Love is reconciliation

Oct 23, 2017

Indigenous advocate Cindy Blackstock raises the bar for Canadians and pays tribute to Gord Downie:
May he forever sing and dance among the stars reminding us all that love is reconciliation.
 John Howard Society of Ontario
Record Suspensions: A Spent Regime for Canada

The link offers graphic summary of the current state of what we used to call pardons but since Harper we are calling record suspension.  Cf also a JHS report on deaths in custody in Ontario provincial and federal institutions in Ontario:   One further update – a fact sheet on solitary confinement or administrative segregation:

 NPR (US)Nell Greenfieldboyce  
Body Cam Study Shows No Effect on Police Use of Force or Citizen Complaints

Cities and police forces have spent thousands of dollars on the police body camera and the necessary support to preserve the record of what the camera sees.  Now, the Washington DC police are suggesting there is a null impact in either citizen complaints of police behaviour or officer use of force, two of the most frequent justifications for the use of the body camera.  The study was conducted around 2,000 officers by Anita Ravishankar who is a member of the DC Police Department.   Related article: N.Y. Times – Amanda Ripley and Timothy Williams   Body Cameras Have Little Effect on Police Behavior, Study Says (US) – James Kilgore
“You’re Still in Jail”: How Electronic Monitoring Is a Shackle on the Movement for Decarceration   

As our world becomes more technologically sophisticated we tend to look on electronic monitoring as an acceptable ally in re-integration of prison inmates.  Here’s a dissenting opinion on the use of monitors to confine the activity of a person to known and allegedly harmless spaces.  The increase in the use of these devices is very much tied to the idea of confronting high and impossible cash bail for minor crime.  At issue is whether electronic monitoring constitutes legal custody, though some ten states have legalized lifetime monitoring.  In many cases the actual monitoring is done by private security companies.  There are about 150,000 cases in the US.  Related article: Alaska Dispatch News -Devin Kelly,  Michelle Theriault Boots, Nathaniel Herz    How SB 91 has changed Alaska’s criminal justice system   Related article: The Nation (US) – Bryce Covert   America Is Waking Up to the Injustice of Cash Bail

60 Minutes – Oprah Winfrey
Pelican Bay

The Secure Housing Unit or the SHU unit of Pelican Bay, California, is the focus of a new report highlighting the conditions at the SHU and the impact of the need for reform, especially in the use of extended solitary confinement.  Inmates get sent to the Pelican Bay facility for gang ties.  From a model “for the future” SHUs are falling into disuse.  The report is about an hour with its ancillary items.  Colorado has also looked at solitary as an acceptable practice and has recently adopted the Nelson Mandela Rules for the treatment of inmates, limiting both the use and the length of solitary.  N.Y. Times – Rick Raemisch   Why We Ended Long-Term Solitary Confinement in Colorado

 MacLean’s – Kyle Edwards
Why Gladue has not lived up to its promise for Indigenous justice – Across the country, Gladue rights for Indigenous offenders are being ignored, underfunded or flat-out denied

The Gladue ruling by the SCC calls for a sentencing consideration given to the background and personal history of Indigenous people convicted of a crime in Canada.  Mostly, it seems this provision of the justice system is ignored, largely it seems for want of adequate funding.  24% of federal inmates are Indigenous with a Canada wide population of only 4%; incarceration rates are 10 times higher for Indigenous.