No place at the table…

  Aug 27, 2014

 CBC News Analysis
Peter MacKay’s justice roundtables didn’t set a place for sex workers  

The Justice Minister has been criss-crossing Canada to consult Canadians on justice issues.  It appears that the agenda and the list of invites to the behind closed doors consultations are not for the public to know.  C-36 – the government’s new prostitution Bill seems clearly on the list of agenda items.

 Globe and Mail – Kristy Hoffman
‘Chronic runaways’ like Tina Fontaine create challenges for police  

The article present the policing problems associated with chronic runaways.  In Winnipeg alone each day police are looking for 50-60 runaways, many from group homes.  “The goal needs to be to stop kids running in the first place,”  says Winnipeg police Detective Sergeant Shauna Neufeld.  Related article:  MacLean’s   Canadian Press   Cops: Missing, murdered aboriginal women not just police issue

 CBC News – Kitchener-Waterloo Crime Prevention
Fear of crime decreasing in Waterloo Region, report suggests 

The conclusion derives from two studies, one by Stats Canada and a second by University of Waterloo.  The surveys heard from over 1100 about how safe they felt in their neighbourhoods walking after dark.  Christine Sadeler, Executive Director of the Crime prevention group, thinks it has a lot to do with grassroots social trust as a basis for strong community.

 Leader Post  (SK) – Douglas Quan, Postmedia News
Contact with mentally ill crucial to training: Report  

As silly as it sounds, the Mental Health Commission of Canada is releasing a report that suggests that much of the training for police in handling crisis intervention with the mentally ill takes place without the mentally ill.  De-escalation becomes all the more difficult if the crisis training is not seeped in real encounters involving the local mental health and their patients who experience the incidents.

 New York Times – Thomas B. Edsall
The Expanding World of Poverty Capitalism  

Private prisons and immigrant detention facilities for profit have a new competitive version.  The Sentinel Offender Services has a contract with over 200 government agencies in California but requires the offenders on probation to pay for the services for case management, alcohol and drug testing at no cost to the tax payer.  Some courts are also using these companies to collect debts incurred through fines as well.  “Poverty capitalism” is the practice of using the poor to make money.  Human Rights groups are concerned over the extent of coercive powers given these companies by the courts.

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
Corrections Canada seeks new powers as contraband seizures rise 

Corrections Canada (CSC) is looking for new powers of search over visitors to federal prisons on the grounds they have a 20% increase in contraband.  Critics say it will likely only deter visitors and that the contraband does not enter the prison through visitors but through staff and other sources.  The increase may simply be due to more effective security as well without being a real increase in activity.

Hamilton Spectator (ON) – Joanna Frketich
Pay equity deal will cost HHS $7.3 million 

The agreement at the Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) took some ten years, over hundred of job re-classifications, and still only applied to 30% of the work force, mostly female workers, for a system once compliant – the law requiring pay equity was passed in 1987 – but then got out of kilter around 2004 because of hospital mergers.  The $7.3 million is for back pay and each year will cost $2.6 million additional to obey the law.

 e-hospice International – Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA)
New advocacy guidance for national palliative care organisations and leaders

The international organization has produced a guidance document on how to influence government policy around palliative care issues, a subject heating up in Canada as the assisted suicide debate gathers energy.

 Bayview National Black Newspaper  (US) – Robert Saleem Holbrook
From the Keystone State to the Golden State: The need for a national movement to liberate political prisoners 

This article reminds us that there are political prisoners all over the world and that at times prisons are a ready response by those in power to political protest and disenfranchisement, witness the Mandela story from South Africa.  The article updates as well on Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army.

 Daily Mail (UK) – Chris Brooke
Damning report reveals 1,400 girls were abused by sex gangs because social workers and police feared racism claims – so did nothing

Citing a failure by police and social welfare authorities as well as city council, the news reports  of the extent of the child abuse is staggering in the city of Rotherham.  The evidence now shows that authorities were intimidated into a lack of response by the prospect of deteriorating racial overtones and relationships.