Hate crimes…

Mar 21, 2022

CBC News – Canadian Press
Number of reported hate crimes set new record in 2020 as other crimes decreased: Statistics Canada – The overall rate of police-reported crime dropped by 10 per cent compared to 2019

The report suggests that the most pressing area for solution in Canada – the peaceful and polite nation – is that of hate crimes:  “It says reported hate crimes targeting East or Southeast Asian people went up 301 per cent; those targeting Black people went up 92 per cent; those against Indigenous people went up 152 per cent; and those against South Asian people went up 47 per cent.”  The rate of police reported crime dropped 10%.  Both may be influenced by the Covid: the hate crime directed towards Asians and the police reported crime because we stayed home and were not available as much to be victims.  Still the Stats Can figures may be under reporting the hate crimes since many are not reported.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/statistics-canada-hate-crimes-1.6389976   Full Statistics Canada report:  https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2022001/article/00005-eng.htm Related article: Washington Post – Colbert I. King   Opinion: Wary HBCUs wait for a break in bomb-threat cases   (HBCU – Historic Black Colleges and Universities)   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/18/hbcus-black-colleges-howard-university-bomb-threats/?utm_campaign=wp_opinions_pm&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_popns&carta-url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.washingtonpost.com%2Fcar-ln-tr%2F3658a93%2F6234de0c3e6ed13ade2cdbf0%2F597720279bbc0f6826c0ca16%2F18%2F63%2F6234de0c3e6ed13ade2cdbf0

Atkinson Foundation / The Future of Workers – Armine Yelnizyen
How to budget for power and strength

This link is both a reflective and informational piece that differentiates between power and strength in anticipation of the next Canadian federal budget and its goals.  Besides the obvious implications for the budget in the light of the Ukrainian war, Yelnizyen suggests several arenas where the feds can flex their purchasing muscle in favour of ordinary Canadians. “That’s what we need the next federal budget to convey. Not just that we are strong and powerful. But that by showing up for one another, we strengthen one another. That the power of individual interests pales next to the indomitability of the benefit to many… We are the sum of us. So much more is possible when we act like we are.”  https://futureofworkers.substack.com/p/how-to-budget-for-power-and-strength?s=r

Compassion Prison Project (US) – Fritzi Horstman
Dr. Kim Gorgens explains Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

These sites are well worth an exhaustive consideration when considering the health needs of incarcerated people and when considering the mental health influence on criminality.  The estimate is that 50-80% of those incarcerated are suffering from traumatic brain injury, mostly untreated and existing in circumstances that inhibit the treatment and make matters worse.  The first link is to a 17 minute Youtube interview between Horstman (The Inner Circle) and her guest Dr. Gorgens.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6sVk_DVNPA  Related article:  Brain Injury Awareness Month   https://www.youtube.com/hashtag/braininjuryawarenessmonth   (A Related article:  Fritzi Horstman  (US) Youtube:   The Vision of a Compassionate Prison with Brian Koehn   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5Kb5CODOWE  (A former prison warden speaks on corrections – 1hr4min video)   Related article: Blogger Russell Webster – Working with trauma in adult probation: Trauma Informed Practice   https://www.russellwebster.com/working-with-trauma-in-adult-probation/     Related:  Outreach for a new course:  Métis Lawyer Myrna McCallum is looking for presenters for a new course in trauma informed justice:  cf https://twitter.com/the_TI_Lawyer/status/1505601999026343937?s=03

Ottawa Citizen – Matthew Lapierre
Organization devoted to sex offender rehabilitation facing financial hardship due to lack of funding – Circles of Support and Accountability, or CoSA, coordinates support groups where volunteers form a “circle” with convicted sex offenders, providing provide structure and accountability.

This organization remains part of the narrative about why proven responses to crime and rehabilitation are ignored and perhaps also abandoned.  The explanation often lies in the four life expectancy of any government.  On the other hand, the track record for the rehab of sex offenders is quite extra-ordinary delivered with considerable volunteer investment: successful rehab means no further victims and CoSA has surely reduced the number of victims by holding offenders to accountability while offering support.  “Susan Love, executive director of the Ottawa CoSA branch, said in an interview that the program’s approach, which uses restorative justice principles and seeks to hold the offenders responsible for their actions and keep them devoted to rehabilitation goals, has been proven to dramatically reduce recidivism rates.”  We need to keep asking why aren’t we smarter and financially supporting what works? Most regrettable is the loss of energy for program that is lost when funding raising need diverts it.   https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/organization-devoted-to-sex-offender-rehabilitation-facing-financial-hardship-due-to-lack-of-funding   (Funding raising to replace lost federal dollars is happening now  cf https://cosa-ottawa.ca/donate-now/ )  Related article:  The Horticultural Society of New York (US) – The Greenhouse   https://www.thehort.org/programs/greenhouse/   Related article:  New York Times – Margaret Roach     Why Gardening Offers a ‘Psychological Lifeline’ in Times of Crisis – According to the English psychiatrist Sue Stuart-Smith, it was no accident that we had a run on seeds at the beginning of the pandemic. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/16/realestate/gardening-pyschology.html 

Roots of Reconciliation (BC) – Returning to the Spirit

The four day workshop is to be held in Duncan, BC, April 4-7 for those who identify as Indigenous, and May 16-19 for those who identify as non-Indigenous.  “The workshop is intended for people aged 18 and older who are ready to deepen their experience with reconciliation and are curious and open minded about what reconciliation can look like on a personal level.  The insights developed during the workshop create space for participants to discover how previously-held behaviours, judgements, assumptions and perceptions have kept them stuck in a disempowering story.”  The sessions are sponsored by Bishop Gary Gordon of the RC Diocese of Victoria who attended the session and offers an assessment: “It gives you the opportunity for a powerful conversation with your true self, and with others.”  To register:  https://www.rcdvictoria.org/indigenous/roots-of-reconciliation-workshop-registration-now-open

The Lawyer’s Daily – John Hill
Delays in prison justice

How long does it take for a response to a prisoner grievance?  “…Cynthia Chénier, co-founder and president of the Association of Progressive Prison lawyers, was speaking out on the delays incurred in processing inmate grievances. The lawyer noted than in some cases it took up to three years to get a response.”  The system is quite weighty as well: first, the grievance airs at the institutional, level, then at the regional level, then at the Corrections Canada level, and only thereafter to the federal court.  Corrections Canada concedes that only 37% of grievances are handled with guideline time limits.  https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/criminal/articles/34612/delays-in-prison-justice-john-l-hill-?nl_pk=40ed8ea4-637a-4d76-870f-04f0eeae7de8&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=criminal