Segregation and death…

July 9, 2016

CBC News – Catherine Tunney
Louise Arbour, former Supreme Court justice, calls for end of segregation in prisons – Death of an inmate this week leaves former judge ‘outraged’

Again in the death of an inmate – Terry Baker – in a federal prison is challenging the use of solitary confinement under any name, especially when there is clear evidence of mental illness.  Arbour, a well-respected retired justice of the Supreme Court and world champion of human rights, is “outraged” at yet another incident at Grand Valley Institution.  On segregation Arbour says:  “Frankly, at this point I don’t think it should be used at all,” she said. “A sentence of imprisonment, the punishment is the deprivation of liberty. It’s not an opportunity for further abuse … [Segregation] is extremely, extremely damaging.”

Toronto Star – Staff and Canadian Press
Prisoner dies at Grand Valley Institution

Grand Valley Institution for Women where Ashley Smith died has another inmate death.  Terry Baker, convicted of murder, was found dead in her cell; she was serving an indeterminate sentence since 2006.  Baker was a minor at the time of her trial.  Critics suggest that Baker should have been in mental health care and not in jail, specifically not in solitary.

Toronto Star – Nicholas Keung
Ontario facing ‘epidemic of Islamophobia’ survey finds

Ontario has received approximately 12,000 Syrian refugees.  This survey seeks to assess the scope of Islamophobia.  While respondents indicated a 70% plus level of acceptance for welcoming the refugees, ¾ of the respondents wanted to see the money used spent on taking care of those here rather than spending money on bringing refugees into the country.   Related article: CBC News Laura Lynch   Senate committee urges immediate action on issues facing Syrian refugees – A statement obtained by CBC News shows that some of the challenges can’t wait until fall to be fixed   Related article: National Newswatch – Stephanie Levitz   Limbo takes its toll on Syrian refugees, sponsors as second staffing boost ends

CBC News – Allison Crawford
RCMP moves director of Police College into new job as misconduct review wraps up – Force also launches unusual process to undo how it originally disciplined instructor in order to fire him

It’s hard to tell if the news clarifies the RCMP efforts to address sexual harassment or simply muddies the water further.  The Canadian Police College director Chief Supt. Harold O’Connell has left the position for another unspecified internal position in the security service but the RCMP themselves are not offering any explanation.  It appears that the RCMP now wants to fire one of the two men disciplined for harassment and are attempting to revise the previous punishment to firing.  No one is talking.

Globe and Mail – Jordan Press, Canadian Press
Federal officials wrestling with gender-neutral ID issues for more than a year

Dropping gender identification from official government documents appears to have its origins in the wish list of the transgendered community.  That could drop the gender identity from documents like passports and birth certificates without excessive trouble.  Trudeau told Gay Pride followers that the government is trying to figure out how best to make the change.

Globe and Mail – Karen Howlett and Jane Taber
Naloxone to be immediately distributed to released inmates in Ontario

Ontario’s Minister of Public Health Eric Hoskins has ordered the distribution of the kits for anti-opiate overdose drug naloxone to inmates being released.  Previously limited to public health patients, Hoskins broke a three year dispute between Corrections and Public Health in taking the decision.  Public Health is expecting an increase in the use of fentanyl, a very powerful opiate, and currently causing a considerable number of deaths among users.    Related article: Toronto Star – Jennifer Pagliaro    Toronto board of health approves supervised injection sites

Early notice…
National Restorative Justice Symposium

November 21 & 22, 2016

At the Marriott Harbourfront in Halifax, Nova Scotia

To unsubscribe, to reply to this e-mail, or to join the Smart Justice Network distribution list, please use