Safe and Timely…

   Oct 11, 2014

Office of the Correctional Investigator – 41st Report to Parliament  – Howard Sapers
Overcoming Barriers to Safe and Timely Reintegration 

Sapers paints a picture of the challenges around the release and reintegration of offenders.  More than 3 million Canadians have a criminal record; day and full parole are down; inmates are two-three times the rate of the general population to have serious mental illnesses and four out of five have addiction problems;  almost one in five have hepatitis or aids; one in five is older than 50.  Sapers offers three key resolutions to confront the problems on release.    Related article: CBC News – Canadian Press     Prison watchdog says offenders need more preparation before released     Related article: iPolitics – Steve Sullivan   Harper’s tough-on-crime moment has passed him by (BC) – Travis Lupick
Vega Jiménez inquest jury calls for serious reforms at CBSA immigration detention centres  

The inquest for immigration detainee and suicide Jimenez has prompted a long list of recommendations directed to the Canadian Border Services Agency and its sub-contractors.  Two important recommendations are a mental health assessment within 72 hours of detention and mental health training for officers.  Coroner’s Report:

 News Day (MN) – Mary Turck
New sanctuary movement challenges consciences 

The article identifies a new sanctuary movement arising across the US in defiance of immigration law.  Churches and religious groups offering sanctuary have no legal standing in American law (it has a British Common Law source).  The movement is responding to an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US and the family breakdown in deportations.

 Toronto Star – Editorial
After Lac-Mégantic, rail safety should trump profit 

CN claims that six of the rail cars carrying dangerous goods were the same type as were involved in Lac Megantic and did not have the required upgrade but they belonged to the shipper.  The editorial chastises the rail industry for push back and the government for its failing role in supervision and enforcement.

 CNW Newswire
Family Carers of People with Schizophrenia are a Hidden Workforce at Breaking Point

In celebration of the World Mental Health Day, this international conferences looks at the mental health toll on the caregivers for those suffering from schizophrenia.  The results to the survey reflect 400 caregivers from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK.  A surprising 72% are the main caregiver for a patient and the average duration of the care is 16 years.

 Huffington Post (US) – Christopher Mathias
Lawmaker Calls Use Of Solitary Confinement for Teens on Rikers Island ‘Torture’ 

Joseph Ponte, the New York City Department of Correction Commissioner and responsible for Rikers Island, announced on Wednesday that he is ending the practice of solitary for teens.  Critics expect the decision to take months to implement and are calling for the removal of teens entirely from the largest prison in N.Y. state.

 Rolling  (US) – Molly Knefel
Why Are Police Using Military-Grade Weapons in High Schools? 

When militarization of police in high schools results in the wanton destruction of a canopy of large trees, cut down and replaced with light standards, a student led protest followed the incident and the practice of police in the schools armed with military grade weapons.

 Star Phoenix (SK) – James Scott
Sentencing bias in Sask. Evident 

Scott, a criminal defence lawyer, has reviewed convictions of Aboriginals from 1996 to 2014 and concluded that in only 23 of 163 cases were the principles of the Gladue sentencing guidelines followed.  Scott also found a discrepancy against Aboriginals when he examined the average sentencing for Aboriginals (87.4 months) vs other offenders (39.3 months).