Blaming the victims

  Sept 6, 2013 –

 CBC News
Ottawa’s research on trafficking of aboriginal women panned – Some in aboriginal community accuse government of blaming victims

 A RFP by the federal government is asking for researchers to look at the potential for family involvement in the trafficking of Aboriginal women and girls.  The Aboriginal community has accused the feds of blaming the victims.  “It’s very cleverly designed to bring about results that will be blaming First Nations for murdered and missing and traded indigenous women,” said Pam Palmater, chair of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University in Toronto.”

 Globe and Mail – Nicholas Bala
When a child kills in Canada, there’s no sense of justice 

 Bala, a professor of law at Queen’s and co-author of Youth Criminal Justice Law, acknowledges that in 1983 age 12 replaced the Common Law defined age 7 for criminal responsibility in Canada.  Child welfare deals with most instances under 12.  Says Bala:  “For some cases, the child welfare approach, with its exclusive focus on the child offender, is inadequate. The perception of experienced child offenders that “nothing happens” may encourage some of them to engage in offending behaviour.”

 Globe and Mail – Editorial
Saint Mary’s students should see the consequences of condoning sexual abuse

 Coming on the heels of the Parsons case, the frosh week celebrations at St. Mary’s University, chanting about non-consensual underage sex and rape, leave many people stunned.  The editorial further charges an inadequate response from both the university president and province’s premier.  (The link includes the 2min 29 sec video from a CTV report.

 Huffington Post (Canada) – Arthur Gallant
How Well Do Police Deal With Mentally Ill People? 

 Mental health advocate Arthur Gallant, himself a product of repeated youth arrests under the Mental Health Act, wonders about the question in the face of   Sammy Yatim’s death and the subsequent murder changes against the police officer who shot him.  Says Gallant:  “My view on this matter is simply one voice in a very crowded arena. We, as a society, need to have a long and thoughtful debate as to what needs to be done in the hopes that lives are no longer lost.”

New Directive Issued on Use of Solitary Confinement in Immigration Detention

 The directives set out new guidelines for monitoring the use of solitary confinement. 

ACLU Press Release:   The 13 page document:    (NB: the pdf file seems very slow loading???)

 New America Media
San Francisco Considers Ending Immigrant Detention 

 The City is considering the Due Process for All Ordinances.  That would allow police to ignore holds for undocumented immigrants and thereby allow everyone the comfort to call police for other reasons, such as domestic abuse.  If the city passes the bill, SF will be the first country to endorse the resistance to ICE and the route for many of the ICE detention orders. 

 Sacramento Bee – Associated Press
Leaders of California prison hunger strike 

 Four leaders of the California prison hunger strike have ended the strike having wrested a concession from authorities to hold a hearing in the fall about the complaints of the inmates.  Ironically, the four are still held in segregation – high security isolation units. 

 Columbia Star (South Carolina)
Probate judge speaks about Richland County Mental Health Court 

 Here’s a helpful description of how a Mental Health Court works to keep the mentally ill and addicts out of the criminal justice system.  Judge Amy McCulloch offers an explanation of who is eligible and who is not.  The program is funded by a federal diversionary fund grant.

 BBC News – Scotland
Minister Kenny MacAskill welcomes prisoner release plan 

The Scottish Justice Minister is ending mandatory release after two thirds sentence is served in the case of prisoners serving ten years or more or sexual offenders serving four years or more.  Rather than automatic release, the parole board will determine if these inmates are ready for release.  The opposition party Conservatives who introduced the practice in 1993 say it will impact only 2% of the inmates and does not go far enough.

 Medical Daily (US) – Chris Weller
Gender Income Gap among Doctors at $56,000: Unequal Opportunity or Personal Preference? 

 The gap in income by gender for US doctors is surprising but unchanged since 1987 and Weller wants to know if the problem is a gender bias problem or whether women are opting for less income  for other reasons.  Researchers expected the numbers to converge but the differences are constant for some time between male and female while other health care workers have closed the gender gap somewhat.