Feb 23, 2023 – Police and mental health

Feb 23, 2023 – Police and mental health


Toronto Star – Kieran Leavitt

He saved a man from a suicide attempt. Then the police response left him baffled –
The startling incident left ex-politician Thomas Lukaszuk with questions around how police respond to traumatic incidents.

The link is helpful in the light of what may constitute the usual response to mental health crisis and the on-going commentary about what police actually do and what they are trained to do. Thomas Lukaszuk is a former deputy premier / cabinet minister of the Alberta Progressive Conservative government.  He encountered a desperate man struggling with mental health issues and called police to assist him.  What unfolds is quite extraordinary.   https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2023/02/21/he-saved-a-man-from-a-suicide-attempt-then-the-police-response-left-him-baffled.html?source=newsletter&utm_content=a13&utm_source=ts_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_email=98AB58CB32931589DF17CC2CAEEF2EE8&utm_campaign=teve_168142 Related article:  Ottawa Citizen:  Thomas Deachman Toronto pilot shows 911 mental-health calls can be diverted from police. It’s time to forge ahead in Ottawa. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/deachman-toronto-pilot-shows-911-mental-health-calls-can-be-diverted-from-police-its-time-to-forge-ahead-in-ottawa


Tweet from Doctors for Defunding Police – On what police do:  “A Stats Canada report estimated that up to 80% of police responses to calls were related to issues of mental health, drug overdose, suicide, domestic dispute/domestic violence & other ‘non-criminal’ offences. If police are not trained to handle these issues, why are they sent?”


Law369.Ca – John L. Hill

Finally some good news…

Hill is recognizing two improvements in criminal law in the way Canada approaches law: the first, the announced intent of government to pursue what David Lametti calls Milgaard’s Law, a bill to help prevent wrongful conviction; and two, a group at the U of T to establish a wrongful conviction database by concerned students and staff at the University of Toronto law school “to point out flaws that cause people to be unjustly found guilty, such as false guilty pleas. These initiatives will assist the work that has been ongoing for years by the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) now renamed Innocence Canada.” https://www.law360.ca/criminal/articles/43993/finally-some-good-news?nl_pk=40ed8ea4-637a-4d76-870f-04f0eeae7de8&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=criminal

Toronto Star – Kevin Jiang

What is Pink Shirt Day? How one act of kindness kick started a global movement – Pink Shirt Day has grown from its humble Canadian origins into a global movement against bullying. Here’s what you need to know.

The last Wednesday of February is known as Pink Shirt Day internationally and intended to show solidarity with kids and people who are bullied everywhere.  ““Pink Shirt Day is a reminder to everyone that it’s not cool to victimize people for any reason — the colour of their skin, their abilities, their heritage, background, culture, religion, how they look and how they identify,” said Andy Telfer, Executive Director of the WITS Program Foundation, an organization that teaches children strategies to manage discrimination and bullying.”  https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2023/02/22/what-is-pink-shirt-day-how-one-act-of-kindness-kick-started-a-global-movement.html   Related article:  CBC News:  Brittany Greenslade    After a 2-year dip, experts say bullying’s increasing — and its harms can be long-lasting – Bullying can affect physical, emotional health well into adulthood, professor and therapist say   https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-bullying-pink-shirt-day-1.6755032 


CBC News – Mike Crawley

For $30/month, Ontario doctors offer rapid access to nurse practitioners – ‘This is a form of 2-tier health care,’ says medicare advocate, while acknowledging it’s legal

The issue of whether Ontarians need or want private health care, particularly in competition with the public system is playing out in this pediatric clinic in Toronto.  The clinic, owned by pediatrician Dr. Dan Flanders, is staffed with nurse practitioners who see the patients.  “The Canada Health Act prohibits charging patients for medically necessary services that are covered under provincial health plans. Since nurse practitioner services are not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), it’s legal for doctors to charge… But within Ontario’s complex systems of compensating physicians, there’s a disparity that means some patients can actually get health care from a nurse practitioner without paying anything.”  The practice is also sparking renewed discussion around team-based care. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-health-care-pay-optional-fee-nurse-practitioners-1.6755305


Tweet from Coalition against More Surveillance – On Police spending:  POLICE BUDGET DEEP DIVE: BODY CAMS 🧵 https://t.co/knK9WaI1Ag

From Blogger Russell Webster (UK) – On the well-being of young men in prison:  “Spark Inside report on the wellbeing of young men in custody, particularly young black men who are over-represented… The report starts by saying that while promoting wellbeing is known to be fundamental to rehabilitation, Young adults report more negative experiences than older prisoners, across multiple indicators of wellbeing: relationships, physical environments, mental health and safety. They are also more likely to reoffend on release from custody. Far from prison promoting positive wellbeing amongst young men, young adults’ over-representation in incidences of self-harm, segregation and violence suggest prison often has a significant detrimental impact on their wellbeing.” The report is structured into seven key sections.     https://www.russellwebster.com/the-wellbeing-of-young-men-in-prison/    Related article: The Conversation (Queen’s) –  Baljit Nagra and Paula Maurutto   CSIS targeting of Canadian Muslims reveals the importance of addressing institutional Islamophobia   https://theconversation.com/csis-targeting-of-canadian-muslims-reveals-the-importance-of-addressing-institutional-islamophobia-199559?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20February%2023%202023&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20February%2023%202023+CID_36f2270a7388e3662fb0478577506f09&utm_source=campaign_monitor_ca&utm_term=CSIS%20targeting%20of%20Canadian%20Muslims%20reveals%20the%20importance%20of%20addressing%20institutional%20Islamophobia


Ottawa Citizen – Robert Currie, Joanna Harrington, and Alex Neve

Currie, Harrington and Neve: Overhaul Canada’s unjust approach to extradition – The current process is almost entirely weighted in favour of the state seeking extradition, with little regard for the rights of the person facing extradition.

Extradition Law in Canada gets the perspective of the rights of the individual subjected to the extradition as opposed to satisfying the demands of the foreign country demanding the extradition.  There are currently hearings underway in the House of Parliament on the Canadian Law around requests for extradition.  The authors, expert in their own right, are reflecting the events around the extradition to France of Canadian Professor Hassan Diab, eventually release by France for lack of evidence:   “Extradition is an important criminal justice tool and helps ensure that suspects cannot evade justice by fleeing to another country. But if the process is almost entirely weighted in favour of the state seeking extradition, with little regard for the rights of the person facing extradition, grave injustices will occur. That is an apt description of the present state of extradition law in Canada.”  https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/currie-harrington-and-neve-overhaul-canadas-unjust-approach-to-extradition


Bureau of Justice Statistics (US) – E. Ann Carson, PhD, BJS Statistician; Rich Kluckow, DSW, BJS Statistician

Correctional Populations in the United States, 2021 – Statistical Tables

“This report summarizes data on populations supervised by probation or parole agencies and those incarcerated in state or federal prisons or in the custody of local jails. It presents data on the number of persons supervised by adult correctional systems from 2011 to 2021 and on their correctional status (i.e., in prison, in local jail, on parole, or on probation). The report also has new tables on sex and race and ethnicity of persons supervised by correctional systems.”  https://bjs.ojp.gov/library/publications/correctional-populations-united-states-2021-statistical-tables?utm_content=juststats&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery