Jail as therapy…

July 11, 2021

Toronto Star – Alyshah Hasham
He had a gun to kill himself. For that, an Ontario judge gave him to two years in jail

This is a bizarre story that ought to lead to at least an acknowledgment of the inability of the law to confront and respond to mental illness.  Justin Fabbro, 38, of the Sault, had reached the end of the line after repeated efforts to get mental health failed.  He left his house with a sawed off shotgun and later when family notified police, held off police in a five hour stand-off.  Arrested and charged with weapons offences, Judge John Condon sentenced Fabbro to two years in jail.  The sentence was overturned by the Ontario Appeal Court:  “On Monday, that ruling was found to be demonstrably unfit by a three-judge panel of Ontario’s top court… An act of attempted suicide is the ultimate plea for help,” Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Eileen Gillese wrote on behalf of the panel… It does not cry out for a denunciatory sentence…. “The primary sentencing principles in this case are not limited to denunciation and deterrence — they include rehabilitation,” Gillese wrote. “Imposing a custodial sentence was likely to have a serious negative effect on the appellant’s progress and would not serve the genuine societal interest,” she added.”  Fabbro is now sentenced to two year conditional and served in the community.  https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2021/07/08/he-had-a-gun-to-kill-himself-for-that-an-ontario-judge-gave-him-to-two-years-in-jail.html?li_source=LI&li_medium=thestar_canada

CBC News – Mickey Djuric
How Cowessess First Nation’s historic child welfare agreement with Canada and Saskatchewan works

In a historic move long advocated by First Nations, Canada has returned full authority over the children in care from the Cowessess First Nations.  Significant? You bet!  Says Mia Buckles, chair of the Cowessess Youth Council, during Tuesday’s event:  “After years of our children being taken and separated from their families, culture and, ultimately, their senses of themselves, we are one step closer to breaking one of the many generational curses that bind us.”  Details of the agreement included…   https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/how-cowessess-first-nation-child-welfare-agreement-works-1.6095470  Related article: CBC News – Ka’nhehsí:io Deer  RoseAnne Archibald elected 1st female national chief of Assembly of First Nations – Former Ontario regional chief elected after 2 days of voting  https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/roseanne-archibald-afn-chief-election-1.6093144

Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) (US)
The 2020 Census of American Religion

The link reveals the current affiliated and non-affiliated of the US public to different religions and the percentages of changes over recent years.  The breakdowns include gender, age, race, educational levels, and makes distinctions between Protestants and Evangelical protestants, between Catholic and Hispanic Catholic, between Republicans and Democrats.   The report also examines the typical world religions.  https://www.prri.org/research/2020-census-of-american-religion/

CBC News – Harry Forrestell
Family demands changes to nursing home regulations after N.B. senior served ‘eviction notice’ – Pauline Breen, 83, was given 15 days to find new accommodation after family questioned treatment

We have just gone through a serious threat generated by the Covid-19 towards renters who cannot pay their housing rental accommodations.  That same Covid-19 struck senior citizens, its primary victims, in nursing homes across the country.  Now, face this reality.  A family who questioned the practices of this one home in NB – Loch Lomond Villa in Saint John – has 15 days to vacate.  “We are writing to advise that due to the lack of trust you have expressed in our care and as an organization, we are hereby giving you … notice of our intention to discharge Mrs. Breen in 15 days.”  A month after the discharge, Mrs. Breen died at Bobby’s Hospice.  Sanctioned by law?  What next?  Who’s next? https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/long-term-care-home-eviction-senior-care-1.6094345

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Drug prevention, treatment and recovery “not fit for purpose”

Webster is presenting the latest (Part 2) of Lady Carol Black’s review of the approach to drugs; Black thinks the present approach is entirely beyond any possibility of effectiveness.  The exhaustive condemnation of the current practices may allow a totally new approach that Lady Black outlines in her two reports.  First, Webster’s commentary:  https://www.russellwebster.com/drug-prevention-treatment-and-recovery-not-fit-for-purpose/  Lady Black’s reports (Part 1 and 2 – Scroll for the first report)  https://www.russellwebster.com/tag/carol-black/

California New Times (US) –
California Moves to Phase Out Its State-Run Youth Prisons – NBC Bay Area

There are three juvenile detention facilities in California under the state Department of Corrections direction.  By 2-23, they will close and juvenile corrections becomes a matter of public health.  “The state system has a problematic history characterized by prisoner suicides and brawls. The transition to local control is the final step in a long reform effort, partially driven by class action proceedings and incentives to counties to keep young people away from the state system.”  https://californianewstimes.com/california-moves-to-phase-out-its-state-run-youth-prisons-nbc-bay-area/418943/

Solitary Watch (US) – Vaidya Gaulapalli  
“I Watch the Roaches and I Envy Them.” After 34 Years, Billy Blake Is Released from Solitary Confinement in New York

In 2013 William ‘Billy’ Blake wrote an essay called “A sentence worse than Death” that powerfully drew attention to the plight of a person held in prolonged solitary confinement – 34 years.  He was a prime candidate for solitary as punishment by his crime of killing one deputy and wounding another while attempting to escape the consequences of drug conviction. He has now been transferred to general population.  “In 2021, armed with a veto-proof supermajority and pushed by active bill sponsors, Democrats passed the bill, and the governor signed it into law. The HALT Solitary Confinement Act will go into effect next year. It defines solitary confinement as confining anyone to any form of isolation for more than seventeen hours a day; bans solitary outright for especially vulnerable categories of people; limits its use on everyone else to 15 days or less; and, in cases where longer separation from the general population of a prison is imposed, requires that a person be transferred not to prolonged solitary but to a rehabilitation unit, generally for no more than a year and with access to at least seven hours of out-of-cell congregate programming and activities.”  Advocates still want to eliminate solitary in all forms.   https://solitarywatch.org/2021/07/07/billy-blake-is-released-from-solitary-confinement-in-new-york/