Mar 28, 2022

 Faculty of Arts – University of Regina

Online March 31 as law professor Jennifer Llewellyn (Dalhousie University) delivers the 2022 Dr. Gordon Wicijowski Law Foundation of Saskatchewan lecture.  Re-imagining Public Safety:  Implications for Policing  “It is clear we need to reimagine safety and justice beyond policing. This requires more than operational reforms — more than new training and tactics. It requires fundamental structural, system, and culture change in our understanding and approach to public safety and justice. This presentation considers the potential of a restorative approach for this re-imagining and the “relational shift” needed to realize it.”  THURSDAY 31 MARCH 2022 | 7:00 PM | VIA ZOOM   To register (free): https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/reimagining-public-safety-restoratively-implications-for-policing-tickets-275661861047?fbclid=IwAR26SDQ7GH2VmQgE9kGiYUc4reTZ1JLLRazFIv_DxTCau1OU2ghoJMrN9w8   Related article: CBC News – David Fraser   Ottawa police oversight board gets 3 replacement provincial appointees – Ottawa Police Services Board membership now fully restored following ‘Freedom Convoy’ upheaval   https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-police-services-board-3-new-provincial-appointees-1.6397222   Related article: Washington Post (US) – Editorial Board (Mar 25, 2022)  Police misconduct payments leave taxpayers on the hook and in the dark  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/25/police-misconduct-payments-leave-taxpayers-hook-dark/?utm_campaign=wp_opinions_pm&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_popns&carta-url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.washingtonpost.com%2Fcar-ln-tr%2F36685da%2F623e18743e6ed13ade3bcfa1%2F597720279bbc0f6826c0ca16%2F11%2F69%2F623e18743e6ed13ade3bcfa1   Related article: JSTOR Daily – Greg Miller   The Invention of Incarceration:  Prisons have been controversial since their beginnings in the late 1700s — why do they keep failing to live up to expectations? https://daily.jstor.org/the-invention-of-incarceration/   Related article: Washington Post (US) – Gabrielle A. Perry   In prison, having your period can put your life in danger    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/25/prison-period-danger-health-risks-sexual-abuse/?utm_campaign=wp_opinions_pm&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_popns&carta-url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.washingtonpost.com%2Fcar-ln-tr%2F36685ea%2F623e18743e6ed13ade3bcfa1%2F597720279bbc0f6826c0ca16%2F53%2F69%2F623e18743e6ed13ade3bcfa1

Supreme Court of Canada

Lisa Kerr of Queen’s focuses the question for us:  “The always excellent Erin Dann will argue that imprisonment with no hope of release – a death in prison sanction – is a type of penalty that cannot be lawfully imposed by Canada.”  The definition of cruel and unusual punishment may in fact enter the sanction is life in prison without hope of release:  “It has not, however, articulated an analytical framework to assess whether a particular method of punishment is, by its very nature, cruel and usual and thus in violation of s. 12 of the Charter. This case gives the Court an opportunity to do so.”   Lisa’s Tweet:  (https://twitter.com/coleenlisa/status/1506984525515079684?s=03    Filing for the case:  FACTUM OF THE INTERVENER QUEEN’S PRISON LAW CLINIC
(Pursuant to Rule 42 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada)  https://www.scc-csc.ca/WebDocuments-DocumentsWeb/39544/FM140_Intervener_Queen’s-Prison-Law-Clinic.pdf

Center for Crime and Justice (UK) – Richard Garside
Escaping the monotony

The link is to an original article by Garside (linked in a previous edition of our Newsletter) asking how do we change the monotony of repeatedly doing what we know does not work.  In addition, Garside offers two responders, both with significant justice experience.  One, Ann Horton, an advocate for ending imprisonment for public protection (IPP- the UK version of indeterminate sentence), looks to achieving balance within a host of prescriptive changes to make the change manageable.  The second, Andrew Coyle, a former prison warder, says we must abandon 19th and 20th century solutions in favour of more comprehensive 21st century solutions which alone can bring us beyond tinkering with the problem.  https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/tags/escaping-monotony   Related article: Inquest (US) –  William Peeples –  The Ties That Bind – Imprisonment violently separates us from those we love most — even those we come to love on the inside.  https://inquest.org/the-ties-that-bind/   Related article: Washington Post – Editorial (Mar 26, 2022)   Opinion: The cost of prison phone calls is staggering. Congress has a chance to change that.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/26/cost-prison-phone-calls-is-staggering-congress-has-chance-change-that/

 Common Dreams (US) – Jon Quaelly
Biden Tax Plan Would Force Top 10 Billionaires Alone to Pay $215 Billion over Next Decade – “This is big,” said one economist on the reported tax plan that another called a “landmark proposal” to force the nation’s wealthiest individuals to pay their fair share.

The consequence of new tax plan on the richest people in the US is staggering, not simply from the viewpoint of additional revenue for anti-poverty and equity programs but from the viewpoint of the denial of any sense of fair play from the wealthy.  “Economic experts and progressives opposed to the outrageous levels of inequality in the United States celebrated Saturday evening and into Sunday after reporting revealed that President Joe Biden plans to unveil “a 20 percent minimum tax rate on all American households worth more than $100 million”—a so-called “Billionaire’s Tax” that will specifically target approximately 700 of the nation’s wealthiest people.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/03/27/biden-tax-plan-would-force-top-10-billionaires-alone-pay-215-billion-over-next?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_campaign=echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1648389659   Related article: Washington Post – Jeff Stein   President Biden to unveil new minimum tax on billionaires in budget – First White House attempt to target billionaires with tax plan comes amid potential revival of talks with Manchin   https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2022/03/26/billionaire-tax-budget-biden/   Related article: Universal Basic Income – How to Pay for Basic Income in Canada – Who pays? Probably not you.  https://www.ubiworks.ca/howtopay

Bloomberg Press (US) – Jarrell Dillard
GOP Support Clears Senate Path for Bill on Cocaine Sentencing: Bill attracts support of 10 Republicans, making passage likely Schumer backs bill but hasn’t yet scheduled floor debate

This link raises a question about what justice reform means: given the role of drug convictions in the mass incarceration of so many currently in prison, and those living with criminal records from previous drug convictions, many may view this limited reform, in knowing that one conviction merits the same sentence as another, as a mixed blessing at best.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-23/gop-support-clears-senate-path-for-bill-on-cocaine-sentencing?utm_source=google&utm_medium=bd&cmpId=google   Related article: The Appeal (US) – Brian Dolinar   ‘It’s a Money Grab’: Billions in COVID Relief Going to Fund Police and Prisons – Less than two years after racial justice protests sparked calls to “defund the police,” states and jurisdictions are using pandemic aid to pad already bloated law enforcement budgets.   https://theappeal.org/covid-funds-police-prisons-arpa/#.Yj2ww8PPpLs.twitter

Compassion Prison Project (US) – Fritzi Horstman
A Look at Brain Health and Healing with Jay Faber

Faber is a child and adult clinical and forensic psychiatrist whose specialty is brain injury, trauma and its presence / influence among people in prison.  “Dr. Faber is President of BrainSource (  https://brainsource.io/ ) a corporation founded to teach adolescents how to build successful lives. (https://drjayfaber.com ) The link is to an hour’s YouTube video conversation between Horstman and Faber.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSCxaNSKfxk

The Brennan Center (US) – Michael Walderman
The Election Police Are Coming – States across the country are establishing or empowering law enforcement agencies to aggressively pursue rare instances of voter fraud.

What is glaringly obvious is that the proven incidents of voting fraud of any kind is miniscule among the 140 million voters.  Yet alarmingly high percentages of elected officials think that the solution is a special police force or section of state police to confront the exceptional incidence.  Any casual observer would be forced to concede that such a creation would have to be a residual in the fight to eliminate mass incarceration, if for no other reason than police so authorized will find offences to arrest and imprison citizens.  “Lorraine Minnite, an expert in voter fraud at Rutgers Univer­sity, told the Times that the amount of voter fraud happen­ing does­n’t change much. “In an elec­tion of 130 million or 140 million people, it’s close to zero… Yet 62 percent of Repub­lic­ans — compared with just 19 percent of Demo­crats — say voter fraud is a major prob­lem, accord­ing to a recent poll from Monmouth Univer­sity.”  https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/election-police-are-coming