Covid in jail…

Jan 3, 2022

 Twitter from Alyshah Sanmati Hasham – Court Reporter for the Toronto Star (Dec 30, 2021)

JAIL COVID UPDATE: There are outbreaks at: Brockville Jail, Maplehurst Correctional Complex, Niagara Detention Centre, Quinte Detention Centre, South West Detention Centre,  Toronto South Detention Centre, Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre    Related: Justin Piche #PrisonPandemic update from QC where this month alone 286 provincial prisoners have contracted #COVID19 accounting for 26.5% of the 1,081 cases amongst them to date vs. 230 cases amongst staff, accounting for 34.4% of their 668 cases so far. Terrible stuff. #ContainCovidNotPeople  Related:  Keri Blakinger  The Texas National Guard has been called to 4 of the state’s youth prisons because so many of the regular staff have covid.

The Guardian (UK) –
Whistleblower warns baffling illness affects growing number of young adults in Canadian province – Several new cases in New Brunswick involve caretakers of those afflicted, suggesting a possible environmental trigger

As though Covid is not enough to cope with, the Manchester Guardian is reporting that  according to a whistleblower, the New Brunswick prison system is also afflicted with a degenerative neurological disease that appears to particularly infect younger persons.  According to a health authority, the “suspected cases are growing in number and that young adults with no prior health triggers are developing a catalog of troubling symptoms, including rapid weight loss, insomnia, hallucinations, difficulty thinking and limited mobility.”  There are 48 active cases with the potential for many more.

Related Tweet:  Justin Piché (University of Ottawa)  Federal penitentiaries Prisoner cases = 1,768 (up 6.9% / 122 new infections in Dec)    *Staff cases = 853 (up 29.1% / 248 new infections in Dec)   *Total cases = 2,621 (up 14.1% / 370 new infections in Dec)  (CF the string attached for problems with disclosure from Corrections Canada)
Criminological Highlights (Volume 19, Number 6;  December 2021)  – Professor Anthony Doob and Rosemary Gartner (University of Toronto)

The eight papers that are summarized in this issue address the following questions:   1) How does the police use of social media affect our understanding of controversial police actions?   2) Why do we need to look at police activities to understand the over-representation of Indigenous people in Canada’s prisons?   3) How is the use of algorithms for routine police and court decisions being received? 4) Is solitary confinement harmful to prisoners? 5) Does imprisoning those convicted of drinking-driving offences deter them?   6) How do body-work cameras affect police interactions with citizens?   7) Do people want different responses for Black and White people found to be using illegal psychoactive drugs? 8) Does being exonerated for a crime mean that the stigma of a conviction disappears?  (There may be a longer than usual time lag getting the edition on the site this time. SJNC will shortly send the pdf of the entire Highlights under separate cover.  If you value these Highlights you may wish to e-mail Professor Doob and request your own free subscription: )

CBC News – James Turner

Sentence for ex-Mountie exposes ‘two-tier justice system,’ Manitoba prosecutors claim – Sentences for police who commit crimes ‘no longer reflect societal values,’ Crown attorneys say

Abram Letkeman, a former RCMP was handed a sentence of three years probation, a $10,000 fine, community service and a driving prohibition for his on-duty conduct early on Nov. 21, 2015. The Manitoba Crown appealed the sentence.  “He (Letkeman) was found guilty of recklessly injuring a woman when he twice used his police cruiser to strike a Jeep he was pursuing, including T-boning it on the passenger side. Letkeman testified he believed its driver was impaired and was aware there were other occupants in the Jeep at the time. The woman suffered a fractured pelvis and a broken neck… Letkeman ultimately shot and killed the driver, Steven Campbell, but was acquitted of charges related to the shooting after the trial judge ruled it was justified.”    Related article:  Aljazeera News –  Brandi Morin The stench of death on Canada’s Highway of Tears  ( A six part series on the MMIWG and an allegation that police officers were involved in the sexual assaults and that assaults are still happening.)  (Other reports: )

Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (Cancea)
Basic Income can kickstart British Columbia’s economic recovery, while ending poverty.

According to a report by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, #BasicIncome can grow BC’s economy— while ending poverty.   (1 min 20 second video plus other regions available as well at the link.  Scroll down the site for national assessment) Radio (Kentucky) – Jason Riley
Kentucky Supreme Court orders expungement fees waived for people who cannot afford to pay

The unanimous ruling allows indigent people who were convicted of traffic, misdemeanor and some non-violent felony cases to have them erased from their record without paying a $50 filing fee and $250 expungement cost… “It’s extremely important,” said attorney Michael Abate, who argued the case before the high court. “There are hundreds of thousands of people in this state who have been disenfranchised by a felony conviction.”  The case illustrates how the law in fact further impoverishes poor people through the imposition of fees.  Further, once expunged the criminal record is sealed from employers, government, and police as well.   Recent publications on the theme of impoverishing those convicted of misdemeanors and crimes, and their families:  Punishment without Crime by Alexandra Natapoff (Basic Books, New York, 2018)  Profit and Punishment by Tony Messenger (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2021)

Recommended reading:  What Happened to you? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience and Healing   by Dr. Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey – An illuminating discussion between the two authors on the development of the brain and the influence of trauma or ACE (Adverse Child Experience) and the healing of lived traumatic experience.  The book is easily understood yet penetrating in the clarity of the consequences for all those engaged in education, social work, criminal justice – a must read for the New Year!