Our common future…

     Sept 27, 2015

 DesmogCanada: Clearing the PR Pollution – David Suzuki
It’s Time to Talk About a New Vision for the Canadian Economy 

We argue, says Suzuki, about the economy all the time: jobs, surpluses or deficits, pipelines and so on.  But so far the vision behind the economy has eluded voter and politician alike.  What do we want our economy to do for us?  How about “the right of all Canadians to live in a healthy environment, with access to clean air and water and healthy food…Imagine a Canadian election in which leaders gave us economic visions aimed at caring for people and the planet. It’s time we talked about a future when we can live with less and be happier.”   http://desmog.ca/2015/09/23/it-s-time-talk-about-new-vision-canadian-economy

 The Broadbent Blog – Catherine Latimer
Time to move beyond “tough on crime” rhetoric

Catherine Latimer is the Executive Director of John Howard Canada and offers a reflection on where the tough-on-crime approach has brought us and what we can expect in the future unless the approach is challenged by competent and evidence based decision making in doing comprehensive reform.  “Canada, however, remains submerged in the vote-winning rhetoric that will worsen our prison problems, overburden our courts, and ultimately endanger our communities. Increasingly international human rights bodies, like the UN Committee looking into Canada’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, call on Canada to reduce prison crowding, limit solitary confinement, and improve access to treatment for mentally-ill prisoners.”   http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/catherinelatimer/time_to_move_beyond_tough_on_crime

 CBC News – Canadian Press
Toronto 18’s Zakaria Amara among 1st to lose citizenship under Bill C-24 

The federal government has written five individuals – convicted of various terrorism acts in Canadian courts – that their acquired citizenship has been revoked under Bill C-24.  Amara is serving a life sentence in a Quebec prison and is a dual citizen of both Canada and Jordan.  He, and the other five, have 60 days to respond to the revocation of their Canadian citizenship.   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto-18-ringleader-citizenship-1.3245319    Related article: CBC News (Aug. 29, 2015)     Justin Trudeau vows to repeal ‘2-tiered’ citizenship law – ‘Canadians have to know that the government has their back,’ Liberal leader says   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justin-trudeau-vows-to-repeal-2-tiered-citizenship-law-1.3208571     Related article: Toronto Star   Highlights of Bill C-24   (June 30, 2014) http://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2014/06/30/highlights_of_bill_c24.html  Canadian Bar Association:  Executive Summary of Bill C-24: Strengthening the Canadian Citizenship Act  (A downloadable 35 page pdf – April 2014)   https://www.cba.org/CBA/submissions/pdf/14-22-eng.pdf

 Huffington Post (US) – Yolande Cadore
Yes, Pope Francis’s Visit to a Prison Is a Big Deal 

Pope Francis like to reach out to the poor and the vulnerable and witnesses the preference to be with the downtrodden rather than the elite.  In Philadelphia, he will visit the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility is well known for abuses and for overcrowding and advocates hope that the Pope’s visit will prompt improvements in the conditions and the numbers imprisoned.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yolande-cadore/yes-pope-francis-visit-to-a-prison-is-a-big-deal_b_8198596.html   Related article:  The Marshall Project – Maurice Chammah      A Letter to Pope Francis:  You are about to enter Philadelphia’s largest jail – Here is what you should know    https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/09/21/a-letter-to-pope-francis?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=opening-statement&utm_term=newsletter-20150921-277    Related article: The Marshall Project  – Maurice Chammah   Prison Without Punishment – Germany allows inmates to wear their own clothes, cook their own meals, and have romantic visits. Could that work in the United States?   https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/09/25/prison-without-punishment?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=opening-statement&utm_term=newsletter-20150925-281

 National Post – Douglas Quan
Tests to predict if inmates will reoffend unreliable for aboriginal offenders, judge rules

Federal Judge Michael Phelan has ruled that Corrections Canada has known for years that psychologic testing that contributes to assessment of the possibility of an Aboriginal person to re-offend have not been accurate but CSC continues to use the culturally biased tests.  The judge notes that this is not the first time a court has so ruled and he intends to issue an order to CSC to abandon the tests – four specific tests – or to prove they are not biased against Aboriginals.  The case was brought by Jeffrey Ewert, a 53-year-old inmate who self-identifies as Metis and who was pronounced psychopathic using the tests. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/tests-to-predict-if-inmates-will-reoffend-unreliable-for-aboriginal-offenders-judge-rules

 VICE News (US) – Colleen Curry
How Mississippi Slashed Its Prison Population and Embraced Criminal Justice Reform

Two years ago, if Mississippi were a country, it would have had the second highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world.  Besides financial savings to the state, Brian Elderbroom, a senior research associate at the Justice Policy Center of the Urban Institute said. “There’s something else going on. There’s more and more evidence that we’re getting diminishing returns for our current incarceration rates and we can do more for less by reducing incarceration and reinvesting those savings into reducing recidivism and investing in ways to build communities rather than break them down.”  https://news.vice.com/article/how-mississippi-slashed-its-prison-population-and-embraced-criminal-justice-reform     Related article: Leader-Post (SK) Barb Pacholik   Aboriginal incarceration up 47 per cent at Canada’s federal prisons   Sask. incarceration explored in Injust Justice    http://www.leaderpost.com/health/sask+incarceration+explored+injust+justice/11384178/story.html     Related article: Ella Baker Center (US):  Saneta deVuono-powell, Chris Schweidler, Alicia Walters, and Azadeh Zohrabi   Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Families     http://whopaysreport.org/who-pays-full-report/    (A 66 page downloadable pdf tracing the costs and who pays as a person charged moves through the system.)

Toronto Star –
How do suicides happen in hospitals? 

Hospitals have a 15 minute watch on patients identified as potential suicides.  Yet 68 year old Ken Coyne,  a 68-year-old semi-paralyzed stroke victim, was able to hang himself with a lace from his size 14 running shoe.  There have been 96 in hospital patient deaths since 2007 and a further 760 seriously harmed by an attempt at suicide.  Said one father:  ‘We put him there so he’d be safe.’   http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/09/27/how-do-suicides-happen-in-hospitals.html