How far without CoSA?

   April 26, 2014

 Prairie Messenger – John Penner
I was in prison: unconditional support is Easter hope 

 This article is about the involvement of prison visitor in the work of post-prison care for the most vulnerable of inmates: the sexual offender who is at end of sentence or on parole.  It is at once a good statement of the problems that sexual offenders face in trying to fit in again in any type of society.  The article underlines the need for a program such as CoSA, whose funding the federal government has cut while acknowledging a very high success rate.

 Canadian Mental Health Association –
Mental health police records not criminal records: CMHA Ontario 

 CMHA CEO Camille Quenneville is suggesting that mental health records kept by police are not criminal records and should not be available to US authorities.  There have been several incidents of Canadians turned away from crossing the border on the basis of a mental illness past.  Related article: Toronto Star  Ontario privacy watchdog blasts police for disclosing suicide attempts  

Vancouver Sun
Watching Glory Die 

 The play is about the death in custody of Ashley Smith, a teenager with mental health issues who was repeatedly sentenced to longer and longer terms for behavioural disciplinary reasons.  Currently playing in Vancouver at The Cultch until May 3, the play is about  Smith death by self-inflicted strangulation while guards watched under orders not to intervene.  Related article:  CBC / Canadian Press   Ashley Smith’s prison death the subject of new 1-woman play by Judith Thompson  

 Winnipeg Free Press
Restorative justice legislation expected this spring 

 Called the Restorative Justice Act, the new legislation is focused on creating the options for community based restitution models for cases involving both adults and juveniles.  The introduction seems to be calculated to be helpful with mental health and addictions as well as a way of avoiding further over-crowding in the province’s prisons.

 Toronto Star – Editorial
Tighter rules for Toronto police carding make sense 

 Carding is the practice of arbitrarily stopping people on the street and filing the identity, description, personal information, in police files following the stop.  Long a sore point between police and visible minorities, the practice will now stop unless there is a specific reason.  Some critics thought the practice should simply stop rather than simply reined in.   Related article: Toronto Star – Jim Rankin and Patty Winsa   Police board clears tough new carding rules  

 Globe and Mail     Jane Taber and James Bradshaw
N.S. law society rejects accreditation as long as Trinity Western maintains same-sex covenant 

 Trinity Western University in Langley BC now has the faculty to grant a law degree, opening in 2016.  But it also has a policy of opposition on basis of faith to gays and gay marriage in the student body.  Nova Scotia Law Society is now the second provincial body who will refuse to recognize the law degree for admission to the provincial law society.  Ontario was the first to refuse.  Related article: Globe and Mail:  James Bradshaw   Law society rejects school over gay policy 

 Western Journalism
This Insane Bill Could End the State Of California As We Know It 

 This is an ‘ouch’ article.  The article reviews all the taxes paid by the corporations, claims that the taxes are driving the corporations out of state, and then bewails the introduction of new state laws to tax income disparity in compensation for employees.  Known as Senate Bill 1372, the Bill varies the tax rate according to the discrepancy between highest and lowest paid workers and defines compensation as the total received in income.  Senate Bill 1372: