The Warden and the NPB

 January 17, 2013 – Christie Blatchford
Warden goes against parole board, grants temporary absence to convicted murderer

The decision by a CSC warden to give a lifer a temporary absence in spite of a National Parole Board decision not to allow it may be both within the CSC mandate but sufficiently confrontational with a National Parole Board to prompt a struggle for control of the process within the two organizations, to the detriment of good correctional practice. 

Canadian Medical Association Journal – Nathan Stall, MD
Imprisoning the mentally ill (Part 2 of the series)

Author Nathan Stall, MD, supported by Howard Sapers and government documents, suggests a failure to follow through on community support in the face of de-institutionalization, the ‘tough-on-crime’ agenda and overcrowding are among the causes of the current crisis.

 Macleans – Aaron Wherry
The Conservatives and the crime rate

Macleans is puzzled around the flip-flop of the federal government on the crime rate and policy response. 

 Emile Therien, public health and safety advocate, on gun control and protection of person and family – Let’s set the record straight!

(Ed Note: The debate in the US gun control controversy is behind these comments. Cf

As history has shown, that awful tragedy in an elementary school in Connecticut that took the lives of 26 people, including 20 children, will renew calls by many members of the U.S. gun culture, including the NRA and gun manufacturers, for all citizens to arm for self-protection. Battle Cry America! True to form, at the NRA press conference held on December 21, its spokesperson, Wayne LaPierre, called for such action, including putting a police officer in every school in America.

Let’s set the record straight.

Studies tend to reveal people who carry a weapon for self-protection are more likely to increase violence than reduce it; the weapon is also more likely to be used against the victims than by them. An American study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that guns kept in the home were 22 percent more likely to kill a family member or an acquaintance than they were to kill an intruder. A 1988 study of gun fatalities in King County, Washington between 1978 to 1983, conducted by Dr. Arthur Kellermann, M.D,  found that for every time a gun was used in a self-protection homicide, 37 lives were lost in gun suicides, 4.6 lives were lost in gun homicides, and 1.3 lives were lost via unintentional gun deaths—43 deaths for every self-defense homicide.  A second Kellermann study, released in 1993, revealed that keeping a firearm in the home increased the risk of homicide almost threefold. There are nearly  three hundred million privately owned firearms in the U.S, of which approximately one hundred million are handguns. Since 1980, according to a reliable source, forty-four states have passed some form of law that allows gun owners to carry concealed weapons outside of their homes for personal protection. In an average year, about one hundred thousand Americans are killed or injured with guns. One number that jumps out is from the FBI’s 2008 data that reveals that only 245 alleged criminals were killed by civilians, far fewer than were killed by police. This squares with an FBI report that, in 1992, handguns were used only 262 times by law-abiding citizens to kill criminals justifiably.

Arming for self-protection?

Emile Therien, Public Health & Safety Advocate,

 Eureka (Australia) – Elena Savage
Rape and restorative justice

One victim of rape sees the merits of RJ rather than the usual court process which does not satisfy the needs of the victim and seems to impose additional burdens on all involved.