A truly safer Canada…

     Sept 18, 2015

(Ed note: The Smart Justice Network of Canada Election 2015 statement is now available directly on our web site: http://smartjustice.ca/2015/09/16/election-2015-calling-for-a-smart-justice-approach/ )

 Will the next Canadian government get smarter about making a safe Canada safer?  Irwin Waller

Irwin Waller is a professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa.  He wants us to ask the politicians looking for election if they are ready to embrace international standards for the assistance of victims of crime.  If the government were to do so, Waller thinks that the impact of crime on victims, currently at $83 billion a year –5% of GNP- could be reduced by 50%.  Waller provides the questions to ask the candidates and an extensive recital of the facts prompting the directions he advocates.   http://irvinwaller.org/crime-victims-rights/2015/09/14/2360/


Criminological Highlights – U of T Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies – Anthony N. Doob and Rosemary Gartner

The first edition for the academic year is now available.  The eight papers that are summarized in this issue address the following questions:

1.      Do conditions placed on youths on release while awaiting trial  serve any useful purpose?

2.      How is the manner in which police treat citizens related to the  strength of citizens’ beliefs that violence is justified?

3.      What kinds of employment programs for ex-prisoners are effective?

4.      Did prison overcrowding legislation in the US reduce the use of imprisonment?

5.      Why do offenders have a hard time finding a place to live?

6.      Are all racialized groups in the US disadvantaged at sentencing?

7.      When violent crime rates decreased in the US, who benefited most?

8.      Do residents of Scandinavian countries want harsher sentences?

Back issues of the full edition of Criminological Highlights are available at   http://criminology.utoronto.ca/criminological-highlights/   Current editions also by subscription request at http://criminology.utoronto.ca/

 Edmonton Journal – Gordon Kent
Task force makes 28 recommendations to end Edmonton poverty in a generation 

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson thinks that with the recommendations from the End Poverty Edmonton Task Force, poverty can be eliminated in 10 years.  The plan speaks to those who are falling between the cracks and who become trapped in cycles of poverty.  The plan goes to council later this week and the ten year implementation plan is due this coming spring.  The plan calls for a development corporation for jobs and skills training, a single card for city services, a housing plan, diversion and RJ instead of fines and others.  http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/task-force-makes-28-recommendations-to-end-edmonton-poverty-in-a-generation

 The Nation (US) – Dani McLaine
Are Americans Finally Facing Up to the True Costs of Mass Incarceration?  The human devastation caused by prisons goes far beyond the cost to taxpayers   

McLaine argues that punishment replace rehabilitation in the 1970’s and that the punishment motif oversees denial decisions around parole such as illustrated by a lifer in a wheelchair.  Then the costs of incarceration on the supporting families kicks in high gear.  The article is based on a new report called Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Families.   http://www.thenation.com/article/are-americans-finally-facing-up-to-the-true-costs-of-mass-incarceration/    Full report:  (Downloadable pdf with highlights and executive summary) http://whopaysreport.org/    Related article: The Atlantic – Marie Gottschalk   America Needs a Third Reconstruction – The problem of mass incarceration is a problem of high inequality   http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/americas-need-for-a-third-reconstruction/405799/

 The Hill (US) – Mike Lillis
Sanders to unveil sweeping prison reforms  

US Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is offering a full slate of prison reforms as part of his platform for election.  The current Senator and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will introduce a bill calling for “reduce(d) incarcerations nationwide by eliminating privately run prisons, reinstating the federal parole system to allow for more early releases, and ending the quota system governing immigrant detentions.”  http://thehill.com/homenews/253943-sanders-to-unveil-sweeping-prison-reforms

 Bureau of Justice Statistics (US) – E. Anne Carson
Prisoners in 2014 

The report, as of December 2014, is the latest and includes federal and state prisoners.  The report offers highlights and a summary as well as a pdf of the full report.  The number is down marginally for the second year in a row for male inmates but up 2% for females.   http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5387&utm_source=juststats-091715&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Prisoners%20Button&utm_campaign=juststats&ed2f26df2d9c416fbddddd2330a778c6=ywjwjjfpv-yqmvqbwp