Criminal background checks…

  Mar 20, 2014

 Toronto Star – Jennifer Pagliaro
Toronto police criminal-background check backlog puts thousands of jobs and studies in limbo 

 There are two types of background check involved.  One is simply an indication – a clearance letter for students, health care and other workers – that shows an individual does not have a criminal record and it is done by reference to CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre).  The second is called vulnerable sector screening (VSS) and is done by local police through a number of criminal data bases.  The second requires fingerprints as well in certain cases; the fingerprint requirement for the VSS may soon become mandatory for all queries.  Toronto police are getting 200 requests a day and the current wait time is 8 weeks.  The backlog has been as high as 17,000, putting all sorts of career moves on hold.

 Association Quebecoise Plaidoyer Victimes
Consultation sur la mise en œuvre d’une Déclaration des droits des victimes au Canada 

 Une présentation d’AQPV au Ministère de la Justice Canada au sujet de la Loi C-479, Déclaration des droits des victimes.  Le document (41 pages et disponsible en électronique en français)  consiste des perspectives internationalles sur la question et puis 10 conditions essentielles;  on  parle aussi des recours en cas de non-respect des droits.   (Note: Available in English by a request to )

 Statistics Canada
Statistics by crime subject

 This is the latest link for Stats Canada (most documents are 2012, some older) offering a breakdown by the subject and includes reference to both civil and criminal law.  Each subject offers an analysis and further data for examination, including a breakdown for publications on the topic and one for researchers.  Most of the reports are in downloadable pdf format.

 WhoWhatWhy – Dave Lindorff
Crime’s Down, So Why is Police Aggression Increasing? 

 Everyone, regardless of political strip is conceding a drop in crime rates.  Lindorff is wondering why we are seeing an increase in aggression and in the militarization of police.  The political power to militarize police springs from the claim that police are responsible for the low crime rates.  The report looks at increased call outs for the SWAT teams as indicative of the increased militarization.

 The Cap Times (Madison, Wisconsin) – Pat Schneider
Madison La Follette’s restorative justice program empowers students to change behaviour 

 Here’s an account of the operation of RJ as a school disciplinary approach that trains student leaders to be keepers of the circle and refers most disciplinary matters to a student court for resolution.  Student circle keeper Khaleah Monger says “the circles are a great way to short-circuit the drama that flares up among groups of friends, often girls, and frequently on social media.”  

 N.Y. Times – Michael Schwirtz   
Rikers Island Struggles with a Surge in Violence and Mental Illness 

Rikers is the main city jail for New York and has seen an alarming increase in internal violence, even since this New Year.  Use of force incidents by corrections officers has gone up 240% and 12 people have been stabbed or injured since the New Year, all while the jail population has decreased by 15%.  The mayhem includes civil lawsuits following alleged beatings by guards.  Related article: New Zealand Herald – Mentally ill man ‘baked to death’ in cell (in Rikers Island)