Consecutive sentences…

  Mar 2, 2014

 Globe and Mail – Sean Fine
Push for consecutive mandatory minimum sentences may run afoul of Criminal Code

 Consecutive sentences are sentences for multiple convictions that follow each other rather than merge with each other.  Besides a declared intent to increase the minimum and maximum under the mandatory sentences, the federal government is now speculating about making those mandatory sentences consecutive.  “Stacking” as it is call may also be unconstitutional in that it may violate the principle of totality and be cruel and unusual punishment.  “The minimums, especially consecutive minimums, don’t leave room for considering the individual offender and the nature of the offence,” Toronto defence lawyer Clayton Ruby, author of Sentencing, a textbook in its eighth edition, said in an interview.

 Ottawa Citizen – Andrew Seymour
Mandatory surcharge not working, says victims’ advocate 

 Canada’s first federal ombudsman for victims of crime, Steve Sullivan,  has changed his mind on the mandatory surcharge on fines and says that the surcharge has engendered so much resistance by the country’s judiciary it should return to within the discretionary power of the judges.

 Canadian Mental Health Association (ON)
The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Executive passes motion to revise police record check guidelines

 The increased frequency of the request for records check has made vulnerable people a target.  This resolution by the Ontario Chiefs of Police, at the urging of the Canadian Civil Liberties, now calls for a policy to “institute a presumption against the release of non-conviction records on all levels of police checks.”

 Ontario Youth Advocate
Feathers of Hope

 The 127 page report attempts to focus on a national strategy for Aboriginal youth to address the needs of those living on reserves in Northern Ontario.  Started in 2012, the research following visits to remote areas was compiled by five youth amplifiers and recently published.  The plan identifies the problems and proposes an action plan for resolution.  There is an executive summary starting on p. 12 of the document.

 The Peace (US) – Bob Baskin
The Global Cost of Violence 

 The organization is attempting to debunk the myth that war is good for the economy by supplanting the notion of a peace dividend.  The group is organizing to pressure the US government to establish a department of peace.  According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, authors of this report, the cost of violence is over $9 trillion and represents 11% of the Gross World Product.   Peace Alliance Website:   Report:

 Magic (Idaho Times News)  Alison Gene Smith
Idaho Passes Justice Reinvestment Act

 Idaho has one of the lowest crime rates in the US yet the recidivism rate is above the national average.  Lawmakers have decided that it is time to re-invest in corrections, parole and probation.  Studies suggest three principle problems: the revolving door, poor use of prison space by imprisoning non-violent, and poor oversight in tracking offenders.