Remand credit…

  April 11

 Supreme Court of Canada

 The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in favour of judicial discretion in the issues of the pre-trial credit to be given for days spent in remand.  The court was responding to federal government changes that gave equal time to time served exception in undefined ‘exceptional circumstances and judges across the country took issue.  Said Justice Andromache Karakatsanis speaking for the unanimous decision: “I conclude that loss of access to parole and early release constitutes a ‘circumstance’ capable of justifying enhanced credit.”   Text of SSC Decision: Related article: Canadian Press – Mike Blanchfield  Top court softens time-served sentencing law   Related article: Globe and Mail – Sean Fine Supreme Court blocks Harper government’s tougher sentencing rules   

 Dalhousie Law Journal – Don Clairmont and Ethan Kim
Restorative Justice: Getting Past the Gatekeepers: The Reception of Restorative Justice in the Nova Scotian Criminal Justice System

 Unfortunately the full article is not available without LexisNexis membership but even the abstract may be helpful.  It describes some of the parameters of the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice program first instituted in 1999 and now assessed for its effectiveness with the various participants since.

 Seneca College Film Making School

 Readers are likely aware that two major organizations that catered to support services for lifers have closed for want of funding in recent years.  Here’s a 15 minute YouTube video link that portrays the troubles the lifer faces when he comes out of long term incarceration. 

 The Sacramento Bee (US) – Sam Stanton and Denny Walsh
Judge finds treatment of California’s mentally ill inmates ‘horrific’

 U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton was schedule to view 17 videos of extractions in a hearing on use of force procedures in California’s prisons.  The prisons are required to video-tape all institution planned use of force.  After six videos, the judge declare the impact on inmates “horrific” and then issued a series of court orders around the treatment of the mentally ill. 

Seattle Times – Lornet Turnbull
Protesters want Gates Foundation to stop investing in prison operator  

 Who invests in private prison giant GEO which operates 59 facilities across the US, including the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma where there is current turmoil and hunger striking by the detainees?  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has $2.2 million in the company and immigrant protestors want an end.   

 CNN (US)  – Evan Perez
U.S. moves toward shorter sentences for drug crimes 

 The U.S. Sentencing Commission has voted to reduce sentencing for about 70% of federally sentenced drug offenders, due to take effect Nov. 1 if Congress approves.  The move supported by Attorney General Eric Holder aims at reducing the 216,000 federal inmates.  Related article:  Think Progress (US) –  Nicole Flatrow   Bill would urge shorter sentences for veterans with mental health problems   Related article: Newsday (N.Y.)    Laura Figueroa    Cuomo appoints panel to examine youth sentencing system