165,000 children…

June 29, 2017

Broadbent Institute –
The Government of Canada is failing First Nations Children

The link is a petition that Canada comply immediately, and before this 150 Canada Day celebration, with the findings of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) that the government of Canada continues to discriminate against 165,000 Indigenous children in poverty.  http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/fn_chrt   Related article: Toronto Star – Ed Broadbent   The best way to celebrate Canada Day    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/06/27/the-best-way-to-celebrate-canada-day-broadbent.html   Related article: Toronto Star   Cindy Blackstock    Is the federal government a champion of reconciliation or of discrimination?   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/06/27/is-the-federal-government-a-champion-of-reconciliation-or-of-discrimination.html   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (June 26, 2017)  We mustn’t lose sight of work ahead in fight for LGBTQ inclusion   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2017/06/26/we-mustnt-lose-sight-of-work-ahead-in-fight-for-lgbtq-inclusion-editorial.html   Related article: Globe and Mail – Gloria Galloway   Indigenous leaders call out Trudeau over funds for social services    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/indigenous-leaders-call-out-trudeau-over-funds-for-social-services/article35496813/

Washington Post – Sentencing Project (US) – David Cole and Marc Mauer
Jeff Sessions wants a new war on drugs. It won’t work.

Cole is national legal director for the ACLU while Mauer is the executive director of the Sentencing Project.  Both are critical of the recently announced intention of US Attorney General to revert to the war on drugs and to abandon efforts for justice reform and further reductions in the mass incarceration.  Cole and Mauer expose some serious faults in the thinking that Sessions espouses for justification.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-new-war-on-drugs-wont-be-any-more-effective-than-the-old-one/2017/06/22/669260ee-56c3-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.ec80e168c9db  Related article: VERA Institute of Justice (US) – Jacob Kang-Brown and Ram Subramanian    Out of Sight: The Growth of Jails in Rural America  (A 32 page downloadable pdf)   https://storage.googleapis.com/vera-web-assets/downloads/Publications/out-of-sight-growth-of-jails-rural-america/legacy_downloads/out-of-sight-growth-of-jails-rural-america.pdf (The Director’s comments on p. 2 and the snapshot on pp. 9-13 may be helpful for summary purposes.)

Prison Reform Trust (UK)  – Blogger Russell Webster
Another 10 shocking facts about our prisons

This report helps identify the major problems around the UK prison system by highlighting the most recent reports around reform efforts.  Supported by the Bromley Briefing, a compendium of the latest facts, the Prison Reform Trust has a report on the realities and Blogger Webster draws up ten salient issues from the report around the prison system.  Surprisingly the report says that the UK has the highest incarceration rate in Western Europe – 82% increase in inmates over the last 30 years, largely due to overuse of prison time for petty offences and longer times for more serious ones.  Women represent 5% of the prison population but 10% of those sentenced to prison time are women.   Mental health (26% of women are treated prior to prison, 16% of males, 25% female and 15% male show psychoses vs a 4% rate in the UK’s population) and suicide in prison (10 times higher) are also serious concerns.  http://www.russellwebster.com/another-10-shocking-facts-about-our-prisons/    Related article: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (UK) – UK Justice Policy Review: Volume 6   Richard Garside, Matt Ford, Helen Mills and Rebecca Roberts   https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/publications/uk-justice-policy-review-volume-6 (A 40 page downloadable pdf avail on the link.)   Related article: Blogger Russell Webster   Life sentences for murder are getting longer  http://www.russellwebster.com/life-sentences-for-murder-are-getting-longer/

National Post (Canada)
New Brunswick extends pay equity to three more government employee groups

Premier Brian Gallant made an election promise to move towards pay equity across the New Brunswick government employees.  The continuing gap, already prohibited by labour law, is one of the easier but unused responses to the increasing income disparity among Canadian families.  This $8.4 million expense will be over 10 years and will apply to professional support workers in schools, specialized health-care workers and medical science professionals. http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/new-brunswick-extends-pay-equity-to-three-more-government-employee-groups/wcm/8ceba8c3-04d0-4413-9d43-c064ec10926a

CBC News – Kris Ketonen
Racism in Thunder Bay, Ontario: people have new way to report it

We know about 911 but now in Thunder Bay there is a hot line at 211 to report racism incidents.  The reporting can also be done on the internet or in person.  The one year experiment offers victims of racism at least a chance to voice the experience to a sympathetic and specially trained  hearer, even if not much can be done in most cases.  The expectation is that racism awareness should help in resolving and perhaps reducing the frequency of incidents.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/racism-reporting-service-launch-1.4180187