Indigenous women in jail…

April 24, 2016 – Kelly Geraldine Malone
 Why Indigenous Women Are Canada’s Fastest Growing Prison Population

Though first published in Feb 2016, this article may prove very helpful in understanding the enormous increase and disproportionate representation of Indigenous women in Canada’s prison system and underlying grounds of interaction between Indigenous people and the justice system.  Justice Murray Sinclair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:  “When the justice system can be fallible where Aboriginal people are concerned, it is fallible. It fails at virtually every point in the system in the process.” Malone includes in her research Howard Sapers and Kim Pate while describing the personal life experience of two Indigenous women with the justice system.  Related article: J-source –Kendall P. Latimer   How Kelly Geraldine Malone told the story of Canada’s fastest-growing prison population

Canadian Association of Social Workers
 CASW Releases Discussion Paper on Physician-Assisted Death

In response to the first reading of Bill C-14 (An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying), the association has contextualized the discussion in the earlier Supreme Court decision that Physician Assisted Dying (PAD) must be decriminalized.  (Cf Statement of Principles on Physician Assisted Dying (  The response is based on prior statements from the CASW and the Carter decision.   Physician-Assisted Death: CASW Discussion Paper


CBC News – Alison Crawford
 RCMP misconduct cases jump 158% in single year

The increase may be the direct result of a new emphasis on accountability in the national police force.  In 2012 and again in 2013 the RCMP offered the Mounties’ Gender-Based Assessment and Gender and Respect Action Plan.  This item is an update on the plan and the numbers around the workplace problems and composition, including the latest stats on the number of women officers.   RCMP Website: Letter from Commissioner Bob Paulson:  Results and Respect in the RCMP Workplace – Ian MacLeod, Ottawa Citizen
 How the Supreme Court is dismantling one of the key parts of Stephen Harper’s legacy

Bit by bit, much of the tough-on-crime legislation of the Conservative government is finding its way to the Supreme Court of Canada under Charter challenge.  Drawing on an extensive record of the legislative process, MacLeod concludes:  “In an effort to assert parliamentary superiority, Tory lawmakers chose to pay less heed to the charter than did previous governments. That led to more laws being challenged in the courts. And that has produced the ultimate irony of the post-Harper era so far: the more Conservative tough-on-crime laws fall, it seems, the more the charter and the Supreme Court gain in prominence and authority.”

 Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis and Jacques Gallant
 Anguished families wait years for answers when a loved one is killed by police – Families of people killed by police in Ontario say SIU reports should be made public

In Ontario when a death results from an encounter with police, the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) investigates and reports to the Attorney General.  The report is not given to local police, to the families of the person killed by the police action, nor to the public.  In this article, the Star interviewed ten such families of the persons killed and all are calling for the release of the reports involving their family members and an end to the silence policy.  Related article: Toronto Star – Edward Keenan   Andrew Loku report could be public quickly, if Premier Wynne really wants it that way

Globe and Mail – Robert Muggah
 The United Nations fumbles on global drug policy

The UN recently concluded and international conference on the war on illegal drugs in which Canada participated, bringing an announcement that in Canada marijuana will be legalized in spring 2017.  But, says Muggah, the overall conclusion is that most countries are doubling down on the status quo.  Muggah also includes a four step perspective for future drug policy.