A tragic loss…

Mar 16, 2022

 Waterloo Record – Paige Desmond
The end of a crime prevention era – Region, nation losing ground breaking Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council

The short-sighted failure to fund the Crime Prevention Council speaks volumes about the politicization of crime prevention and the refusal to cede place to the influence of the community in building safer and more effective community support vs an exclusively punishment model in response to crime.  This Crime Prevention Council under the direction of Christiana Sadeler for 26 of its 28 years brought one powerfully effective change after another and then brought legislation to resolve the obstacles. Given the achievements of this council, it is genuinely astounding that anyone would refuse the funding, especially since the model was copied across the country, in Australia and in Asia.  The council is a primary witness to the questions raised by Richard Garside in his article entitled Escaping the Monotony of Repeated Failure.  (cf March 14 newsletter: www.smartjustice.ca/news )  Whether a failure of social or political vision, advocates for justice everywhere are lessened by this decision, impoverished considerably, and should look wholeheartedly to support the remnant.  Council Chair Richard Eibach’s assessment:  “We’re very proud of CPC’s role in sparking critical conversations about crime prevention in new and creative ways, of providing robust research, and of decades of multi-sector collaborations that broke down silos, reached new audiences and created new paths forward.” So are we!  https://www.therecord.com/news/waterloo-region/2022/03/12/the-end-of-a-crime-prevention-era.html   (PS Some may find a paywall at the Record.  Christiana has the full article on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/christiane.sadeler – a highly recommended read for all our subscribers.)  Related article: BC Tyee – Paul Willcocks  Forget Police Reform in BC. The Fix Is In – One unaccountable official just overrode a brave $5.7 million decision by elected Vancouver councillors.  https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2022/03/15/Forget-Police-Reform-BC-Fix-Is-In/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=031622-3&utm_campaign=editorial  Related article: Vancouverisawesome.com – Mike Howell  Vancouver police win back $5.7 million rejected by city council – Coun. Adriane Carr: ‘I can’t tell you where we’re going to get that money from’   https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/local-news/vancouver-police-win-back-57-million-rejected-by-city-council-solicitor-general-bc-wayne-rideout-vancouver-police-department-5160586

Prince Albert Right Now – Nigel Maxwell
Inmate’s death could have been prevented, says close friend

Brendan Vermette, 31, was pronounced deceased on Wednesday and Corrections Canada did the usual notification of next of kin.  Vermette was serving 2 years 8 months for drug dealing and was imprisoned in the maximum security side of the prison and yet managed to get enough drugs to overdose.  Corrections Canada says it is investigating… https://panow.com/2022/03/14/inmates-death-could-have-been-prevented-says-close-friend/#.YjCHcOWTZ2A.twitter

 Universal Basic Income (Canada)
How to Pay for Basic Income in Canada – Who pays? Probably not you.

Even we who have benefited so long from the social safety net in Canada have been balking about basic income guarantees on the grounds that the average worker will have to pay for it.  This link offers two plans in which the wealthier parts of the economy will pay and without raising the tax level on the average person.  One approach sets up $1500 / month; the other $2000 / month.  The plans are costed and the likelihood of having an electable potential are both assessed.  https://www.ubiworks.ca/howtopay

Global News – Canadian Press
Immigrants, single parents and low-income earners get dinged most by tax system, study finds

At a time when Canada is considering how to fast track Ukrainian refuges, Canada may do well to consider this startling reveal from its finance department:  “…single parents, lower-income households and recent immigrants are more likely to lose more for extra earnings than most other groups of workers…  Also more likely to lose out from extra earnings through working more hours or getting a higher-paying job were workers who live in Quebec, and those between the ages of 35 and 44.”    Higher taxes and clawbacks for some specific groups apparently cause the discrepancy.  https://globalnews.ca/news/8681187/immigrants-single-parents-low-income-earners-tax-system/

The lawyer’s Daily – Terry Davidson
Ottawa helping fund restorative justice project at Dalhousie University

Minister David Lametti has announced funding for $644K for restorative justice program development at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law in Nova Scotia.  The funding brings with it an acknowledgement by the federal government of the role of restorative justice in both criminal justice in general and specifically in the over representation of Indigenous men and women incarcerated in Canada.  In a statement, Lametti said “[r]estorative justice approaches are an essential component of a fairer, more inclusive justice system… They enable access to community-based and culturally responsive justice mechanisms,” Lametti said. “The funding we are announcing will help the Schulich School of Law accelerate the use of restorative justice across the country.” https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/criminal/articles/34495/ottawa-helping-fund-restorative-justice-project-at-dalhousie-university?nl_pk=40ed8ea4-637a-4d76-870f-04f0eeae7de8&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=criminal  Related article: Harvard University Political Review (US) – Kejsi Demaj   Restorative Justice: The Path to Abolishing the Current Criminal Justice System  https://harvardpolitics.com/restorative-justice-abolition/

The Sentencing Project (US) – Josh Rovner
Too Many Locked Doors – The scope of youth confinement is vastly understated. A one-day count cannot accurately reflect the wide and deep footprint of youth incarceration.

Dated March 15, the link offers the most recent comprehensive report on the state of juvenile justice in the US.  Rovner insists that the current status is vastly understated and that the number of children held in custody is disproportionately youth of color.  The statistical methodology also allows for the understatement of the issue:  “In 2019, there were more than 240,000 instances of a young person detained, committed, or both in the juvenile justice system. However, youth incarceration is typically measured via a one-day count taken in late October. This metric vastly understates its footprint: at least 80% of incarcerated youth are excluded from the one-day count.”  Summary report with five recommendations for change:  https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/too-many-locked-doors/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=07833d47-df11-4c4e-b7ad-171ff7a231aa   Full report: (Downloadable 27 page pdf)  Too Many Locked Doors  https://www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/too-many-locked-doors.pdf  Related article: Prison Policy Initiative – Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner  Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2022  ( A comprehensive pie chart on who holds whom and for what: federal, state, municipal, youth, Indigenous, military )  https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2022.html  Related article: Pew Foundation Five Evidence-Based Policies Can Improve Community Supervision – Key reforms can prioritize resources for higher-risk individuals, reduce returns to prison, and protect public safety    https://www.pewtrusts.org/-/media/assets/2022/02/community_supervision.pdf   Related article: Brennan Center – Lauren-Brooke Eisen and Alia Nahra  Oversight of Prisons and Jails Must Get Better, Faster – A new Brennan Center resource tracks progress on prison and jail oversight reform  https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/oversight-prisons-and-jails-must-get-better-faster#.YjEfKQcYJSI.twitter

 Blogger Russell Webster (UK) –
Youth offending services improving – Two thirds of YOS are “good or outstanding”

The Inspectorate of Probation has just published an annual report on Youth Offending Services in Britain and is suggesting that two thirds of the services are good or outstanding, none rated as inadequate.  Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell suggested that the results were achieved in spite of the problems from Covid and coping with face-to-face client meetings.  The report also addresses the Black and Asian minority children.  https://www.russellwebster.com/youth-offending-services-improving/  Full Report:  2021 Annual Report: inspections of youth offending services  (A 67 page downloadable pdf ) https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2022/03/FINAL-HMIP-Youth-Annual-Report-2021.pdf