk has been already found offensive and racist, as well as unconstitutional.  The latest lawsuit in the arena is over stopping people long enough to digitally search their identity.  Terron Belle was personally frisk while other officers searched for warrants on the proffered ID from Belle, a Black man.  Says Belle of the experience: “I wasn’t going to argue,” he said, fearing that if he had, the encounter would have quickly turned dangerous for him. “It could have gone different, it was night time, there was nobody around us.”   https://theintercept.com/2020/10/13/nypd-stop-frisk-warrants-lawsuit/