Social norms…

June 28, 2022 

Toronto Star – Nicholas Keung
Canada’s racist social norms — and how we can change them – A ground breaking study into the social norms around racist demeanours may lie the secret of tackling racism by addressing those unspoken social rules much like how public health officials changed public smoking through antismoking campaign.

“Thirty years ago, smoking in public was acceptable. It was cool. It was just part of the framework. And there was an actual long-term public health campaign, if you will, in essence, to de-normalize smoking in public. It’s a complex intervention that, over time, was quite successful,” says Keith Neuman of the Environics Institute, author of the Canadian Social Norms and Racism study…That’s where we’d like to go with racism. Anti-racism initiatives may benefit by focusing more on social norms, which are more easily changed than ingrained attitudes and prejudices.”

The Delta Optimist (BC) – Sandor Gyarmati
New Delta Police advocate to help vulnerable navigate system – A consultant is to help build the program and assist in hiring the appropriate candidate

An effort to help people caught up in a morass of bureaucracy and confusion even to this police constable who discovered the need led to the formation of a funded program for an advocate to assist.

ACLU – Kendall Ciesemier
The Overcriminalization of America

Ciesemier interviews Somil Trivedi, senior staff attorney for the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project.  The focus is on the political use of the false notion that the crime rates are soaring and that the only recourse is more of the punishment approach.  The conversation ventures into the arena of drugs and the process of criminalization that attaches itself.  Additionally the gender affirming care for youth and harm reduction as a method is now facing criminalization and hatred.  The conversation affirms the progressive reform of the criminal justice system.  Related article: The Davis Vanguard – Matthew Torres   Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón Promises to Make Communities Safer through Crime Prevention, Not Over-Criminalization     Related article: The Marshall Project – Beth Schwartzapfel   Nothing.” Inside Louisiana’s Harshest Juvenile Lockup – Teens at the Acadiana Center for Youth at St. Martinville were held in solitary confinement around the clock, shackled with leg irons and deprived of an education. “This is child abuse,” one expert said.   Related article: (US) – Victoria Law   Health care in jails and prisons is terrible. The pandemic made it even worse. America’s 1.7 million incarcerated people have a constitutional right to medical treatment. During the pandemic, many of them say they didn’t get it in time.

CBC News – Talia Ricci
Inmates, advocates sounding the alarm about pilot program at Toronto East Detention Centre – Province says SAFER pilot program began at TEDC in 2021, and has plans to review its effectiveness

SAFER stands for Security Assessment for Evaluating Risk and has its birth in Thunder Bay Provincial Jail and is now also in the Toronto East Detention Centre.  The program divides the incarcerated into risk assessment – minimum, medium, and maximum – and then treats them accordingly with consequences to time in cell, calls and visits.  One advocated calls it “segregation repackaged,” asking the province to abandon it.  The basis of the classification process is not offered nor is the actual assessment or the reasons for the classification.  Advocates also suspect that there are many more in lockdown because of the SAFER system.

 Social Science Research Network US) (SSRN) – Matthew Kim
Redesigning Restorative Justice for Criminal Justice Reform

Kim, of the Harvard Law School, advocates looking at justice reform through the eyes of restorative justice.  He suggests that reform would come easier if the outcomes favoured youth over adult, non-violent over violent, and first time offenders vs repeat offenders.  These priorities, he says, hold the most promise for reforming the justice system. The article was first published in the Tennessee Law Review in June 2022.  Abstract :

Global Sisters Report – Jeanmarie Gribaudo

Ignatian spirituality comes alive in prison

Gribaudo is a Sister of St. Joseph, a professor at Boston College and an author on Ignatian spirituality. In the process of teaching a course to a group of incarcerated men on the Examined Life, one of the processes for developing awareness and consciousness of God and other in Ignatian practices, she invites her students to a ‘cannonball moment,’ one in which the full reality of their personal lives and the trauma lived confronts them voluntarily and without effort to escape.

Robert Maunder, MD and Jonathan Hunter, MD
Damaged: Childhood Trauma, Adult Illness, and the Need for Health Care Revolution

The authors are two University of Toronto professors and psychiatrists and the book is about trauma and relationship and our slow reluctance to acknowledge the presence, the effects and the needed health care response to Adverse Childhood Trauma (ACT).  The numbers suffering from childhood trauma are somewhat elusive but most thoughtful people can easily support the notion that many of those children wind up in prison as well as in our homes and institutions, especially in public health circles.  The book is an invitation to re-think how we – health professionals and those in everyday relationship with them – respond to both the ACT experience and the inward struggle.  The text includes a listing of the sort of experience that qualifies as an ACT and a number of specific ACT patients illustrating the deeply personal and individual consequences, what the authors call ‘the cause of the causes’ of disease and poor health.  (University of Toronto Press, 2021, $29.95)  Related article: Centre for Male Psychology (UK) – John Barry You can’t reduce domestic abuse by telling people that life is a power struggle between men and women. Interview with Professor Nicola Graham-Kevan   Related article: Centre for Male Psychology (UK) – John Barry   Brutalised children become brutal adults: An interview with clinical and forensic psychologist Dr Naomi Murphy.   Related article: Toronto Star –  Enxhi Kondi   If you are not worried about Ontario’s nursing crisis, you are simply not paying attention – Bill 124 continues to challenge Ontario’s nurses. Their loss threatens our entire health-care system. (US) – Siobhan McDonough
Giving people cash is usually better than shipping them food – Another thing cash can do: fight global hunger.

McDonough is drawing attention to the changing focus of international aid from food-in-kind to actual cash dollars – sometimes also in the form of vouchers.  The preference for cash is now approaching the 35% level and is rationalized by the transportation costs and the potential for foreign sources of food destabilizing the local food markets.  The argument includes the notion that the cash invites an adjustment response from the global food markets.  If market forces have a controlling role in the creation of the shortages, perhaps the cash is an appropriate response to domestic crisis as well.