Justice denied…

Jan 23, 2023

National Post – Christopher Nardi
Judge awards inmate nearly $200K for abuses and unlawful time in solitary confinement – Nothing in Ryan Richards’ character merited the treatment he received while imprisoned at three different institutions between 2013 and 2014, the judge ruled

Nardi is noting an extra-ordinary step forward in the battle to subject Corrections Canada to the regulations and law as applied to solitary confinement in prisons.  In this case, the judgment comes with a serious financial fine, even given that the government has deep pockets.  “In a ruling published just before Christmas, Federal Court Judge John Norris lambasted Correctional Services Canada for its treatment of inmate Ryan Ricardo Richards and ordered the government to pay him $184,825 in damages and interest for the abuse suffered nearly a decade ago.”  What is equally regrettable beyond the treatment and abuse is that it took the justice system ten years to acknowledge and correct the abuse.  Said Federal Court Judge John Norris:  “But he said nothing in Richards’ character merited the treatment he received while imprisoned at the Springhill Institution in Nova Scotia and then Atlantic Institution and Dorchester Penitentiary in New Brunswick.”  Also, in the light of the judge’s ruling, one must wonder how many more are enduring the same abuse even now. Further, employees of CSC involved are supposedly protected by some sort of privacy law, so claimed CSC spokeswoman Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr.   https://nationalpost.com/news/inmate-abuses-solitary-confinement

Saltwire – Atlantic Canada Desk
Newfoundland and Labrador income support pilot to offer bonuses to recipients maintaining employment

Government and the private sector – Stella’s Circle – are engaging in a joint pilot effort to top up income for youth who are at the margins while still employed.  Youth participants get to keep more earnings and can get bonus money for continuous employment.  The bonus money comes at $250 after 6 months, $500 after 1 year and $1000 after 2 years.  The pilot includes supports in various life skills and will have independent assessment, at a yet indeterminate point.   https://www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/news/local/newfoundland-and-labrador-income-support-pilot-to-offer-bonuses-to-recipients-maintaining-employment-100815618/   Related article: City News (Toronto) – Sarah Smellie, The Canadian Press   Overwhelmed food charities say solution to hunger is higher incomes, not more funding   https://toronto.citynews.ca/2023/01/18/overwhelmed-food-charities-say-solution-to-hunger-is-higher-incomes-not-more-funding/   Tweet from UBI Works On three politicos who support UBI: “These Conservative, Liberal, and Green leaders agree: Basic Income is vital. It’s not left or right – it’s forward. https://t.co/4teWwx4Ad7

Toronto Star – Editorial (Jan 21, 2003)
Rethinking how the RCMP delivers policing – It’s incumbent on the RCMP to conduct a thorough rethinking and reevaluation of how it delivers policing, and to do it together with the people it

The editorial looks at efforts to reform the RCMP over time and concludes that almost every effort came to nothing.  “The failure to effect successful reform is likely a product of multiple factors, including structural issues and failures of leadership. But it also stems from the fact that the RCMP is expected to be all things to all people: Unlike many other federal police services, whose duties are limited to national issues like organized crime, border security and terrorism, the RCMP also provides local policing to about 70 per cent of Canadian territory.”  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2023/01/21/rethinking-how-the-rcmp-delivers-policing.html

Toronto Star – Alyshaw Hasham
‘We don’t know how they died’: Spike in jailhouse deaths calls for independent investigator, Ontario rights groups say – Ontario must “take immediate action to form an independent provincial body dedicated to overseeing jails and quickly raising alarms, similar to the federal correctional investigator,” reads the groups’ open letter.

A group of prisoner’s rights advocates are re-acting to the doubling death rate in Ontario prisons from 2020-2021 – from 23 to 41 with 28 already in the first 10 months of 2022.  Advocates have long noted the crass process for the family after an incarcerated person’s death and the almost perfunctory autopsy to discover why the person died, sometimes delayed by months or even years.  While the coroner will eventually rule and offer recommendations to avoid another incident, and while the provincial and federal process differ somewhat, in fact, the recommendations have no force of law.   The group letter was signed by over forty groups and was sent to the Ontario Solicitor General Michael Kerzner looking for the appointment of an independent oversight body for prisons.  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2023/01/20/we-dont-know-how-they-died-spike-in-jailhouse-deaths-calls-for-independent-investigator-ontario-rights-groups-say.html

Psychology Today / Innocent Project of Texas (IPTX) – Hayley Cleary, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Public Policy, Virginia Commonwealth University; David Thompson, CFI, President, Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates
Moving Away From Deception When Interrogating Young Suspects – Psychologists and interviewing experts agree on better ways to question youth.

Most people are not aware that police may lie with impunity to young people – or adults –  in interrogation but equally are not aware of the potential of those lies and false evidence ploys leading to a false confession by youth especially – the rate is staggering.  Quotes the Texas Project:  “According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 34% of innocent people who were convicted as minors falsely confessed, compared to 10% of innocent people over the age of 18.”  Huwe Burton offers a most disturbing case and point.  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sound-science-sound-policy/202211/moving-away-deception-when-interrogating-young-suspects  IPTX website: Active Cases:  https://innocencetexas.org/case_type/active-cases/

JSTOR Daily (US)
After Attica, the McKay Report in the Prison Press – How was the famous prisoner uprising and its aftermath depicted in the prison press? The American Prison Newspapers collection on JSTOR has answers.

JSTOR is a digital library that is non-profit and seeks to resource libraries and researchers.  In this offering, JSTOR re-examines the famous McKay Commission that investigated the Attica uprising and draws some lessons from both the public media narrative in reaction and the response from a variety of prison newspapers.  Include at the end of the article is a hot-button list of US prison newspapers that may be helpful to researchers.  https://daily.jstor.org/after-attica-the-mckay-commission-in-the-prison-press/   Related article: The Nation (US) – Victoria Law    Rikers Just Had Its Deadliest Year. Two Authors Explain Why It’s Still Open. A conversation with Graham Rayman and Reuven Blau about their new book on Rikers Island, a jail system plagued by decades of institutional inertia.   https://www.thenation.com/article/society/qa-rikers-rayman-blau/

CBC News – Claire Pasieka
Rising crime in Peel has some regional councilors supporting $46M police budget increase – New money would help hire 70 officers and 50 civilians, police say

Peel Regional Police say they want to hire 70 more officers but that they really need over 300 new officers to be at sufficient policing strength.  To which Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says: Is $46 million enough?  Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie says that she wants police to have what they need: “Mississauga is one of the safest cities in Canada and continues to be so, but we want to keep it that way,” she told the regional council.”  No one seems to ask why and what other services will be denied to seemingly over resource police.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/peel-regional-police-ask-for-nearly-46-million-dollar-budget-increase-1.6721303?__vfz=medium%3Dsharebar&s=03

Tweet from Jessica Hutchinson: On how to reduce the police workload:

“Waterloo Region Police Service claims they are over-worked so they need 19 more officers. WRPS also charges people for drug possession at a rate >2x the national average. A solution that can be started asap is de facto decriminalization. It will free up police time…  It will save lives & money. It directs officers to not charge people for simple drug possession & the chief of police can enact this policy. I support the call from @geoffbardwell and the Drug Action Team for the WRPS to enact de facto decriminalization immediately.”   https://twitter.com/Jessichutchison/status/1616603660167041024?t=KUVHDVQKYO94IirBYuH3yQ&s=03

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection

The UK is doing a review of the indeterminate sentencing practices – the Imprisonment for Public Safety (IPP).  In the UK, a regular sentence, known as a tariff, is term defined and limited to the tariff while the IPP is indeterminate.  Webster is referencing a document released Jan. 17 and suggesting that it is time to abolish the “toxic” IPP’s.  https://www.russellwebster.com/sentences-of-imprisonment-for-public-protection/  Related article: The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies   Time to abolish “toxic” IPP sentence   https://www.russellwebster.com/abolish-ipp/