A tool of control and punishment…

   Jan 19, 2014

Toronto Star – Breese Davies
Time to get rid of solitary confinement 

The guest commentary is by the vice-president of the Criminal Lawyers Association and counsel at the Ashley Smith inquest.  Davies says:  “We can no longer ignore the inhumane reality of segregation, as much as the prison authorities would like to keep this practice out of public view and off the political radar. It is difficult to truly understand how a policy so ineffective and cruel has thrived for so long.”  http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/01/17/time-to-get-rid-of-solitary-confinement.html

Common Front for Social Justice (NB)
Small Steps towards Poverty Reduction – 2014 Annual Review of David Alward- Brian Gallant governments (NB –Report) 

While the application is specific to the provincial government of New Brunswick, the idea of assessing the government’s performance by a rating is not new.  Here, the rating and the rationale for the rating may be a helpful tool for any elections.  http://frontnb.ca/uploads/file/Summary-Review%20Alward-Gallant-%202014%20-%20%20Final_.pdf

 CBC News
Advocate Keith Neville ordered to stop work with veterans’ appeals

Keith Neville thinks that his rejection by Veterans Affairs as an advocate is most likely predicated on the fact that he has appealed 48 cases rejections and won all 48.  Neville is not a lawyer and was informed by the Veterans Appeal Board that the requirements for representing the vets has been changed to lawyers only.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/advocate-keith-neville-ordered-to-stop-work-with-veterans-appeals-1.2899605

CBC News
Canada’s anti-radicalization programs lacking against domestic terror recruitment – Experts say federal anti-terror legislation could even play into hands of jihadists 

With new anti-terrorist legislation expected to be introduced in the House shortly, some experts are of the opinion that the legislation may actually play into the hands of the jihadists.  Michael Zekulin, a researcher with the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, says:  “Do you want to live in a country where you are essentially under suspicion all the time and the police can surveil you and detain you for no reason?”  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canada-s-anti-radicalization-programs-lacking-against-domestic-terror-recruitment-1.2917353   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Dylan Robertson  Security versus secrecy: What is the public entitled to know?   http://www.canada.com/News/politics/Security+versus+secrecy+What+public+entitled+know/10739888/story.html  

 CTV News – Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
One per cent hold half the world’s wealth: Oxfam

The report from Oxfam marks the beginning of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  By 2016, the richest 1% will own more than 50% of the world’s wealth.  Oxfam wants taxes on the corporations and wealthy individuals as well as legislation to curb tax avoidance, and more spending on health, education and equal pay legislation.
http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/one-per-cent-hold-half-the-world-s-wealth-oxfam-1.2194979#ixzz3PHMCxC9g  Related article:  BBC News    State of the Union: Obama to seek tax raises on wealthy    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30869190   Related article: Globe and Mail – Michael Babad    World’s 1% will soon be richer than the rest of us combined: Oxfam     http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/worlds-1-to-soon-own-more-than-the-rest-combined-oxfam-says/article22515220

 Toronto Star – Haroon Siddiqui
Using free speech as a cloak for anti-Muslim bigotry 

In a Jan. 14 opinion piece, Siddiqui offers a perspective on free speech which, he reminds us, is circumscribed with defamation, libel and hate laws.  He cites examples of the application of these laws, often by those now caught up in proclaiming a lack of any restraint and lays out a case for self-restraint from the perspective of PEN.  http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/01/14/using-free-speech-as-a-cloak-for-anti-muslim-bigotry-siddiqui.html

 Globe and Mail – Joe Frisen
RCMP ask why suspect with ‘complex’ past was on the streets

The suspect in the latest shooting of two RCMP constables in Alberta had a long history, was prohibited from having guns, and was facing additional charges at the time of the shooting.  The incident has prompted Commissioner Paulson to ask how this person was still on the streets.  Constable David Matthew Wynn, 42, who has a wife and three children, was shot in the head and is not expected to survive.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/mountie-wounded-in-alberta-shooting-not-expected-to-survive/article22512258

 VERA Institute of Justice (US) – Christian Henrichson and Joshua Rinaldi
Cost-Benefit Analysis and Justice Policy Toolkit 

The 40 page kit is available in downloadable pdf format directly from VERA and offers a description of cost benefit analysis as a tool as well as advice on how to use CBA to inform policy and practice.    http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/cba-justice-policy-toolkit.pdf