Head injuries…

May 16, 2021

BBC News (UK)
Head injuries suffered by 80% of women prisoners – Almost 80% of women prisoners in Scotland have a history of significant head injury – mostly through domestic abuse, a study has found.

Researcher have known to quite some time that many prisoners have a history of abuse and suffer from a variety of consequences.  Now, a major study has revealed yet another factor plaguing women, their imprisonment and their re-integration, changing much of the tableau of the usefulness of prisons.  The root cause for 89% of the head injuries is domestic violence.  The University of Glasgow’s Tom McMillan, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology and the lead researchers, says: “It is already recognised that women in prison are vulnerable because of histories of abuse and substance misuse…However, this research shows that a history of significant head injury is also a vulnerability and needs to be included when considering mental health needs and in developing criminal justice policy given the relationships with associated disabilities, abuse and violent crime.”  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-57103702

First Nations Child & Family Caring Society / Cindy Blackstock
I am a witness

The I am a Witness campaign invites people to learn about the case on First Nations child welfare and Jordan’s Principle and to decide for themselves whether or not they think there is discrimination against First Nations children and youth. Visit the Tribunal Timeline and Documents for the latest on the case. https://twitter.com/cblackst/status/1393166720794300417 Materials / petitions from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society:  https://fncaringsociety.com/i-am-witness

 Vancouver Sun – Kim Bolan
REAL SCOOP: Woman injured in gang shooting worked for RCMP

Concerns are very real that gang warfare is returning to the Lower Mainland.  There have been a number of gang related shootings recently, one at the Vancouver Airport and another involving a former RCMP connected woman who worked in a clerical position.  The link includes the immediate past history of the war between the UN and the Brothers Keepers. https://vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/real-scoop-woman-injured-in-gang-shooting-worked-for-rcmp   Related article: Breaker News – Bob Mackin   Model who survived Cactus Club gang shooting worked in B.C. RCMP fusion centre  https://thebreaker.news/news/market-crossing-shooting/

Winnipeg Free Press – Ryan Thorpe
Hard time in hell – Gangs are in control, inmates are armed and the threat of violence is omnipresent at Stony Mountain Institution

The link suggests that the federal institution of Stoney Mountain Prison is so out of control that rectifying the scene requires a commission of inquiry.  John Howard calls the article a “MUST READ scathing indictment of Stony Mountain prison. This coupled with the finding that federal prisoners are being tortured by prohibited prolonged solitary confinement requires a Commission of Inquiry into the prison service”  https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/hard-time-in-hell-574423442.html   Also cf John Howard tweet: https://twitter.com/JohnHoward_Can/status/1393439309756309507

All Africa – Justice Info.net (US) – Kwasi Konadu
Africa: Slavery – What the United States Can Learn From Africa about Reparations

This article may be considered a primary about what has happened to date in the effort to redress the injuries caused by slavery around the world.  While in North America, the talk of reparations are almost solely financial in terms, other places have engaged in other kinds of reparations.  Some efforts have had international participation and some have been underfunded and though failures.  “In 2019, the African Union – a regional policy body made up of 55 African countries – defined reparative justice as redress for “losses suffered” under any circumstances where human rights have been violated. That includes financial reparations – its policy document emphasizes material support for rebuilding homes and businesses damaged by oppressive colonial regimes. But it also called for member countries to think beyond money to consider reparations measures aimed at healing trauma and establishing broad social justice.”  https://allafrica.com/stories/202105140578.html

Forbes Magazine (US) – Walter Pavlo
Our Criminal Justice System Is Just Unethical and the Numbers Tell the Story

Pavlo presents the history of the growth in prison population or mass incarceration, the establishment of the US Bureau of Prisons, the federal Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, the use of solitary, the impact of the Covid-19 virus and the CARES Act (25,000 released near the end of sentence, 5,000 released under the CARES Act – 21 returned to prison for violating the terms of release), and a Department of Justice made laughable by the expectation that those whose sentence has not expired will return to prison. “The numbers do not lie … criminal punishments of incarcerating people we’re mad at rather than those we need to be protected from can no longer be justified. Not only is it too expensive, its immorality is becoming more apparent every day.”   https://www.forbes.com/sites/walterpavlo/2021/05/13/our-criminal-justice-system-is-just-unethical-and-the-numbers-tell-the-story/?sh=5c5c9c123157   Related article: ABC News – WCIV TV (Charleston, NC)   Body camera footage shows ‘horrific’ in-custody death of Black man at South Carolina jail   https://www.wsjm.com/2021/05/14/body-camera-footage-shows-horrific-in-custody-death-of-black-man-at-south-carolina-jail/  Related article: NBC News – Tim Fitzsimons  Video shows South Carolina deputies repeatedly tasing Black man before he dies in jail – Jamal Sutherland, 31, had been in a psychiatric facility less than a day earlier.   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/video-shows-south-carolina-deputies-repeatedly-tasing-black-man-he-n1267427   Related article: NY Times –  Michael LaForgia and Jennifer Valentino-DeVries    How a Genetic Trait in Black People Can Give the Police Cover – Sickle cell trait has been cited in dozens of police custody deaths ruled accidental or natural, even though the condition is benign on its own, a Times investigation found.  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/15/us/african-americans-sickle-cell-police.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur    Related article: The Nation – Sasha Abramsky   The California Prosecutors Who Want to Keep People Out of Jail – In the state that once pioneered the punitive Three Strikes policy, a coalition of recently elected district attorneys is pushing back against mass incarceration.  https://www.thenation.com/article/society/prosecutors-alliance-california/

 Time Magazine (US) – Sanya Mansoor
 ‘I Don’t Think You’re Going to Be Eating Tonight.’ Muslims Describe Ramadan in U.S. Prisons

After fasting all day the food arrived while Hubert Jason, a Black Muslim and prisoner at Wallens Ridge, a super-maximum security prison, was completing a series of prayers, part of the observance of Ramadan.  He choose to ignore the guard with food until he had finished his prayers.  The incident is similar to other incidents that have prompted a lawsuit against Virginia’s Department of Corrections alleging that the agency will not turn over Muslim prisoners’ official grievances about challenges they may have faced in practicing their faith. The lawsuit states that complaints communicated by Muslim prisoners suggest that staff “blocked Muslim inmates from participating in Ramadan” and allege “physical violence, retaliation, placing inmates in unhygienic conditions (including a Muslim inmate being deprived of access to a functioning toilet and shower), theft of religious books and articles, and the rampant use of derogatory and bigoted language by VADOC staff targeted at Muslim inmates.”  https://time.com/6048056/muslims-ramadan-prisons/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sfmc&utm_campaign=newsletter+inside-time-saturday+default+ac&utm_content=+++20210515+++body&et_rid=76080455   Related article:  Lawsuit filed on behalf of Muslim Advocates by the Interfaith Action for Human Rights (an interfaith human rights organization)  https://muslimadvocates.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Gardner-2021.04.06-Mandamus-Petition.pdf   Related article: Prison Policy Initiative (US) – Katie Rose Quandt and Alexi Jones     Research Roundup: Incarceration can cause lasting damage to mental health – Incarceration can trigger and worsen symptoms of mental illness — and those effects can last long after someone leaves the prison gates. https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2021/05/13/mentalhealthimpacts/