RJ is smarter…

Nov 24, 2016

Toronto Star – Editorial (Nov. 23, 2016)
Smarter approach to justice could help with crisis of court delays

In Nova Scotia now both adults and minors can pursue a restorative justice approach to resolving conflicts with the law or with one another.  Most estimate that the alternative will have the effect of reducing the overload in the court systems with its interminable delays, to say nothing of creating more satisfying solutions to crime.  “Restorative justice,” says the editorial, “emphasizes the importance of offenders taking responsibility for their actions, addressing root causes, offering support to victims and helping to undo the damage their crimes caused in the community. Initial government studies suggest such programs have the potential to save huge sums of money by averting long trials and incarceration, to modestly decrease recidivism and to help address racial inequities in the justice system.”  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2016/11/22/smarter-approach-to-justice-could-help-with-crisis-of-court-delays-editorial.html

Ottawa Citizen – Bernie Farber, Amira Elghawaby
It takes a village to combat hatred – here’s how to do it

A young man has been arrested for vandalizing with racist signs and slogans several synagogues and churches in the Ottawa area.  Bernie M. Farber is the executive director of the Mosaic Institute in Toronto and former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and Amira Elghawaby, the communications director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims join in making six suggestions that the city of Ottawa and the federal government could implement to help community building in response to the racial hatred. http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/farber-and-elghawaby-it-takes-a-village-to-combat-hatred-heres-how-to-do-it?utm_source=GNA+Ottawa+Citizen+Op-Ed+23%2F11%2F2016&utm_campaign=GNA_19_11_2015_op-ed&utm_medium=email  Related article:  Ottawa Citizen Editorial Nov. 22, 2016)  Consider restorative justice for youth accused of vandalism   http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-consider-restorative-justice-for-youth-accused-of-vandalism

Toronto Star – Desmond Cole
Carding is about control, not safety

Carding, the practice by police of stopping people without cause, verifying their identity and then reporting the contact, is back in the news as Toronto’s Black chief of police squares off with a Black reporter.  Here’s how Cole views the support of Chief Mark Saunders for carding:  “Toronto has declared, again, that there is no public safety without permanent scrutiny of black people. Unless we are prepared to subject ourselves to the grotesque physical and mental exam that is carding, we can’t walk, we can’t drive, we can’t breathe. When black people dare to cry out about these injustices, we do so at great risk to ourselves. But it would be even more dangerous to accept this latest assault on our humanity.”  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/11/24/no-justification-for-police-carding-policy-cole.html

Homeless Hub (Toronto) / Government of Canada
What We Heard: Shaping Canada’s National Housing Strategy

This newsletter offers two perspective: a summary of the initial report from the federal government over what the government heard during its consultation on federal housing policy (with a link to the full report); and a response from the Hub on this report.   http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=61233be4a0bcc87d8977b631e&id=6b2f6a4868&e=7b018fccea

Pulse (US) – Rick Klau

Last month, I went to prison. Next month, I’ll return.

Here’s an interesting breakdown of prison population in the US based on an interaction in prison by a group called Defy which seeks to make concrete the both the experience of imprisonment and the likelihood of one arriving there, given background criteria.  Mass incarceration takes on a new light… https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/last-month-i-went-prison-next-illreturn-rick-klau?trk=hp-feed-article-title-share

Harm Reduction International
The Global state of harm reduction 2016

The international organization, celebrating its 20th anniversary, offers a 149 page pdf report on the international practice of harm reduction.  The report divides the world into nine regions (Canada is in the North America region) and offers first a global appreciation and then a regional perspective.  The report comments on Needle Supply programs, drug consumption rooms, opioid substitution programs, hepatitis, TB, Antiretroviral therapy (ART), harm reduction in prisons, policy development for harm reduction.   https://www.hri.global/files/2016/11/14/GSHR2016_14nov.pdf