May 6, 2021

 APTN News – Brielle Morgan
‘Keep families together’: Moving beyond racist notions of neglect in child welfare

This new journalist has done an entirely creditable job contracting the practices under welfare and protectionism in the relations between governments – federal and provincial – around issues of Indigenous / First Nations children.  She references a number of very credible sources for response in the light of the passage of jurisdiction from governments to the Indigenous people themselves.  APTN News: Brielle Morgan  ‘Keep families together’: Moving beyond racist notions of neglect in child welfare (aptnnews.ca)   Related article:  Toronto Star – Dr. Samir Shaheen-Hussain  A history of Canada’s medical colonialism against Indigenous people and why it needs to be recognized as genocide: doctors   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/05/04/a-history-of-canadas-medical-colonialism-against-indigenous-people-and-why-it-needs-to-be-recognized-as-genocide-doctors.html   (Includes list of Physicians calling on government to recognize the genocide of Indigenous people.)

Catalyst 203ORJ, justice vision,
PEACE JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS: A vision of conflict, circles and justice for the 21st Century

Friday May 7, 11 am EST – filmed Q&A session:

The Future of Justice in the 21st Century: Conflict, Circles and Restorative Justice – with Barry Stuart & Eva Marszewski    Register at: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwsdeuqrTItH9NaGF2U_qVlF8IjHeFwc7V4

 Catalyst 2030 :  https://catalyst2030.net/ccwsession/sdg-16-peace-justice-and-strong-institutions-a-vision-of-conflict-circles-and-justice-for-the-21st-century/.

 Zoon direct connection:   https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwsdeuqrTItH9NaGF2U_qVlF8IjHeFwc7V4


National Newswatch – Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press
Trudeau Liberals got earful on police racism from concerned public, emails reveal

The e-mails and letters, just accessed by freedom of information, were first filed in May-July of 2020 and were direct to Trudeau and sent to Blair.  The overwhelming consensus was to a blatant racism in the police, RCMP and others.  “RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki initially stopped short last June of endorsing Trudeau’s assessment that the national police force, like all Canadian institutions, exhibits systemic racism… In a sudden reversal soon after, Lucki spoke with regret for not having done so.”  https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2021/05/05/trudeau-liberals-got-earful-on-police-racism-from-concerned-public-emails-reveal/#.YJP0x6EpA2y

 Toronto Star – Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press
Australian mom convicted of killing 4 children seeks pardon

Canada has had its own battles with the legal and criminal implications around the death of infants.  This Australian case offers the worse possible scenario and yet shows the same defiance of science by the legal community.  Said the Australian Academy of Science President John Shine:  “It is deeply concerning that there is not a mechanism to appropriately weigh up all medical and scientific evidence in a case of this nature… There is now an alternative explanation for the death of the Folbigg children that does not rely on circumstantial evidence.”   https://www.thestar.com/news/world/australia/2021/05/05/australian-mom-convicted-of-killing-4-children-seeks-pardon.html?li_source=LI&li_medium=thestar_world

St Catherine Standard (ON) – Abby Green
Hunger strike at Niagara Detention Centre in opposition to new phone system

Phones, and through them, especially in time of no visits while Covid is around, family contact for provincial prisoners, are still the issue and still provoking reaction from prisoners, families and advocates alike.  A new system is about to be operational province-wide, one imported from Texas-based Telmate — Synergy Inmate Phone Solutions is the Canadian subsidiary, at Thorold’s Niagara Detention Centre.  Prices are going up but equally the prisoner account at the jail cannot be accessed by phone and requires a personal visit.  https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/local-st-catharines/news/2021/05/05/hunger-strike-at-niagara-detention-centre-in-opposition-to-new-phone-system.html

The Sentencing Project (US)
Youth Justice News: The Sentencing Project Continues the Fight for Youth Justice

Canadians tend to ignore youth issues in justice but the US is still a cauldron of controversy and contradiction.  This NGO surveys the past year in legislation as it impact youth sentencing in the US, including the pre-occupation with sentences of LWOP.  The link gives state by state changes to the legislation.  https://www.sentencingproject.org/news/youth-justice-news-the-sentencing-project-continues-the-fight-for-youth-justice/

Blogger Nick Wing (US) –  Police and Covid-19

More active-duty police officers died of COVID-19 in 2020 than all other causes combined.  The interaction between police and public may leave more than anyone bargained for.  Here are the vaccination rates for police is several large US Cities:  NYC: 39% Las Vegas: 38% Atlanta: 36% https://twitter.com/nickpwing/status/1389623174573314049  Related article: Washington Post – Cedric L. Alexander   Opinion: Why reforming qualified immunity will never resolve police violence   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/05/05/why-reforming-qualified-immunity-will-never-resolve-police-violence/?utm_campaign=wp_opinions_pm&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_popns&carta-url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.washingtonpost.com%2Fcar-ln-tr%2F3231421%2F6092f25a9d2fdae302440fe6%2F597720279bbc0f6826c0ca16%2F31%2F60%2F6092f25a9d2fdae302440fe6

Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec  (ASRSQ)  Association of Social Réhabilitation Services of Québec)
ASRSQ is first non-profit entrusted with arbitration in compensation around illegal strip searches

The Québec courts recently issued their decision that some strip searches in a number of provincial prisons over 10 years ago were inappropriate and illegal: some persons who had been imprisoned while awaiting trial and were returning to the jail to collect their personal belongings after being acquitted and freed by a judge were strip searched by the prison anyway. The Court ruled that the people covered by the class action are now eligible for financial compensation. The ASRSQ is the first non-profit to be entrusted with administering a class action compensation fund, a task usually contracted out to specialized private companies. As the mandate in this case is particularly well-suited to the grassroots community experience of this non-profit group, ASRSQ is hoping to develop its expertise for more such class actions, likely to succeed, in the future.  For more information, David Henry, ASRSQ, www.asrsq.ca  or 519-521-3733.

 Manchester Guardian (UK) US Desk – Sam Levin in Los Angeles
‘We’re terrorized’: LA sheriffs frequently harass families of people they kill, says report – Los Angeles sheriff’s department has routinely retaliated against victims’ relatives who speak out, NLG and ACLU say in report

According to a new report from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Sheriff Deputies from the Los Angeles Department have a regular practice of harassing victims of police shootings.  “LASD, the largest county police agency in the US, has faced increasing backlash in recent years for alleged misconduct and abuse by organized gangs of deputies engaged in violence and civil rights violations. The NLG report alleges that stations with officer gangs have been responsible for some of the harassment.”  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/may/04/los-angeles-sheriffs-harass-families-of-victims-report

Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP)
A Roadmap to Long Term Care Reform in Canada – May 13, 12-1PM (Eastern time)

Please join us for an in-depth discussion on how, once the pandemic subsides, federal, provincial and territorial governments should address the long-standing problems plaguing the long-term care system. Our guests will be André Picard, Samir Sinha, and Tamara Daly, and the event will be moderated by IRPP VP Research France St-Hilaire.  To register:  https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1Lrm-PcRQj-VJN42tXLcXw?mc_cid=d4d53bd1a8&mc_eid=0823b9a108

US Department of Justice – E. Ann Carson, Ph.D., BJS Statistician
Mortality in State and Federal Prisons, 2001-2018 – Statistical Tables

The stats are for the period ending in 2018 and therefore do not reflect any deaths that may have come from Covid-19.  The table is broken into state and federal prisons. It also includes private prisons information, though not complete.  The rate of deaths is up and the cause of death is mostly illness.  The report also includes seven highlights and later a separate set of key findings, an abundance of tables, figures and appendices.    https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/msfp0118st.pdf?utm_content=apr2021&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery  The Bureau offers a similar report on locals jails at: Mortality in Local Jails, 2000-2018 – Statistical – E. Ann Carson, Ph.D., BJS Statistician Tableshttps://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/mlj0018st.pdf?utm_content=apr2021&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery  University of Ottawa (Ottawa) – Justin Piché  Journal of Prisoners on Prison – JPP placement students launch thematic syllabus on health, mental health, aging and dying behind prison walls https://uottawa.scholarsportal.info/ottawa/index.php/jpp/announcement/view/71

  Pew Research Foundation (US) – Laura Silver, Moira Fagan, Aidan Connaughton and Mara Mordecai
Views About National Identity Becoming More Inclusive in U.S., Western Europe – Large ideological divides persist on views of tradition, national pride and discrimination, especially in the U.S.

The article is very timely given today’s sharp divisions based on identity politics.  The report says that “views about national identity in the U.S., France, Germany and the UK have become less restrictive and more inclusive in recent years.”  While majorities in each country expect immigrants to adopt the customs of the host countries, citizens also appear somewhat less than rigid about sticking to traditional values:  “The survey also finds that more people think their countries will be better off in the future if they are open to changes regarding traditional ways of life. Still, this issue is divisive, as a substantial minority in every country prefer to stick to traditions.”   The report includes responses to survey issues from focus groups in all four countries. https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2021/05/05/views-about-national-identity-becoming-more-inclusive-in-us-western-europe/?utm_campaign=2021-05-05+Rundown+(national+identity)&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Pew  Related article: The Atlantic (US) – William Sturkey    The Game Is Changing for Historians of Black America – For centuries, stories of Black communities from the past have been limited by racism in the historical record. Now we can finally follow the trails they left behind.   https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/05/putting-black-history-back-record/618747/