Mental health, justice and human rights…

 June 22, 2014

 Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario and the Ontario Human Rights Commission
CMHA Ontario supports OHRC policy on mental health disabilities and addictions 

A report released on June 19 calls for new approaches to deter discrimination around mental health disabilities and addictions.  The report that addresses eleven specific issues provides standards, guidelines and best practice examples.   Full report:  (A 150 page downloadable pdf)  Minds That Matter : Report on the consultation on human rights, mental health and addictions    Related article:  CMHA Ontario – Navigating the Adult Criminal Justice & Mental Health Systems  (There is a similar map for youth justice but access seems protected by some sort of membership.)

 Toronto Star – Robert Cribb
‘No judgment, no discretion’: Police records that ruin innocent lives 

Unproven allegations, withdrawn charges, police notes, and mental health files, all play a role in the potential disclosure of police records for hundreds of thousands of Canadians, many of whom have no idea there is a problem to start with.  The process for purging the records can also be exhaustive and expensive.  The problem is pronounced for border crossing and for personal record checks involved in vetting for education and jobs.   Related article:  Toronto Star – Cindy Blackstock   The government spied on me without a warrant     Related article: CMHA Ontario – Commissioners and political parties speak out on police records

 CBC News
5 inmates facing attempted murder charges in N.S. jail attack 

Another two illustrations of the growing violence in prisons, the first in the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth, involved a knife attack on one man who returned to his cell and found five others waiting for him.  He suffered numerous stab wounds and is in critical condition in hospital.  The second article, from the same facility, makes one wonder even more about what security of person means in a prison.    Related article:  CBC News    Burnside jail inmate stabbed in his sleep: Halifax police  Related article: iPolitics:  Steve Sullivan   Ontario’s prison system is primed to explode   Related article:  Mental Health and Criminal Justice (US) – Mentally Ill People Are Dying in Prisons

 Global TV News (Montreal) – Canadian Press
Jury convicts Quebec woman who stopped for ducks 

A woman who stopped on a highway to allow a family of ducks to cross the roadway and inadvertently caused the death of two motor cyclists has been convicted of criminal negligence causing death by a Quebec court after the jury deliberated for four days.  Emma Czornobaj could face life imprisonment as people around the case, both the legal community and the laity, struggle to understand the validity of the charges and the outcome.  It seems a case that speaks to the impotence of the law to resolve.