1 in 200…

    June 12, 2015

(Ed note:  In the June 2, 2015 issue of communiqué in an article entitled “Mandela rules” the intro confused the Penal Reform International and the Prison Reform Trust.  It was in fact, Penal Reform International, whose chair is our own David Daubney, whose organization’s proposal was adopted by the UN. I apologize for any confusion.  The link for the article is:  http://www.penalreform.org/news/mandela-rules-on-prisoner-treatment-adopted/   )    

Huffington Post – Fiona Kouyoumdjian and Stephen Hwang
Providing Better Health Services in Prisons Can Help Improve Lives

Two experts at St. Michael’s Hospital Center of Research on Inner City Health look at the pronouncements from retiring (fired) correctional investigator Howard Sapers on the delivery of health services within jails and prisons.  Surprisingly 1 of every 200 Canadians each year spends time in these facilities.  The experts ask why not use the time afforded, short though it may be on average, for improved health care towards Canada’s most vulnerable who are likely already falling through the cracks?  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/fiona-kouyoumdjian/providing-better-health-s_b_7543884.html

Blogger Monia Mazigh – Auteure et militante des droits de la personne
The legal vengeance case of Omar Khadr 

Mazigh is a human rights advocate who invites us to consider the implications of the Canadian government’s seemingly relentless pursuit of Omar Khadr using appeals and tax dollars to do so.  Mazigh is suggesting not only are these tactics calculated to instill fear but also to target the Muslim community using the intelligence agencies, now more empowered than ever.  https://moniamazigh.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/the-legal-vengeance-case-of-omar-khadr/

Toronto Star – Patricia Winsa
Toronto resident Knia Singh launches Charter challenge to police carding – The Charter lawsuit alleges Toronto police don’t have the right to retain personal information recorded during carding 

As the carding issue heats up and Toronto Mayor and police Board members appear to lean towards reform or abandoning the practice, one Toronto resident, who says he has been stopped about 30 times, is launching a charter lawsuit over whether the retention of information derived from carding in a police database is a constitutional violation of privacy rights.  The test case first goes to a panel of judges of the Divisional Court to determine if police have a right to record the information.  Suspended in January and re-instated by the police board in April, the new police chief is in process of detailing how the policy will work.  http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/06/10/toronto-resident-knia-singh-launches-charter-challenge-to-police-carding.html   Related article: Toronto Star – Royston James    It’s time to end carding in deed, not just words  http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2015/06/10/its-time-to-end-carding-in-deed-not-just-words-james.html  Related article: Toronto Star – Desmond Cole    John Tory shouldn’t overthink end to carding    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/06/09/john-tory-shouldnt-overthink-end-to-carding.html

CBC News
Medical marijuana legal in all forms, Supreme Court rules – Health minister ‘outraged’ by ruling, vows to combat ‘normalization’ of pot

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that medical marijuana is legal in all the various forms: smoking, eating, using of the oils.   Owen Smith of Victoria, BC was responding to a federal appeal following his discharge by both the lower court and the superior court in BC.  He was initially charged with trafficking in 2009 when he baked cookies with marijuana.  The federal government then appealed to the SCC.  The country’s highest court found the current restriction to dried marijuana violates the right to liberty and security “in a manner that is arbitrary and hence is not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice.”   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/medical-marijuana-legal-in-all-forms-supreme-court-rules-1.3109148

Toronto Star – Daniel Dale
Kalief Browder suicide puts spotlight on U.S. solitary confinement

Many readers by now have probably thought that no story about the arbitrary use of solitary confinement would usher in new levels of inhumane treatment and blatant injustice.  This story about a 22 year old Kalief Browder should long stand as the most horrendous to date.  The US prison system has 80,000 inmates at any given time in solitary.  http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/06/10/kalief-browder-suicide-puts-spotlight-on-us-solitary-confinement.html    Related article: Washington Post (US) Editorial (June 10, 2015)  Rethinking solitary confinement for death row inmates   http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/rethinking-a-cruel-practice/2015/06/10/b9b0e6d8-0ee0-11e5-9726-49d6fa26a8c6_story.html

Globe and Mail – Oliver Sachgau
Hamilton, Thunder Bay had highest rates of hate crime in Canada in 2013

The latest hate crime rates as reported by police suggests that Ontario is high with Hamilton, Thunder Bay as well as Peterborough – number 4, and Ottawa-Gatineau 5 on the list. By nature of the way the stats are collected and reported, comparisons between cities or with other reporting periods are not reliable.  St. John, NB, and St. John’s, NF, come out on the lowest side of the report, perhaps in part because of population size.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/hamilton-thunder-bay-had-most-hate-crime-in-canada-in-2013/article24885875/

Huffington Post (US) – Matthew Albrecht, Peace Alliance
Five Game-Changing Peacebuilding Policies

Albrecht is the national director of Peace Alliance, a grass-roots effort at confronting violence and community conflict.  Here are five strategies for peace building in communities:  empowering community peace building, teaching peace in schools, humanizing justice systems, fostering international peace, cultivating personal peace.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-albracht/a-roadmap-to-peace-five-p_b_7538736.html