Aug. 16, 2013

 U.S. Attorney General
Smart on Crime: Reforming the Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century

 This document, released by the Attorney General offers five goals and five principles for implementing Smart-on-crime.  There are also, towards the end of the paper, a series of new steps to be taken jointly with the Department of Education for the protection of children.  

Social Capital Blog
Good places for kids’ social mobility

 Here’s a new idea in social capital and poverty.  Four scholars from Harvard and Berkeley have done some retrospective study on the best place to come from to ensure the highest social and economic mobility.  Related article: Change Generation  Re-envisioning The Manhattan Skyline To Reflect The City’s Jarring Income Inequality 

 CBC News
Rehtaeh Parsons suspects in court to face child porn charges 

 Two 18 year old young men have been charged with child pornography, an unusual situation in which minors themselves are charged with  pornography, according to Wayne MacKay,  chair of the Province’s Task Force on Cyberbullying.  The charges relate to the photographs of Rehtaeh Parsons taken while she was raped by four youths.  No one is charged with the rape.  At the time, the police announced that there was not enough evidence to charge.  Besides the pornography charges, Murray Segal, a former prosecutor from Ontario has been hired to look into the police decisions.  

 The American Prospect  (US) – Paul Waldman
Six Charts that Explain Why Our Prison System Is So Insane 

 Waldman uses graphs to illustrate how the US got to the tough-on-crime position of having barely less than 7 million people under the supervision of the justice system.  The Federal system in the US deal with about 10% of the prison population; state and municipalities deal with the rest.  But the numbers and the processes are much the same for all and the recent Holder announcements while applying to the federal prisons is bound to have some spin off for the others.

 Winnipeg Free Press – Jonathon Naylor
It’s a crime what they do with stats

 Northern Manitoba has a distinction again this year in the crime stats.   Thompson is the city of 10,000 plus population with the most violent crimes reported.  Naylor wants to caution the interpretation of the stats.  Jasyn Lucas is a 30 year old Aboriginal artist who says “I don’t feel unsafe, I feel blessed, alive and awesome!”  Maybe it’s time for all of us to consider how to interpret crime stats and what our response to crime stats does to our life in community. 

 N. Y. Times – Associated Press
South Africa: 16 Schools Closed Over Fears of Violence by Gangs 

 Western Cape Education Ministry, Bronagh Casey. “We are closing the schools because our educators say they are unsafe going to the area to report for duty,”  So far two men have been shot dead, one of whom was a caretaker of one of the schools.   Related article: Australian Teachers’ Magazine Gang violence closes South African schools

 Star Phoenix (Regina) – Editorial
Mental illness not police matter 

 The editorial decries ‘downstream’ intervention in mental health care by police and suggests that forcing police to become front line mental health workers, sometimes resulting in violent tragedy, still happens repeatedly, even after years of incidents and reviews. 

 Northumberland View
Ontario Combining Emergency Management Ontario, Office of the Fire Marshal 

 Part of the Ontario government’s plan to create safer communities through the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services,  the plan is meant to improve the co-ordination between services and the delivery of community safety programs.  In view  of the tragedy in Lac Mégantic, public safety has a larger meaning than just protection from crime.   Link to Ontario  Emergency Management: