Justice reform…

Jan 31, 2018

Toronto Star – Daniel Brown and Michael Lacy
Trudeau government is falling short on justice reform

Anticipating the strategy for the next federal election, some think the Liberals will offer promises made, promises delivered.  Brown and Lacy are of the opinion that the track record on the justice platform may intrude on the viability of the theme for justice.  “Aside from a couple of major initiatives such as the legalization of marijuana, criminal law reforms have amounted to little more than modest housekeeping.”  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/01/30/trudeau-government-is-falling-short-on-justice-reform.html

Trent University – Centre for Aging and Society
No Place to Call Home: The Challenge of Re-integrating Senior Paroles into the Community and Long Term Care Facilities

The aging inmate population makes care for them as parolees problematic in that they are released into a special set of circumstances, often with medical problems and without family or other normal community support.  Henri De Souza, Director General of CSC Health Services, Crystal Dieleman, an occupational therapist and professor from Dalhousie, and David Byrne, Executive Director of Peterborough Re-integration Services are featured speakers and Dr. Gillian Balfour, Dean of Trent’s Teaching and Learning Dept will lead a panel discussion.   The one day session takes place on Feb 22, 2018 and starts at 10AM.  Registration is required and costs are $30 (including lunch and parking) or $15 for students.  For more info:  https://www.trentu.ca/aging/events/no-place-call-home

 National Newswatch – Canadian Press
Tribunal again tells feds to fund Indigenous child welfare, minister agrees

Here’s another, hopefully the last, assurance from the federal government about funding Indigenous child care, following yet another directive from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.  In its most recent order, the Tribunal In its order, “the tribunal gives Ottawa two months to start reimbursing the actual costs for prevention and investigation programs, as well as legal and travel costs and building repairs, but (Minister Jane) Philpott says those reimbursements will start immediately.”  https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2018/02/01/tribunal-again-tells-feds-to-fund-indigenous-child-welfare-minister-agrees/#.WnM6fK6nGUk   Related article: National Newswatch – David MacDonald, The Conversation  – Canada guilty of forging crisis in Indigenous foster care  https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2018/02/01/canada-guilty-of-forging-crisis-in-indigenous-foster-care/   Related article: Toronto Star – Vicky Mochama  Women must be at centre of fixing Indigenous child welfare system   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/02/01/women-must-be-at-centre-of-fixing-indigenous-child-welfare-system.html  Related article: The Spirit Bear Plan  https://fncaringsociety.com/sites/default/files/Spirit%20Bear%20Plan%20%28EN%29.pdf   cf also www.fncaringsociety.com

 Ottawa Citizen – Jared Shook
Trudeau government should re-think how it pays prisoners

The previous Conservative government cut the $2.30 / hr wage for federal inmates doing the work that contributes to the operation and maintenance of the prison.  Shook, himself once an inmate, led a court challenge that failed; Judge Yvan Roy refused to interfere in government policy.  Now Shook wants a policy review of the practices around inmate labour.  The low rate, say the inmates, seriously impacts their ability to support family visits, phone calls, and planning for release.  http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/shook-trudeau-government-should-re-think-how-it-pays-prisoners

Criminological Highlights – Anthony Doob and Rosemary Gartner, U of T

Here is a new edition of the periodic journal (Vol 17, 2018) and with it a quick snapshot of issues in the field of criminology.  As usual, there are eight items addressed:  1) Do non-profit community organizations help reduce crime in our neighbourhoods?  2) How can ‘work release’ programs improve the safety of our communities?  3) Does immigration make our neighbourhoods safer?  4) Does reporting intimate partner violence to the police reduce reoffending?  5) How does the use of ‘big data’ change the nature of policing?  6) How is society harmed by the imprisonment of those under age 25?  7) Should prison life be made harsher so that prisoners will be deterred?  8) What kinds of people think that the criminal justice system should be made more punitive?  http://criminology.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/CrimHighlightsV17N1.pdf  (You can get on the direct mailing list by asking:  anthony.doob@utoronto.ca   or rosemary.gartner@utoronto.ca

Justice Policy Institute (JPI) – (US) – Marc Schindler

At the forefront of the US criminal justice and prison reform movement is the effort to first understand and secondly to confront the harmful impact of the bail process once accused of a crime.  JPI has been publishing a series of three reports and podcasts used to highlight the problems especially for poor people.  The link includes other useful resources as well and uses Maryland as an immediate focus. The second link, Maurer, offers a wider perspective on prison reform and mass incarceration. http://www.justicepolicy.org/research/4459    Related article:  The Sentencing Project (US) – Marc Maurer  Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2017  http://www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Top-Trends-in-State-Criminal-Justice-Reform-2017.pdf?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=c340d859-d9ed-488a-88d0-648b9f4ce7e6     Homeless Hub – A Way Home…

Webinar: Youth across Canada speak out on youth homelessness prevention – What would it take to prevent youth homelessness in Canada?

DATE: Thursday, February 8th, 2018
TIME: 1:00PM – 2:30PM (ET)
PRESENTERS: Kaitlin Schwan and David French
Register:  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8612859797545313026  

Human Rights Watch  – Liesl Gerntholtz, Executive Director, Women’s Rights Division 

Beware the #MeToo Backlash—It Masks Ugly Lies about Women 

The recent furor over sexual harassment and assault in the workplace among movie stars, politicians and businessmen is also building backlash.  Gerntholtz is challenges two specific aspects of the backlash:  “First, good men may be undeservedly punished for their behavior as fairness and due process are discarded in the rush to appear on the “right side” of sexual harassment. Second, this is removing all the “fun” from male-female interaction.”   She places the #MeToo movement in the context of the exercise of power in the workplace: who has it, who uses it, who is punished or suffers from its exercise.    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/01/29/beware-metoo-backlash-it-masks-ugly-lies-about-women