Hell hole…

Dec 1, 2021

The New Yorker (US) – Ian Urbina
The Secretive Prisons That Keep Migrants Out of Europe – Tired of migrants arriving from Africa, the E.U. has created a shadow immigration system that captures them before they reach its shores, and sends them to brutal Libyan detention centers run by militias.

The conditions at the prison Al Mabani in Libya, cell #4 with its 200 plus immigrants, are beyond disturbing and horrific, allowing to go unchecked brutality, violence and exploitation of people when they are most vulnerable.   It is operated by militias and is directly responsive as a shadow immigration system for the immigration weary European countries.  “The E.U. did something they carefully considered and planned for many years,” Salah Marghani, Libya’s Minister of Justice from 2012 to 2014, told me. “Create a hellhole in Libya, with the idea of deterring people from heading to Europe.”  https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/12/06/the-secretive-libyan-prisons-that-keep-migrants-out-of-europe?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_SpecialReport_112821&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&utm_term=tny_daily_recirc&bxid=5be9e5c92ddf9c72dc657486&cndid=33657881&hasha=f761e684967696f801c6f39537f55370&hashb=81249ae9a6c39d7a002623a05ad6603337c77a88&hashc=efb88b77e166a9163806eca143c6406750d51a9dca27af84bdf3ff2dda04a353&esrc=&mbid=CRMNYR012019

CBC News – Edmonton
New Alberta program will help women fight anti-Black, Islamophobic hate crimes in court – ‘People don’t have to suffer alone and they don’t have to be silent,’ advocate says

A new court program has been launched in Alberta to help victims of anti-Black and Islamophobic hate crimes. There has been an increase in incidents of attacks on women wearing head coverings.   “Dunia Nur, president of the African-Canadian Civic Engagement Council, said the program will help marginalized women know they’re not alone… “Issues of gender-based violence, anti-Black racism and Islamophobia are historical, and the sad reality is … it will continue to harm our community,” Nur said.  The program helps victims gain access to the legal system when victimized.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/court-program-women-anti-black-islamophobic-hate-crimes-1.6266753

CBC News – Vanessa Balintec
Moncton report lays out 27 actions to reduce homelessness, increase downtown security – There is no clear entry point to recovery, report says, and answers will come by ‘working together’

With severe weather approaching in most cities, the issue of homelessness becomes increasingly an urgent focus.  The 11 page report, entitled Community Task Force
on Homelessness and Downtown Security, was chaired by the Moncton Chamber of Commerce CEO and offers 27 ways to better respond to the problem.   “The report lists six areas of concern: governance, shelter operations, addictions and mental health support, safe supply, housing, complex needs (for chronic homeless cases) and law enforcement.” A search is on for an executive director and a plan to sustain the 27 steps, focusing on addictions and mental health.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/new-report-reduce-homelessness-1.6266718

The Walrus (Canada) – Jane Gerster
The Dark Side of the RCMP – The mystique that has helped cement the RCMP as a national symbol is also what renders it particularly, stubbornly difficult to reform

Using the incident in Portapique, Nova Scotia and the Pickton case in BC, Gerster draws out failure in investigative pursuit of crimes and a haughtiness on the part of the RCMP that allow Gerster to arrive at the dark side of the RCMP.  “Questions of accountability, timeliness, sensitivity to victims, and the RCMP’s ability to work well with other police forces have precedent: they all came up before Portapique, perhaps most famously in the case of Robert Pickton—the largest investigation into a Canadian serial killer, which spanned years and involved hundreds of investigators…  So much has changed, yet the RCMP has clung to its founding conception across three centuries—and the federal politicians who are ultimately responsible for the Mounties have let them.”  Read on…  https://thewalrus.ca/can-the-rcmp-be-saved/

US Bureau of Prisons – Suzanne M. Strong, Ph.D., and Mark Motivans, Ph.D.
Non-U.S. Citizens in the Federal Criminal Justice System, 1998–2018

We are used to information about how many are imprisoned in the US but this report deals with the non-citizens in federal prison.  (The report does not include state prison information.) With numbers rising in recent years, the total now stands at just over 30,848 persons who were non-U.S. citizens, which was 19% of the total 161,885 persons in custody persons.  About half that number were charged with immigration offences, mostly Hispanics, about 24% with drug offences, mostly US citizens.  Frequently, such non-citizen persons are repatriated to complete their sentences.  Between 0.2 and 0.1 of the total appear to be Canadian – 184 persons in 2018.  https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/ncfcjs9818.pdf?utm_content=juststats&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Washington Post – Katrina vanden Heuvel
Opinion: The staggeringly high price of a prison phone call

There are many simple ways to make rehab more certain and easier: contact with family has long proven to be one of the best.  Yet throughout the federal and state prison systems in the US all manner of communication is prohibitively expense with family and with defence lawyers: phone calls, video call, and even email have not only expensive rates but up to 40% in added fees.  vanden Heuvel  advocates for following some few states and cities where the communication is free and a genuine part of family encouraged rehab.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/11/30/staggeringly-high-price-prison-phone-call/

Blogger Russell Webster (UK) / Criminal Justice Alliance (UK) – Jamie Morrell and Jason Grant
Behind closed doors: How journalists can better shine a light on criminal justice

Journalists have been at the forefront of criminal justice discussion forever and reporting on crime is a considerable influence on public perception of crime.  “The news media hold a powerful sway in society. Journalists can educate, inform, hold powerful institutions to account and change society for the better. But they can also have a harmful impact, creating or further solidifying myths and misperceptions in the public.”  In the face of considerable evidence that the public has often had misinformation and poorly formed opinion about criminal justice, the UK charity invites journalists to “sensitive and constructive reporting on criminal justice…”  https://www.criminaljusticealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/Behind-closed-doors_FINAL.pdf

US Bureau of Prisons
Mortality in State and Federal Prisons, 2001–2019 – Statistical Tables

The report to 2019 shows that a total of 4,234 dies in state or federal prison in the US in 2019, including 143 homicides.  Suicides and deaths from alcohol or drugs account for the largest number.  https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/msfp0119st.pdf?utm_content=juststats&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery