Aug 27, 2021

Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, Blue Door
The Future of Men’s Supportive Housing in York Region: An Exploratory Study

Blue Door of York Region has partnered with Homeless Hub to research two questions in chronic and episodic homelessness among men:  “How can Blue Door better support men that are experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness through place-based housing? How can Blue Door better support the health and wellness needs of men experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness?   https://www.homelesshub.ca/resource/future-men%E2%80%99s-supportive-housing-york-region-exploratory-study   Executive Summary of the Report and link to the full report: (9 pages with 5 key summary points later turned into short and long term goals for men’s housing) https://www.homelesshub.ca/sites/default/files/attachments/BlueDoorExecSummary_Jul_8%20%281%29.pdf   Related article: CBC News (New Brunswick) – Aiden Cox   How federal parties plan to tackle homelessness, and what N.B. experts think could work – More affordable housing units, better funding for shelter groups, universal basic income pitched as solutions  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/homeless-housing-new-brunswick-1.6151733

  Toronto Star – Alex McKeen
It started as a blockade. Now, B.C.’s Fairy Creek protests are putting old-growth logging, and RCMP enforcement, on the 2021 political agenda

Protestors are using the issue of cutting old growth forests in BC as a measure of how committed both the provincial and federal governments are to environmental protection.  So far, there have been over 700 arrests and more to come surely as the tensions play out and the federal election advances.  The article includes a definition of terms around the issues.  https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2021/08/25/it-started-as-a-blockade-now-bcs-fairy-creek-protests-are-putting-old-growth-logging-and-rcmp-enforcement-on-the-2021-political-agenda.html   Related article: Toronto Star – Rochelle Baker   Watchdog gets over 90 complaints on RCMP enforcement at Fairy Creek   https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2021/08/26/watchdog-gets-over-90-complaints-on-rcmp-enforcement-at-fairy-creek.html?itm_source=parsely-api

Globe and Mail – The Decibel
How Courts can account for racism

Judges in Nova Scotia must take into account when sentencing Black people the personal history of marginalization and racism in their lives, much as the Gladue ruling for Indigenous persons.  The tool proposed is Impact of Race and Culture Assessments and failure to use the assessment is an error in law and grounds for appeal.  Blacks make up 10% of the federal prison system but only 3.5% of the general population.  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/podcasts/the-decibel/article-how-courts-can-account-for-racism-in-sentencing/   (NB The Globe and Mail’s Decibel is a podcast on a variety of current issues – this one a 16 minute audio.)  Related article: Toronto Star – Jason Miller  Peel police used force against Black people 3.5 times more often than population share: Police data  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/08/26/peel-police-used-force-against-black-people-35-times-more-often-than-population-share-new-race-based-data-says.html   Related article: Canadian Anti-Hate Network:  Police Only Found 1% Of 223,000 Hate Crimes In Canada – You are more likely to be the victim of a hate crime than be injured in a car crash.   https://www.antihate.ca/police_only_found_1_of_223_000_hate_crimes_in_canada

Lawyer’s Daily (Canada) –
People unvaccinated against COVID-19 unable to serve jury duty in murder trial, judge rules

In anticipation of seating a jury for a murder trial about to start, Justice Kevin Phillips of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has announced that he will excuse jurors who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.  ““I intend as part of the jury selection process to ask each prospective candidate if they have been fully vaccinated. If the answer is a negative one, that candidate shall be excused in accordance with s.632(c) of the Criminal Code,” he wrote in a decision released Aug. 25.”  https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/articles/29307

Buzzfeed News (US) – Emily Wilder
13 States Can Charge Unarmed Civilians With Murder When Other People Are Killed By Police – A little-known legal theory allows prosecutors to file murder charges against people who are unarmed or not even at the scene when police officers kill somebody.

This article stretches the notion of legal and police accountability and introduces predatory notions in law enforcement.  “Shortly after midnight on Jan. 11, 2019, Phoenix police pulled over a car filled with four people suspected of committing an armed robbery earlier that evening. Three seconds after one of them, Jacob Harris, hopped out and started running, officers Dave Norman and Kristopher Bertz opened fire, fatally striking him in the back… The officers didn’t face any consequences for the shooting. Instead, prosecutors laid the blame on Harris’s three friends in the car. Even though none of them had fired a single shot, 19-year-old Sariah Busani, 20-year-old Jeremiah Triplett, and 14-year-old Johnny Reed were charged with first-degree murder. More than two years later, they remain in jail awaiting trial.” https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emilywilder/police-shooting-felony-murder-third-party   Related article:  The Intercept – Robert Mackey   Portland’s Bizarre Experiment With Not Policing Proud Boys Rampage Ends in Gunfire – Portland’s police force chose to stand back and stand by as Proud Boys who came to the city to fight with anti-fascists assaulted protesters and a right-wing gunman opened fire.   https://theintercept.com/2021/08/23/portland-police-proud-boys-protest/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=The%20Intercept%20Newsletter

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Domestic homicides an “entrenched and enduring problem”

Citing the first police-led inquiry into the impact of the Covid-19 virus on the rates of domestic violence, Webster has concluded that there is more a constant in that rate than a spike attributable to the Covid.  The report examined both domestic homicides and suicides when there was a known history of domestic abuse.  The conclusion is no victory since the results are suggesting a steady level of both for the last fifteen years – no worse but equally no better.  https://www.russellwebster.com/domestic-homicides-an-entrenched-and-enduring-problem/  Full report from the UK Home Office: Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme     Domestic Homicides and Suspected Victim Suicides during the Covid-19 Pandemic 2020-2021    https://cdn.prgloo.com/media/02d412c416154010b5cebaf8f8965030.pdf

Washington Post – Opinions – Eli Lopez

On carceral and criminal language:  “But as journalists, activists and the general public confront the problems and inequalities that plague the criminal justice system, we must also recognize the dehumanizing terminology attached to it.”  Lopez introduces two other journalist / advocates who reflect on the terminology’s ability to sustain inequality – DeAnna Hoskins and Zoë Towns.   https://s2.washingtonpost.com/camp-rw/?trackId=597720279bbc0f6826c0ca16&s=61276d2e9d2fda2f470b90e5&linknum=4&linktot=77   Related article:  DeAnna Hoskins and Zoë Towns  How the language of criminal justice inflicts lasting harm  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/25/criminal-justice-language-bias-lasting-harm/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_opinions&utm_campaign=wp_opinions

 Washington Post Editorial Board (US) (Aug 25, 2021)
Local prosecutors shouldn’t be overlooked in the national debate on criminal justice reform

The Post is commenting on a new wave of prosecutors to succeed the law and order brand they are replacing and insisting that the new wave has a very definite role to play in any justice reform package, calling for local leadership for as national strategy.  “But bringing about change hasn’t been easy; local leaders have often faced pushback — indeed outright resistance — from entrenched interests. It is time for a national strategy.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/25/local-prosecutors-shouldnt-be-overlooked-national-debate-criminal-justice-reform/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_opinions&utm_campaign=wp_opinions

Washington Post – Jason Rezaian
I know Iran’s most notorious prison is built on abuse. Now the world can see it, too.

The article offers a rare insight into the prison practices in Iran’s notorious prison Evin and by a journalist author who spent time in that prison and calls on other fellow prisoners to comment on a clandestine video of brutalities recorded by the prison’s video monitoring system.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/25/iran-evin-prison-leaked-footage-jason-rezaian/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_opinions&utm_campaign=wp_opinions

Anchorage Daily News / ProPublica (Anchorage) – Michelle Theriault Boots
Her Attacker Was Stopped in the Act and Arrested, but This Assault Was Only the Beginning of Her Trauma – Everything Mary Savage did in the hours after the attack was dissected on the witness stand, an experience so upsetting she vomited. But years later, she finds comfort knowing her testimony led to his conviction.

This is one of those stories worth repeating because the detail reminds us of the inadequacies of the law itself to properly respond to victims, especially victims of sexual assault.  The truth is that such incidents have a ‘shelf life’ well beyond the actual attack.  What is remarkable about this incident is the toll the aftermath took on Mary Savage while she did the right things to assist in the prosecution of her attacker.  https://www.propublica.org/article/her-attacker-was-stopped-in-the-act-and-arrested-but-this-assault-was-only-the-beginning-of-her-trauma?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&s=03  Related article: The Lawyer’s Daily – SENTENCING – Criminal Code offences – Sexual assault – Particular sanctions  https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/criminal/articles/29275/sentencing-criminal-code-offences-sexual-assault-particular-sanctions?nl_pk=40ed8ea4-637a-4d76-870f-04f0eeae7de8&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=criminal