All victims…

May 26, 2017

Globe and Mail – Canadian Press
Supreme Court to examine constitutionality of victim surcharges

The Harper government introduced the mandatory victim surcharge on any conviction and sentencing.  Intended to fund victim services, the practice was controversial and judges, who lost their discretion to waive the charge, creatively sought ways around it when convicting poor people who could not pay.  The surcharge followed the individual after the sentence was served and often became a further obstacle to rehabilitation under impoverished conditions.   Now the practice is to go under constitutional challenge.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Colin Perkel, Canadian Press   Mixed emotions for ex-RCMP women as sex-harassment suit nears end

CBC News – Alison Crawford and Philippe-Vincent Foisy
Federal inmate dies by suicide after 118 days in solitary confinement Guy Langlois, 38, had a history of suicide attempts and had been in solitary for 4 months

The connection between the abusive treatment that is solitary confinement and mental health is again illustrated in the death of a Métis inmate with a long history of mental health problems and previous suicide attempts.  Guy Langlois, 38 years old and nine time inmate, calmly called all those he loved to say good-bye and then killed himself the next day while in  “administrative segregation” at the Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B. at the end of December 2016.  What is equally horrendous is the CSC follow-up in notifying relatives and getting Langlois’ body home for funeral.   Related article: Globe and Mail Editorial (May 23, 2017)  Correctional Service Canada makes a lame attempt at reforming solitary Related article: Montreal Gazette – Christopher Curtis   Hardening prisons doesn’t help rehabilitation, senators say

The Sentencing Project (US) – Marc Mauer
U.S. Prison Population Trends 1999-2015: Modest Reductions with Significant Variation

This well respected research group is offering the latest look at the relative size of the prison population at both the state and federal levels, noting those with decreases and those with increases, suggesting that the size of the prison inmate population has more to do with policy than with crime.

Blogger Jean Piché – University of Ottawa
Tracking the Politics of Criminalization and Punishment in Canada

The issue of spending money on building new prison structures or on community based programming is taking a turn with Piché`s latest outreach.  As we get closer to the point of actually spending money on new prisons, Piché wants to track the expansions, the costs, the return on the investment, etc.  The No On Prison Expansion (or NOPE) will do community events drawing attention to the potential to “entrench in brick and mortar our reliance on criminalization and incarceration in Canada for years to come.”  Related link:  Blogger Justin Piché  Questions about ‘correctional transformation’ in Ontario as new bail residence for women opens today in Ottawa

Green Bay (WI) TV 5 – Nate Stewart
5 Investigates: Police Calls to Walmart – The store is the number one call for service for most departments in NE WI (North East Wisconsin)

Here’s a view of retail crime and the effort by police to curtail the high number of theft incidents and the description by police of how a restorative justice response by Walmart, their most frequent caller, has allowed police to be pre-occupied with other more pressing calls and at the same time has allowed Walmart a degree of independence from reliance on police.

K-W Friends of Crime Prevention –
Porch Chats are back! Led by Friends, for Friends!

Here’s a do-able from our friends in Crime Prevention in Kitchener-Waterloo.  Since crime in the neighbourhood needs to be answered by the neighbourhood people, why not host a porch chat with your neighbours to voice your concerns and your answers?  K-W has done this before and they hold a series of one per week sessions to offer information and an agenda for neighbours.