3 D’s…

April 21, 2017

Blogger and retired Judge Marion Lane
Three Ds to Reduce Delay in the Criminal Courts

The Minister of Justice is meeting with the provinces next week to tackle the issue of delays in the criminal courts.  Judge Lane has three suggestions to expedite the process:  download more “hybrid” criminal offences from the Superior Court to the provincial courts; divert simple drinking and driving cases to an administrative enforcement procedure;  give the Chief Justice of the provincial courts direct access to the Court of Appeal by enacting a power to “state a case.”  https://reviewfromthebench.ca/2017/04/20/three-ds-to-reduce-delay-in-the-criminal-courts/

Canadian Observatory on Homelessness – Stephen Gaetz and Erin Dej 
A New Direction: A Framework for Homelessness Prevention

With the current emphasis on addressing homelessness at the national level, the Homelessness Hub is releasing a new study whose thrust is a focus on the initial prevention of homelessness while we make efforts to reduce the current problems around emergency housing and supports for those facing homelessness.  “It (the report) includes a definition and typology that provides the language and clarity to begin a national conversation on homelessness prevention.”    http://www.homelesshub.ca/sites/default/files/COHPreventionFramework.pdf (A 95 page downloadable pdf)

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Inspectors find private probation in Northants “poor”

England has had probation services sourced out to private companies for some time.  Webster offers us an assessment of the process as practice in Northamptonshire by both the National Parole Services and by a private company Community Rehabilitation Company.  While those assessed more dangerous were under the government agency, those under outsourced supervision needed supervisors “to do far more to protect the public and reduce re-offending.”  http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?e=10ab936adc&u=f3b97d02b5235c9e7c9b3a65b&id=3b6b8441b0

CBC News – Nick Boisvert
Ontario ombudsman calls for sweeping changes to inmate segregation – Ombudsman’s probe was launched after the death of inmate Paul Capay, 24, in Thunder Bay

In a new report called “Out of sight, out of mind” Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé says there are serious problems with both the use and the supervision of solitary confine or administrative segregation in Ontario jails.  Commenting on its use as a form of punishment within the jails, Dubé says: “Solitary confinement is supposed to be an absolute last resort and that’s not what is happening.”  The death of Adam Capay after four years in solitary in Thunder Bay shocked human rights advocates – the United Nations says 15 days maximum without mental health injury –  and sparked these latest recommendations.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-ombudsman-calls-for-sweeping-changes-to-inmate-segregation-1.4077913   Related article: Globe and Mail Editorial (April 21, 2017) Solitary confinement: Define it, document it, reform it, end it    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/globe-editorial-solitary-confinement-define-it-document-it-reform-it-end-it/article34767296/

CBC News – Kelly Bennett
Hamilton police said crime would flourish if cellphone surveillance records disclosed – Chief Eric Girt said that there was an ‘inconsistency’ in response, but said there was nothing nefarious

Hamilton police have been fighting an access to information request by the CBC for over a year, claiming that the release of who and how the police surveil would be a boon to the criminal element while hampering police investigations.  Now the police say they do not have the equipment and do not monitor the use of cell phones.  The Information and Privacy Commissioner is perplexed.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/hamilton-records-fight-imsi-1.4070755    Related article: CBC News – Moria Donovan   High cost of making calls from Nova Scotia jails is ‘predatory,’ say advocates – Phone costs can add up to be hundreds of dollars a month for inmates    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/synergy-inmate-phones-jails-collect-calls-cost-1.4072950   

Globe and Mail – Adriana Barton
Seniors turning to cannabis for relief – and businesses are all in

What to do as a senior citizen when prescription drugs do not manage well the pain?  Try a little pot, even if it’s your first time!  Faced with opioids as the next choice for pain control, Hope Bobowski decided that all the fears around the use of drugs like marijuana were not nearly as dangerous.   But there are still some misconceptions about medical marijuana.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/seniors-turning-to-cannabis-for-relief-and-businesses-are-all-in/article34760076/   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Dan Malleck   When legalizing pot, less is more   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/when-legalizing-pot-less-is-more/article34759747/   Related article: CBC News – Don Pittis   As Ottawa looks to legalize pot, business lessons from the Prohibition era – Planned rules about advertising and packaging parallel the slow and fractured repeal of limits on booze   http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/recreational-marijuana-canada-1.4069335