Poor justice…

Sept 9, 2018

Toronto Star – Alok Mukherjee
Policing society’s poor is unjust and ineffective

Mukherjee, a former chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, weighs in on the issue of pursuing poor people for fines and delinquency in paying court imposed fines.  These fines, much like cash bail, often serve to question if the system is truly just when ability to pay is the determinant.  Often the fines are in fact imposed with those charged in absentia.  There is no risk to public safety but there is a constant hassle for street people and a huge investment of police time and resources with little return.  Time to have a conversation says Mukherjee.  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/09/02/policing-societys-poor-is-unjust-and-ineffective.html

National Newswatch – Janice Dickson, Canadian Press
Wilson-Raybould fills more judicial vacancies, backlog continues

In spite of a recent nineteen federal judicial appointments, the government still has almost five dozen positions to fill in an expanding number of appointments calculated to address the problem of dismissals from protracted time delays.  Cabinet approval is needed for these appointments and to date this year 65 have been created.  https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2018/09/06/liberals-plan-to-increase-frequency-of-judicial-appointments-in-face-of-backlogs/#.W5KQMbgnY2y

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
New prisons boss gets to-do list: better programs, better food, email access

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale has delivered and released a mandate letter to Corrections Canada’s new Commissioner Anne Kelly with the intent to achieve greater focus on rehabilitative outcomes.  Federal Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger says that the mandate letter will mark “a dramatic shift away from the direction set by the previous Harper government.”  The reforms directed by the mandate letter will have the funding needed as well.  https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4811408?__twitter_impression=true  Mandate letter for the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada issued by Minister Goodale       https://www.canada.ca/en/public-safety-canada/news/2018/09/mandate-letter-for-the-commissioner-of-the-correctional-service-of-canada-issued-by-minister-goodale.html   Related article:  Blogger Russell Webster (UK)   Governors to design own incentives  https://mailchi.mp/russellwebster/mojincentive?e=10ab936adc

Village Voice (US) – Talia Lavin
#Prisonstrike: A Rebellion inside America’s Profitable Gulag Archipelago – ‘Imprisoned men and women are the drivers of a multibillion-dollar shadow economy: its laborers and its prey’

To command labour without recompense is the very definition of slavery, unless you are a prisoner.  Then, it’s smart business.  Now, the conditions are provoking a strike wherever the labour of inmates is provided.  “On the website for Unicor, the newly renamed Federal Prison Industries — the 84-year-old government-run corporation that utilizes incarcerated people for labor — there’s a section called “Shopping.”   The project involves 182,707 federal inmates to date, working for 23 cents to $1.15 per hour.  https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/08/31/prisonstrike-a-rebellion-inside-americas-profitable-gulag-archipelago/   Related article: The Marshall Project (US) – Lyle May  Breaking the Unwritten Rule of Prison – Or, what happens when guards and prison staff interact as just human beings   https://www.themarshallproject.org/2018/08/30/breaking-the-unwritten-rules-of-prison

Youtube – Brenée Brown
Brenée Brown Video | SXSWedu 2017 | Daring Classrooms

Brown is a specialist in the very human phenomenon of shame and its impact on behaviour.  Brown has asserted that shame, once thought to be more a feminine characteristic, is in fact as much a male reality, especially as it relates to the willingness to be vulnerable.  In this 33 minute talk to teachers, she applies the results of her life long study to the work of teachers: “We need to understand how scarcity affects the way we lead and teach, we have to engage with vulnerability and we need to learn how to recognize and combat shame. What would it mean for our schools and classrooms if we showed up for tough, honest conversations about what it takes to bring our best, most authentic selves to work? These conversations may sound risky and vulnerable, but risk and vulnerability are essential to courageous schools. A daring classroom is a place where both teachers and students commit to choosing courage over comfort, choosing what is right over what is fun, fast or easy and practicing values rather than professing them.”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVD8YRgA-ck

CTV News –
U.S. military guns mailed in unlocked case to Toronto Bombardier facility

Here is a new twist that reminds of the way some of the illegal and dangerous fentanyl is getting into Canada: someone just mails it!  In the case of a package of two assault weapons and two handguns, the weapons originated in Utah and were delivered erroneously to Bombardier in Toronto via FedEx.  The guns (one of two packages apparently – the other package did not arrive) still had the imprint of the US government.  https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/u-s-military-guns-mailed-in-unlocked-case-to-toronto-bombardier-facility-1.4081806   Related article: Toronto Star – Tim Harper   When it comes to guns, the Liberals, and Bill Blair, already know the answers   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/09/06/when-it-comes-to-guns-the-liberals-and-bill-blair-already-know-the-answers.html

Toronto Star – Robert Benzie
High-profile Liberal appointees removed by Ford government

One of the Ontario Liberal appointees who was a key player for criminal justice reform was former federal Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers.  Sapers was directing the review of the Ontario provincial correctional system and its prisons but the Ford government has terminated the contract due to run until the end of the year, and presumably the good reform advice that Sapers is offering.  Also included in the purge is Karen Pitre, an advisor on the development of community hubs which turns unused buildings into community hubs for various social purposes.  No replacement have been announced.  https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2018/09/04/ford-purges-high-profile-liberal-appointees.html