Oct 13, 2017

 Toronto Star – Michelle Shepherd
RCMP officers screened Quebec border crossers on religion and values, questionnaire shows

The Star is reporting that the RCMP have been using an interview guide that targets Muslims as the refugees cross into Quebec from New York.   The number is now set at 12,000 but two of the 41 questions inquired after how the applicant feels about women wearing the hijab, about how many times they pray, and their opinion about the Taliban and the Islamic state.  There were no questions about any other religious adherence and the RCMP say that that version of the interview guide is no long used.  The info was entered in RCMP data base and made available to CBSA and security services.  The link includes the actual questionnaire.   Related article: iPolitics – Tasha Kheiriddin  The Mounties’ Muslim-targeting border quiz was stupid and pointless

  The Sentencing Project (US)

Oct 12 saw a number of reports coming from this NGO.  As previously reported the incarceration of youth in the US has dropped by one half but the disparaging truth remains that both Latino and Native American youth are still at considerable and higher risk for prison.  The link offers another report as well around the efforts to get alternative sentences embedded in federal law.  An interesting first person account around the confrontation with the justice system can also be found at this link:  Christopher Poulos
THIS is Housing First for Youth: A Program Model Guide.

This homeless program gets a more detailed discussion in a webinar (Monday, October 16th at 1:00PM – 2:30PM (ET) with Stephen Gaetz & Melanie Redman Register at: ).  Kathleen Burns explains the process conceptually:  “This is the crux of the Housing First for Youth (HF4Y) concept – that it is not enough to house youth experiencing homelessness, but it is necessary to provide them with ongoing supports to ensure they have a successful transition to adulthood.”

CBC News – David Burke
Number of women in federal prisons is up, and advocates think they know why – Community services lag and more women turning to crime, according to Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

The startling fact about Canadian prisons is a 37% increase in female inmates over the last ten years, many disproportionately Indigenous women.  Advocates think the cause lies in the diminished social and community services available to the women, but in keeping with US reports, this report is insisting that two thirds are also victims of sexual assault and over 90% have been physically assaulted.  The access for women inmates to mental health in some areas of NS can be over a year.  CSC says there is no overcrowding in women’s institutions despite the current scene in Edmonton. Related article:  CBC News – Kathleen Harris  Canada’s prison system accused of ‘cultural bias’ in Supreme Court case – Métis inmate claims tests that determine security and parole discriminate against Indigenous offenders   Related article: CBC News – Alison Crawford  Correctional Service Canada failing younger inmates, advocates argue in report – Report says federal prison system squandering opportunities to rehabilitate younger offenders   Full Report: Government of Canada, Office of the Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger and Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth – Missed Opportunities   (a downloadable 53 page pdf, includes some youth stats and a profile of those 18-21 year olds in federal custody)

Policy Options – Taiaiake Alfred
The Indian Act and the system that supports it are part of a mentality that sees “Indian” people as a problem to be solved. This is what must change.

The article is persuasive reflection on what the author considers the first premise of confronting life after the Indian Act:  the colonial mentality that he says is pervasive in all interactions between the Indigenous and others especially government.   “The problem is not the Indian Act; the Act and the apparatus that supports it are manifestations of a mentality that sees “Indian” people as an issue to be confronted and to be solved… We are still living in a relationship framed in colonial terms; the language we use today has changed over the years, but the perspective is still straight out of the seventeenth century.”

National Newswatch – Glen Pearson
Opting In By Opting Out

Pearson is a retired fire fighter and an active participant at the London (ON) food bank.  He offers an opinion around the possibility that social media can induce an addiction and what addiction does to the search for both news and truth, and the influence of the addiction on media of all kinds.

Human Rights Watch
Activities to celebrate the International Day of the Girl:

(The report looks at issues and events highlighting the rights and current practices around the education and social life of girls.  Empowerment is the key!)

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