Mar 30, 2022

Lawyer’s Daily – John Hill
Delays in prison justice, revisited

Hill responds to a response from Corrections Canada to the suggestion that CSC has unreasonable delays in answering complaints from persons imprisoned.  After listing a plethora of efforts allegedly by CSC to correct the complaints process, Hill rebuffs the success of these efforts insisting we have heard them all before but without recent success for change.  “The correctional investigator has been critical of CSC’s delays for years. I congratulate CSC for those efforts Esther Mailhot points out. However, real congratulations would be owed if steps could be taken to answer grievances times within currently established timelines.”  https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/criminal/articles/34790/delays-in-prison-justice-revisited-john-l-hill-?nl_pk=40ed8ea4-637a-4d76-870f-04f0eeae7de8&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=criminal   Related article: Center for Court Innovation – Matt Watkins   Why Data Doesn’t Stick   https://www.courtinnovation.org/publications/data-not-stick

Precedent JD (Canada) – Courtney Shea
Jordana Goldlist was once a homeless teenager. Now she’s a top criminal-defence lawyer

Defence lawyer Jordana Goldlist, when she was 16, was arrested for selling marijuana and spent four days in jail in solitary confinement.  How to encourage others to find a route off that misbehaviour path?  “We need meaningful rehabilitation. We’re just jailing youth, people with mental-health issues and people with addictions. And we’re not providing them with the tools that they need to succeed after their release. We also need employers to hire individuals with criminal records. If people can’t earn a living wage, they are going to reoffend.”   We need meaningful rehabilitation. We’re just jailing youth, people with mental-health issues and people with addictions. And we’re not providing them with the tools that they need to succeed after their release. We also need employers to hire individuals with criminal records. If people can’t earn a living wage, they are going to reoffend.”   https://precedentjd.com/career/jordana-goldlist-was-once-a-homeless-teenager-now-shes-a-top-criminal-defence-lawyer/

Winnipeg Free Press – Niigaan Sinclair
Catholic apology is just a start – Reconciliation is what happens after ‘sorry’

Sinclair’s reminder is timely in the light of the various groups – the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council – appearing with the Pope in Rome at the meetings about residential schools.  Sinclair acknowledges that an apology in Canada will make for comfort with many groups following the events in Rome but that four things are necessary after the apology:  the money promised, the land taken for residential schools returned, the documents made available, “Lastly — and perhaps most radically — the Vatican needs to appoint an independent investigator to come up with a set of enforceable actions to cure the rampant, ongoing and systemic plague of abuse of children in all levels of the Catholic church.”  https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/catholic-apology-is-just-a-start-576337142.html

BOLTS (US) – Daniel Nichanian
“Designed to End Protesting”: Louisiana Supreme Court Makes Protesters Guilty by Association – The state joins others in broadening liability and heightening the legal risks of protesting.

The Louisiana Supreme Court has just sent shivers throughout the world of protests by extending the liability of those who organize protests to the illegal behaviour of those protesting.  The appallingly wide application of that liability sparked this assessment:  “Mandie Landry, a Democratic lawmaker who was already vocal against efforts to target protesters in Louisiana, echoed Griffin’s worry (a dissenting judge) that the ruling risks stifling political organizing. “It seems like this is designed to end protesting,” she told Bolts. “It’s designed to chill speech.” https://boltsmag.org/designed-to-end-protesting-louisiana/

Brennan Center for Justice (US)
Reform Money in Politics: Americans are fed up with the role of big money in political campaigns. The Brennan Center’s solution: small donor public financing to put power back in the hands of individuals.

The role is big money from wealthy individuals and big corporations is no longer in dispute: they finance and control the outcome of many elections.  The Brennan Center has a proposal to counteract the influence and to put the average person in control of election financing and results:  “The campaign finance system is broken. Super PACs and shadowy non-profits give enormous sway to the super-wealthy and big corporations. The Brennan Center is working to build a better system, pushing for public financing that matches small donations with public money, and regulations to eliminate illegal foreign spending. And we are waging a long-term fight to overturn misguided Supreme Court rulings that weaken crucial protections.”  https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/reform-money-politics  Related article: Washington Post – Theodore R. Johnson   The Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings put patriotism on trial – Competing visions of how to love our country were on display   https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2022/03/25/ketanji-brown-jackson-patriotism/   Related article:  Tweet from Alex Karakatsanis:  “This month marks two years since the murder of Breonna Taylor. One of the most revealing facts about her case that the media largely ignored: after her death, Louisville gave the cops a budget increase of $750,000 and cut the public library budget by $775,000.”  https://twitter.com/equalityAlec/status/1508813169631899651

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Life on the Inside -Guide from Sussex Prisoners’ Families to help children and young people understand what life is like for a loved-one in prison.

How does a child of person in prison think about the life of a loved one in prison?  A recent publication attempts to present a counter view to the one of the horrors presented by media supplemented by vivid imagination:  “Because they lack basic information, they often imagine something very frightening fuelled by images they have seen on films or on the internet… So, the charity asked the dads at HMP Ford to tell them about day-to-day life in prison (although Ford is an open prison, most men will have experienced closed conditions). They have painted a picture of a life that is not glamorous or exciting – mostly it’s boring and difficult.  But it is hoped the guide will alleviate children’s fears; it talks about prison in a considerate and age-appropriate manner.”  https://www.russellwebster.com/telling-children-what-prison-is-really-like/  Link to the full guide:  https://www.sussexprisonersfamilies.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/SPF-Childrens-book-UPDATED_MARCH-2022_FINALLR-003-1.pdf

Blogger Alex Himelfarb –
What would a transformational budget look like?

Himelfarb anticipates the April 7 federal budget by offering the context of the last federal budget and declares the effort to control deficit and debt a failure.  Again, he is urging that the federal government promote equity:  “Well, there are signs that some governments are ready to eschew the austerity politics that brought us here, get past deficit phobia, and recognize that sometimes the risk of doing too little outweighs the risk of spending too much. This is such a time. Both the E.U. and the U.S. are talking transformation, have huge spending plans on the table and are showing some real ambition on climate change. Even austerity-promoting agencies like the IMF are changing their tune…A call for transformation, however, is not just about more. It’s about ensuring that we don’t lock in the policies and systems that got us here. It’s about setting us on a new course and rebuilding our collective toolkit to meet the multiple and layered crises we face.”  Himelfarb offers six elements of a hoped for transformational budget.  https://afhimelfarb.wordpress.com/2021/04/21/what-would-a-transformational-budget-look-like/

Global News – Amanda Connolly
Gen. Jonathan Vance pleads guilty to obstruction of justice, gets conditional discharge

More than any other news story, this, the acknowledged guilty plea of the highest ranking person in the Canadian military stands in complicity with the problem encountered by many women in the military and explains why the rot in gender discrimination and sexual assault goes so deep as to defy eradication for years.  Vance’s case, obviously a plea deal, resulted in a 12 month conditional discharge for Vance.  https://globalnews.ca/news/8720429/jonathan-vance-guilty-plea-obstruction-of-justice/   Related article: CBC News – Ashley Burke  Two senior female officers quitting the navy over military’s handling of sexual misconduct case  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/claims-rear-admiral-santarpia-failed-to-hold-subordinates-accountable-sexual-misconduct-1.6392291

 Waterloo Regional Crime Prevention Council will cease to operate as of March 31 and is inviting those who wish to continue in touch to do so at:  upstreamWR@gmail.com