Prisons endanger us all…

April 10, 2020

 Tracking the Politics of Criminalization and Punishment in Canada

Go to the link to get a summary document on the number of inmates and prison staff who have gotten Coronavirus to date.  The chart has been prepared by Justin Piché of the University of Ottawa and the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project and is the first comprehensive report to date on the scene confronting the inmates and staff.  The source of the information is also identified with the link.   Related article:  CBC News – Janice Johnston   Edmonton Institution inmate punished for speaking to media about COVID-19, lawyer says–Mg   The Marshall Project (US) – Donald Kagen as told to Nicole Lewis   I was at Rikers While Coronavirus Spread. Getting Out Was Just as Surreal.   Related article:  N.Y. Times – Timothy Williams and Danielle Ivory   Chicago’s Jail Is Top U.S. Hot Spot as Virus Spreads Behind Bars

Global News – Stewart Bell
Judges release growing number accused of violent crimes due to COVID-19 fears

Saying that the pandemic had reordered the calculus, some judges are releasing people charged with violent incidents.  The court decisions are more frequently citing the Covid-19 virus in the decisions, even some with serious violence at issue.   CBC News – Olivia Stefanovich  Bail considerations, releases need to adapt to COVID-19 threat, lawyers say –  Judges have been factoring COVID-19 into their decisions — lawyers and advocates say that’s not enough   Related article: Toronto Star – Alyshah Hasham   Ontario jails are not letting guards regularly use COVID-19 protective equipment, unions and inmates warn  Related article: CTV News – Ian Campbell  Ontario releases more than 1,900 inmates, many with nowhere to go

Business Insider (Australia) – Joseph Zeballos-Roig
Spain is moving to permanently establish universal basic income in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic

Spain is the first European country to move ahead with the guaranteed annual income as a way of better preparing people for another pandemic.  There appears to be a serious influence on the effort from former democratic presidential primary Andrew Yang.  “Nadia Calviño, the country’s minister for economic affairs, told the Spanish broadcaster La Sextaon Sunday evening that the government was planning to introduce the cash handouts as part of a barrage of policies meant to help people get back on their feet… We’re going to do it as soon as possible,” she said. “So it can be useful, not just for this extraordinary situation, and that it remains forever.”

 BC Catholic / Catholic Register – Michael Swan
Priest would rather be jailed than abandon inmates: Victoria bishop

As the Coronavirus becomes more prevalent, the chaplaincy services to the inmates is diminishing. “There is lots of research that, for religious or spiritually-engaged people, chaplaincy services are integral to those peoples’ mental health,” said Carleton University law professor Rebecca Bromwich in an email.” Related article:  BC Catholic: Agnieszka Ruck   Prison ministry an ‘essential service,’ but services suffering   Related article:  THE WAY OF THE CROSS
Good Friday – 10 April 2020   (from Padua Prison, Italy)