Victims’ rights…


Jan. 7, 2013

Canadian Law Times
Defence counsel brace for victims rights bill

 Anticipating the introduction of the victims’ rights bill in the 2014 session of parliament, defence lawyers say that the legislation give the prosecution “two masters” and will not likely change much for the actual victims if those interests are a speedy process and adequate compensation.

 Edmonton Sun – Pamela Roth

Federal government announced $2.8M in funding for crime prevention

 Formerly known as Hobbema, the reserve has 300- 600 gang members and an 80% unemployment rate among them.  The Samson Cree Nation will focus on preventative measures with emphasis on the cultural connection.   Related article: Global TV  News  – Slav Kornik and Emily Mertz   Alberta First Nation receives $3 million in funding to fight gangs   Related article:  Edmonton Journal – Cailynn Klingbeil   Federal funding targets gang violence on Edmonton-area First Nations

Wall Street Journal – Sean Gardiner

Solitary Jailing Curbed – New York City Department of Correction Stops Solitary Confinement for Mentally Ill Inmates Who Break Rules 

The decision to end the practice of solitary confinement for those with mental health problems who break the jailhouse rules serves to illustrate the extent of the practice and its parameters; the practice started in 1998.  Average time is over 53 days in solitary once there; average time in cell is 23 hours of the day.  It’s over, according to Correction Commissioner Dora Schiro.

 Huffington Post (US) – Melody Moezzi.

Mental Health Ought to Matter More Than Uniforms 

 Bill 162 now before the Congress would authorize $40 million per year for five years to address some of the problems between the mental health services, prisons, screening and treatment.  While 162 is languishing, the Congress has approved $50 million for new Transportation Security Administration  uniforms. 

 Brisbane Times (Australia) –  Bianca Hall

Women’s sanitary products sent to Scott Morrison’s office in protest

 Australia has been immersed in severe controversy around the usual immigration and detention issues for some time.  The novelty of this protest merits notice.  Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has denied immigrant women in detention access to tampons and sanitary pads.  Women’s groups want “to say no to the bloody humiliation of immigrant women.”  

 Almalgest – Press Release

Violence in jails and prisons can inflict lasting trauma on victims

 A Rutgers University graduate student Ashley Schappell has received a $25,000 grant to study the impact of internal prison violence on inmates, an area of research strangely silent.  Schappell is looking in particular at the mental health consequences of violence within prison on re-entry.  

 Journalist Resource (US) – Chrissie Long

Mentally ill offenders involved with the U.S. criminal justice system 

 A number of states have begun to respond to the estimate that as many as 50% of the US prison population are suffering from serious mental illness and that some states are spending as much as three times the usual incarceration costs to confront the mental illness under crowded conditions, especially when the mental illness is also responsible in part for the disciplinary infractions among inmates.  The article summarizes a 2013 report from Christine M. Sarteschi of Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Penn, offering a synthesis of the mental health issues.’s+Resource)   Full pdf report: