May 29, 2014

  CTV News – Janet Dirks

Chilling video teaches Alberta students how to deal with school shootings

The University of Alberta has produced a video on how to deal with a shooter on campus.  The 90 video called “Shooter on Campus: Know You Can Survive,” has had a controversial reception but most appear to accept the need and appropriateness of such an aid.   Actual  video from Youtube posting: (8 min 47 seconds with commentary) 

 National Post – Jennifer Hough
‘They turned a community jail into a gulag’: Critics rail against Yukon’s $75M Whitehorse Correctional Centre  

The Auditor General wants to know why the $75 million state of the art prison for Yukon with a $10 million a year operating budget has 110 staff and only 70 prisoners, mostly Aboriginals.  The community wants to know why the Whitehorse Correctional Institution is not what consultations with community were supposed to bring.  They also want to know why half the money was not spent on more helpful projects such as housing and addictions programs.  All good questions…  

The Bolton News (UK)

Restorative justice is ‘win-win situation’, says top cop 

Bolton, near Manchester, England,  is the fourth city to initiate a program called Redeem Our Community or ROC.  Volunteers, after a three day training course, will conduct meetings between victims and perpetrators.  The objective is twofold: to satisfy victims that they are taken seriously and to turn perpetrators aside from criminal choices. 

 RMIT University (Australia)
Victims of sexual assault deserve more justice options: report 

The Centre for Innovative Justice has a report that suggests victims of sexual assault need more options, especially beyond an adversarial court system.  Director of CIJ Rob Hulls says that many such crimes are not reported and many others do not lead to convictions.  While the court route remains important,  it does not deal well with the trauma.  The report is suggesting, among other solutions,  a legislated framework for RJ conferencing.;ID=nyhump2zyhfxz    Full report:  Innovative Justice Responses to Sexual Offending  (A 100 page downloadable pdf with an Executive Summary pp 6-9)

 Forbes Magazine – Merrill Mathews
If Income Inequality Is Caused by the Lack of Wealth, Then Help Workers Create Wealth   

Mathews argues that the largest asset for the average person is not the house but the social security income.  The problem he sees is that the contributions will be more than the benefit the contributor will get back.  He wants individuals to invest the contribution where he anticipates a much larger return on the savings re-directed from government into investments. (US) – Matthew Fleischer 
After Inmate’s Scalding Death, New Questions Raised About Incarcerating the Mentally Ill 

The article is responsive to the death of 50 year old mentally ill inmate Darren Rainey who died while confined under a scalding hot shower in Florida’s Dade County Correctional Institution.  The death was the third in the month and, claims Fleischer, not an aberration.  The problem, Fleischer thinks, aside from the evident abuse, is the criminalization of mental illness.

 Prison Reform Trust  (UK)
Prison: the facts   Bromley Briefings Summer 2014 

The report summarizes the presents the facts around prisons in order to cut through political rhetoric and discourage scare mongering for political purposes.  Noting that the prisons have been over-crowded since 1994 and that recidivism is at 46%, the new average cost per inmate is £36,808.   In 2009, the report notes, over 200,000 children had a parent in prison.  Full Report:,2GWMH,6JSCMH,8ZHO8,1  

 Mother Jones – Erika Eichelberger
The Head of the IMF Says Inequality Threatens Democracy. Here Are 7 Charts Proving She’s Right. 

 Christine LaGarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has put a new twist on the issue of growing income gaps globally.  LaGarde has seven charts to illustrate her concerns.  Countries with greater disparity tend to less stable with lower economic growth.  LaGarde is calling for greater reforms on banks, particularly on how they operate across international borders.