Cost of justice…

  Aug 20, 2014

 Toronto Star – Richard J. Brennan
Cost of fire, police unsustainable, AMO president says 

Russ Powers is the president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.  The Ontario government and the Ontario Provincial Police jus announced a new plan for billing municipalities for services.  Powers, speaking to 1500 delegates says that the steadily increasing cost, mostly in salaries and the result of arbitration are not sustainable.  He thinks we need to re-think the delivery of first responders’ services.

 Globe and Mail – Sean Fine
Staffing cuts strain Justice Department 

Contrary to what one might expect, the tough-on-crime agenda is lacking the resources to prepare legislation and to vet the constitutionality of the decisions going into the legislation.  Mary Campbell who just retired as the director-general of the Corrections and criminal justice directorate says:  “When you’ve got a pace that says, ‘Keep the sausage machine going,’ you’re going to get errors.”  David Daubney, also a retired senior justice worker, notes that the morale is low. “We always at Justice prided ourselves as being ‘stewards of the criminal law.’ We were seen as the go-to place for the facts and research on criminal policy, justice and corrections. That’s certainly no longer the case.”

 University of Toronto Criminological Highlights – Professor Anthony Doob and Rosemary Gartner  (Vol 14, #4   – Aug 2014) 

 Topics in this issue include:

1.  Can judges determine whether a citizen decides to vote?

2.  Does public opinion about crime and punishment affect

punishment policies?

3.  Was California’s determinant sentencing law in the 1970s

responsible for California’s increase in imprisonment?

4.  When drug offenders get jobs, are they likely to slow down

their drug use and crime?

5.  Do police stops of youths increase or decrease offending?

6.  What kinds of people favour ‘tough on young offenders’ policies?

7.  What kinds of neighbourhoods are safest?

8.  Do community characteristics determine how murder cases

are prosecuted?   This link to the U of T site provides the back issues / articles and also information on how to subscribe to the publication.

 Globe and Mail – Kathryn Blaze Carlson and Jill Mahoney
Death of teen renews calls for inquiry into missing aboriginal women 

The death of yet another Aboriginal young woman whose body was discovered in Manitoba’s Red River has renewed the calls for a national inquiry into the almost 1200 dead or disappeared to date.  While advocates offered the view that the death of fifteen year old Tina Fontaine should mark the beginning of the national inquiry, the federal government still refuses to mandate such an inquiry into the violence taking so many lives.  Said  Winnipeg policeman Sgt. John O’Donovan:  “Society would be horrified if we found a litter of kittens or pups in the river in this condition. This is a child.”

 Toronto Star – Marco Chown Oved
Canada deports people to wars, repressive regimes  

The Star’s access to information has revealed a disturbing picture of a willingness to deport people to countries in war zone and countries with atrocious human rights records.  According to the report, more than 500 people out of an estimated 148, 087 people, mostly failed refugee applicants from 2004 to June 2014, were deported to places where Canada itself had a moratorium on deportation.  The government gets around the moratorium when there is even a minor conviction for criminal conduct.   Related article: The Mainlander (BC) –  Editorial     Immigrant Groups Say Legislation Reforms Reveal Racist Government Agenda

 Pacific Standard Magazine (US)  – Kyle Chayka
What the Cost of Raising a Child in America Tells Us about Income Inequality 

Income inequality is gaining in visibility as an election issue.  This article looks at the cost of raising children and the impact the level of income makes on the decision to spend money on children.  For example, high income earners will spend almost double that of average income earners.  Related article:  Telegraph (UK) – Cristina Odone   Grandparents are key to our prosperity

 Australian Human Rights Commission
Media Statement – Children in Immigration Detention 

The Australian government has decided change its policy before the Human Rights Commission finishes its hearing into the detention of immigrant children, especially those under the age of 10.  Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Commission, is concerned that those over 10 and those who arrived after July 19, 2013 will not be released and plans to pursue these concerns when Australia’s Minister of Immigration Scott Morrison appears before the commission on Friday, Aug. 22.