May 25, 2016

Prison Reform Trust (UK)
Too many children in care ending up behind bars

The link explores the correlation between prison and having been in care as children.  The disturbing fact is that in the UK one half of those children in custody (about 1,000) had also been in care.,48M5T,6JSCMH,FGP8X,1  Full report:     PRT In Care, Out of Trouble   (a 36 pages downloadable PDF)

Vancouver Sun – Rob Shaw
Children’s watchdog refuses to sit on provincial child welfare advisory panel

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.’s representative for children and youth, is not agreeable to joining a new advisory council for youth on the grounds that the group’s composition has too many with links directly to government and may not be independent or without conflict of interest.  Turpel-Lafond is only willing to be have a representative as an observer.  The Council is supposed to craft a new multi-year plan for an improved child welfare system.

Toronto Star – Robert Cribb
Child abduction and murder data paint chilling new portrait

This report, covering the last fifty years in Canada, list 155 children who were abducted, 80% of whom were girls.  The report offers statistical data by offenders, by province, by timelines, by patterns, by age of the victim, and by method of abduction.

Toronto Star – Reid Rusonik
Want to address gun crime? Tackle root causes – Bigger police budgets won’t solve the alarming rise in shooting deaths in Toronto

Rusonik, a Toronto defence lawyer, thinks that the illicit drug market and poverty are the two root causes of gun violence.  He is advocating legalizing the drugs through government controlled sales and the adoption of a guaranteed annual income to alleviate the pressures from poverty.    Related article: Globe and Mail – Greg McArthur    Bill Blair blasts unlicensed pot shops as ‘reckless’

National Newswatch – Joan Bryden, Canadian Press
Medical regulators in every province impose safeguards for assisted dying

Given the SCC deadline of June 6, the provinces are taking steps to ensure that the process of assisted dying has guidelines when the ban on the criminalization of medically assisted dying runs out.  As the likelihood of passage of the new law dims, there seems to be almost contradictory interpretations about what happens when the deadline arrives, even from within the federal government itself.   Related article: – Marie-Danielle Smith   ‘Certainly possible’ assisted dying bill can pass before deadline: Liberals’ Senate representative

Huffington Post (US) –
Why Latinos Should Invest in Sentencing Reform

The Sentencing Reform Act of 2015 is stuck in the US senate.  The link explores the specific interest of Latinxs in the reforms, especially in the light of the impact of the Latinx population on the coming presidential elections.  The link explores the heavier criminalization and therefore victimization of those on the periphery of crime vs those who are major perpetrators.

Canadian (Immigration Lawyers) – Matthew Watt
Canadian immigration detainee released after nearly six years

Abdirahmaan Warssama, a 52 year old Somali, has been released from 67 months of custody because he refused to sign an agreement to deport him to his native Somalia where he had experienced arrest, torture and family killings.  The case is all the more extra-ordinary in that there was a monthly review of his custody which never got beyond the decision to extend the custody, even though Somalia has long been recognized as a failed state.

CBC News
Real number of sex assault complaints in military higher than official figures, watchdog says – Military ombudsman receives dozens of sex assault, harassment complaints not counted by Defence Dept.

For some time now, the Canadian military has been trying to cope with sexual assault and sexual harassment in the Forces.  New numbers show a one third increase in the reporting but Ombudsman Gary Walbourne says that the new numbers are fragmentary since the military does not include all the incidents reported, nor does it include those from reservists or part time soldiers.