March 3, 2023 – Old men…

March 3, 2023 – Old men…


Blogger Russell Webster (UK)

Prison is no place for old men

Webster brings to light the work of Louise Ridley, senior lecturer in Criminology at Northumbria University, and a publication she supports called Clinks.  Webster summarizes her perspective:  “The disproportionate growth in the number of older people in prison; the challenges to the prison system to provide the same level of care to this group; the lack of a coherent strategy and the consequences of limited responses to the needs of older people in prison; the ways in which some prisons have adapted to the challenges of caring for so many people with chronic health and social care needs… She also reviews the important role played by voluntary organisations, working collaboratively in prisons and improving the quality of life experienced by older people in prison.”


Tweet from Justin Piché, PhD – On labels and prison building:  “Every once in a while punitive injustice system actors and proponents come up with new labels for people they criminalize to make a case for more policing and prison personnel, infrastructure, technologies and other resources. Some catch fire in the mainstream, others don’t. (cf string)


Law360 (Canada) – John L. Hill

Appeal case links family dysfunction with sentencing

Hill argues in favour of the Gladue decision that requires sentencing judges to consider in Indigenous people the influences and impact of abuse and family circumstance on the choices made later as an adult.  In the light of the Gladue rulings, Hill raises a further significant question:  “If our judicial system can overcome systemic blindness that early childhood experiences for Indigenous youth can and does lead to a propensity for criminal violence, can it not also conceive of the notion that such experiences, left untreated, could also manifest themselves in criminal acts by non-Indigenous youth?”


CBC Morning brief: Helen Surgenor

A B.C. island returned to the Saanich people shows land back is complicated, but doable

With the return of a 10 acre island called Halibut Island in the Salish Sea but preserved and tended ecologically by the Saannich or Wsanec people, there is increased attention to a method to being about further reconciliation and return of the land.  In this instance, the land is returned in trust but Lorraine Land, a lawyer and specialist in the area says there are three ways the land could be returned: set up a cooperative incorporation, add the land to a treaty reserve or return it in trust.


Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis

After George Floyd:

As Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Waterloo begins to react to the police request for an additional hiring funds – $48 million in Toronto-  to continue to do what has proven inadequate, Gillis offers some reflection on the status of police in Minneapolis:  “For one moment, Minneapolis seemed poised to end its police department, rethink public safety and start over… How three years have brought a revolution “not so much in the systems, but in the mindsets of people.” Gillis reminds us as well of the embedded status of the police culture and the punitive response to crime:  “But as the TV trucks pulled away and the world looked elsewhere, the city has stumbled on its path to revolutionizing public safety. Instead, it has become a case study in the grindingly hard challenge of systemic change — even when it’s painfully clear the status quo can’t stand… But while some have tried to say defund efforts failed here, that’s not the reality on the ground.”

Tweet from Dr. Craig Sloss – On Waterloo police budget:  “This is why it’s so important that we get details about what the WRPS is spending its money on as part of budget discussions. This information is needed to have informed discussions about whether WRPS is the right agency to be doing these tasks.”


Blogger Russell Webster (UK) –

Women’s experiences of gambling and crime – Women whose lives have been affected by crime linked to gambling say a lack of awareness at every stage of the criminal justice system leaves them unsupported.

This is an unusual topic (and report).  “Women whose lives have been affected by crime linked to gambling have spoken about their experiences and revealed how a lack of awareness among agencies at each stage of the criminal justice system – from police stations to prisons – left them without the support they needed… Their voices are at the centre of a new research report, Holding it all together and picking up the pieces: Women’s experiences of gambling and crime, just published (27 February, 2023) by the Howard League’s Commission on Crime and Gambling Related Harms.   Full Report from John Howard League: Commission on crime and gambling harms


Twitter from Ben Perrin – On police oversight:  “In B.C., just two per cent of the 198 officers under investigation fully co-operated with the IIO in the last five years, the poorest record of participation.” Landmark @globeandmail investigation on police oversight and accountability deeply troubling. ( Globe and Mail – Nancy MacDonald  Police oversight bodies hindered by silence of officers, Globe analysis finds


VERA Institute of Justice (US) – Aaron Stagoff-Belfort, Daniel Bodah, and Daniela Gilbert

The Social Costs of Policing

The authors point out that the cost / benefits analysis is the criteria for determining whether the police services are worth the cost incurred.  But they insist cost / benefit analysis is mostly strictly a financial process that ignores the social consequences for policing:  “An emerging body of research illuminates the extent of these social costs, which are borne primarily by Black communities and other over policed communities of color. Vera researchers created this report and fact sheet to fill a critical gap in understanding the holistic costs of relying on policing as a primary approach to safety.” (A 33 page downloadable pdf.)

Tweet from PBS News Hour – On concealed carry on campus:   “West Virginia’s governor signed a bill Wednesday allowing people with concealed carry permits to take firearms onto public college and university campuses.


The Gothamist (US/NY) – Aliza Chasan

Extra Extra: The NYPD wants mask-wearers to flash their faces before entering a store 

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey wants people to remove their Covid masks before entering stores and shops in NY.  The suggestion is that too many are using the mask to conceal identity as they rob the store.  The suggestion is apparently consequent to a $500K robbery of a jewelry store by masked customers.