Abuse causes imprisonment…

Sept 17, 2017

Common Dreams (US) – Sarah Lazare
Locked Up for Surviving: The Untold Story of the Sexual-Abuse-to-Prison Pipeline – New study concludes that a history of abuse is not just a predictor of future incarceration—it is a cause

This article ranks high for its thoughtfulness and relevancy to issues around whether the criminal justice system is broken and the role of childhood trauma in causing conflict with the system.  Sponsored by Human Rights Project for Girls, Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, and Ms. Foundation for Women, this new study is very pointed: “The common justifications for girls’ arrests are minor offenses such as running away, substance abuse, and truancy—all of which are common responses to abuse,” states the study. “The connection between the sexual abuse of girls and their ultimate incarceration is not coincidental; sexual abuse is a direct, contributing cause of their detention.”  In the Canadian context it is helpful to realize that the largest increase among inmate populations is among Indigenous women. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/07/09/locked-surviving-untold-story-sexual-abuse-prison-pipeline?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=socialnetwork   The full study, The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The  Girls’ Story, is available as a 48 page pdf at:  http://rights4girls.org/wp-content/uploads/r4g/2015/02/2015_COP_sexual-abuse_layout_web-1.pdf

Huffington Post – Melissa Jeltsen
Who Is Killing American Women? Their husbands and boyfriends, CDC Confirms.

This time the Communicable Disease Centre is pointing the finger.  Women need to be more afraid of their intimate relationships than the stranger danger we have been raised on.  Here’s the stark findings:  “…data from 18 states, finding 10,018 female homicides between 2003 and 2014. Over half ― 55 percent ― of cases where circumstances were known involved domestic violence. In 93 percent of those cases, victims were killed by current or former intimate partners: boyfriends, husbands, and lovers. The other 7 percent of victims were female friends, family members, first responders and bystanders who were killed during a domestic incident.”  The data and the conclusions are not new, nor surprising.  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/most-murders-of-american-women-involve-domestic-violence_us_5971fcf6e4b09e5f6cceba87

Amnesty International
Who are the Rohingya and why are they fleeing Myanmar?

Amnesty International has declared an ethnic cleansing taking place in Myanmar and is calling for international censure of the government of Myanmar for the active role of its military and security services in persecuting the Rohingya, a minority Muslim group, many of whom have fled to Bangladesh as refugees from their centuries old home on the Myanmar / Bangladesh border.  “The Myanmar government insists that all Rohingyas are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. It refuses to recognize them as citizens, effectively rendering the majority of them stateless.”  https://www.amnesty.ca/blog/who-are-rohingya-and-why-are-they-fleeing-myanmar   Related article: Toronto Star / Washington Post – Annie Gowan   ‘Blood flowed in the streets’: Refugees from one Rohingya village recount days of horror   https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/09/16/blood-flowed-in-the-streets-refugees-from-one-rohingya-village-recount-days-of-horror.html   Related article: Toronto Star –   Trudeau presses Burma’s Suu Kyi on violence against Muslim minority  https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/09/13/trudeau-presses-burmas-suu-kyi-on-violence-against-muslim-minority.html  Related article: CBC News – Shanifa Nasser   Violence against Rohingya ‘looks a lot like ethnic cleansing,’ Freeland says – Comments come as pressure mounts for Canada to help establish safe-zone, take concrete action  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/canada-rohingya-ethnic-cleansing-1.4293564

Toronto Star Editorial (Sept 16, 2017)
Decriminalize all drug possession? Not a bad idea

NDP leadership Jagmeet Singh’s decriminalization proposal appears to be worthy of consideration according to the Star Editorial Board. Conceding that the idea is somewhat stark given our long term “war on drugs” the idea is not so strange among medical health people who see addiction as a medical health issue, not a character or moral issue.   “In Canada, as elsewhere, the long tradition of criminalizing drug use has backfired. If the goal of the war on drugs has been to reduce the use of psychoactive substances and the harm these drugs cause, to improve public health and public safety, then it has been an abject failure.”   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2017/09/15/decriminalize-all-drug-possession-not-a-bad-idea-editorial.html

Globe and Mail – Patrick White
Civil liberties group wraps up arguments against solitary confinement

The fate of solitary confinement now lies with Ontario Superior Court Chief Justice Frank Marrocco.  Government attorneys have admitted only that any harm from solitary was a matter of “maladministration.”  Ontario Civil Liberties insist that “it’s the legislation, not its implementation, that makes solitary confinement a harmful prison practice that must be banned.”  This case is one of several currently underway by advocates looking for a ban on solitary.  https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/civil-liberties-group-wraps-up-arguments-against-solitary-confinement/article36282620/

National Newswatch – Bill Graveland, Canadian Press
‘Fear is the greatest factor:’ Survey finds Canadians worry about rise of racism

The latest survey, on-line by a group calling itself Think for Actions and Insights Matter, suggests that 88% of Canadians say that Muslim should be treated like everyone else but 72% agree that there is a growing hate and fear that will get worse.   55% believe that Islam suppresses women’s rights.  The role of Imams and their communications skills in the face of the fear of Muslims seem critical in changing the perceptions.   http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2017/09/16/fear-is-the-greatest-factor-survey-finds-canadians-worry-about-rise-of-racism/#.Wb1M07KGOUk