November 2014

Rehtaeh; No facilities for women in custody; Protecting the rights of children; Mental Health and Justice

November 21, 2014

CBC News- Man who pleaded guilty in child porn case given conditional discharge– Everyone failed Rehtaeh Parsons. Have we also failed the victims left behind- Her father- “He said if the young man had told her he was sorry, she would have forgiven him. But, he wrote, he “did nothing when it would have mattered.””

Times Colonist- Decision to hold woman in RCMP cells ‘hard to understand’: expert– Louise Dickson- “When people are not a risk to public safety, there are ways to hold them accountable in the community, with less human cost and less financial cost, Pate said. (Kim Pate, executive director for the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies) 

Winnipeg Free Press- Indigenous children awaiting justice– Terry Leblanc- Protecting the rights of children whether it be the right to equal education or every child’s right to survival, development, protection and participation enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Canada’s record in each case is dismal.

Simon Fraser University News- Students embrace restorative justice with one-of-a-kind club. Kudos to the students at SFU.

Hamilton Spectator- Molly Hayes- Dinner shines light on benefits of restorative justice- Bridge House helps male offenders reintegrate into the community. A success story.

The Intelligencer- Chris Malette- Mental Health in Justice? It’s a crime.- The rest of Canada should follow the example of Nova Scotia’s mental health court which diverts people from the regular justice system, and has had an 86 per cent success rate, according to officials.

The Chronicle Herald- Panel: Young offenders often feel powerless– Restorative justice is the best path to help young people feel connected and able to make reasonable choices for their lives particularly when it comes to behaviours at school.

Waterloo Region Record- Carol Goar- You can be part of aboriginal reconciliation– Reconciliation means repairing the historic breach between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians and moving forward together. Read about Canadians for a New Partnership.



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Canadian Museum for Human Rights; Aboriginal Issues; Exporting RJ

November 20, 2014

Gizmag- Architecture- Stu Roberts- Ambitious Architecture does justice to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights- “It seems fitting that a museum with subject matter that’s as aspirational as human rights, should be similarly aspirational in design.”

CTVNews- John Ralston Saul:sympathy for aboriginal peoples is not enough– Michael Shulman- “…. the governments of Canada, on various levels, have mistreated aboriginals more than any other group.” In his book “The Comeback” Saul says Canadians must decide whether they will take a stand, but, regardless, there will be a “comeback” by Aboriginal Peoples into positions of power, influence and leadership. In a related story of the devastation caused by residential schools Sister Fay Trombley is on a mission to build community in Tukoyaktuk.

CBCNews- First Nations Feathers of Hope Forum focuses on justice, juries– Aboriginal youth discuss the importance of bridging a connection between aboriginal leadership and the Canadian justice system. At the end of the “Feathers of Hope: Justice and Jury” forum, youth will present their proposed solutions to government officials, First Nations leaders, police, legal and other representatives at a “listening table.” 

APTN National News- Jorge Barrera- Residential school secretariat should reveal when it knew Ottawa suppressed police documents:MP-The body responsible for settling claims from Indian residential school survivors needs to come clean about when it knew federal government lawyers were supressing information about brutal abuse at a school in Fort Albany, Ont., says NDP MP Charlie Angus. “If it is a systemic problem, then the overall apology that was made to the survivors has been damaged and the overall process that Canadians put faith in has been damaged,” said Angus.”

This twist in the residential school saga is shocking. CBCNews- Labrador residential school lawsuit postponed– “In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology and a compensation package for survivors of Canada’s residential school system. However, lawyers for the federal government said it wasn’t responsible for schools in St. Anthony, Cartwright, North West River, Makkovik and Nain.”

The Toronto Star- Aboriginal medicine ruling sparks instant controversy– Alyshah Hasham- Is it a cultural issue or an obligation to protect the rights and health of the child? Related- Although differing circumstances also involving the life and health of an aboriginal child. Edmonton Journal- Tom Blackwell- ‘Kindest’ to take baby off life support, judge ruled

Innisfail Province- A special and just visit to Brazil– Exporting RJ

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Mass Incarceration; Ashley Smith; David Milgaard; Stolen Valour

November 12, 2014

International Viewpoint- Mass Incarceration and the Left– Heather Ann Thompson- “Finally, even if three decades too late, America’s politicians are beginning to take notice of the fact that we have become the country on the planet locking up more people than any other.

The Vancouver Sun- Canada’s correctional service drags feet on response to Ashley Smith inquest– Douglas Quan- “Almost one year after a coroner’s inquest into the death of Ashley Smith exposed serious gaps or flaws in the handling of federal inmates with severe mental illness, Canada’s correctional service still has not provided a formal response to dozens of recommendations arising from the case.” David Milgaard tells story of wronful conviction at Durham College– Jillian Follert- “Mr. Milgaard praised the restorative justice approach as the best way to break the cycle of crime and address the root causes of criminal acts.”

NationSwell- Thomas MacMillan- When Traditional Disciplinary Actions Don’t Work, Restorative Justice Can Bring About the Healing Process– Native American practices may be the key to reducing student violence.

Burnaby now- Cayley Dobie- Stolen valour– An interesting application of restorative justice. 

Above the Law- Steve Dykstra- The View From Up North: Changing the ‘Justice System’ into a ‘Human System’– “Throwing people in jail is a temporary solution to a permanent problem.”

CBCNews Nova Scotia- Mental Health court a success, say province and offenders– “The judge presiding over the Nova Scotia mental health court says it has been a success in turning lives around.”

CBCNews- Aboriginal- Opinion- Waneek Horn-Miller, Kahente Horn-Miller- Kahnawake First Nation attacking the human rights of its citizensA Must Read,  ….”“official” community membership is seen by many in Kahnawake as simply about blood quantum and what rights, services and privileges the correct percentage of blood can get.”

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Sesame Street; RJ in Schools; RJ in Law; Malala; Vengeance or Justice; Tsilhqot’in Nation

November 02, 2014

Sesame Street Made A Clip For Kids Who Have A Parent In Prison. It’ll Break Your heart.

Waterloo Bob Vrbanac- Building a circle of trust– Reducing school-yard incidents by bringing restorative justice practices to the classroom.

The Legislative Assembly of Manitoba- Bill 60- The Restorative Justice Act– Leading the way.

Law Times- Richard Cleroux- The Hill: Liberal justice critic hopes to address other areas besides crime– ““I want justice policy to be built around a restorative and rehabilitative approach to criminal justice founded on social science instead of ideology and bumper stickers,” says Casey.”

The Waterloo Record- Louisa D’Amato- Malala Yousafzai and her Father Zaiuddin in cooperation with the University of Waterloo will develop a peace education curriculum for Pakistani schools, through an organization called the Global Peace Council of Pakistan.

CBC News- Is Justin Bourque’s sentence vengeance- based– Experts weigh in contending that lengthy consecutive sentences are not justice.

Williams Lake BC- Canadian Press- Dirk Meissner- Justice for the Tsilhqot’in Nation 150 years later. Williams Lake Tribune- Monica Lamb-Yorski- RJ Conference

Good- Mark Hay- The Indigenous People’s Movement Bringing Long Overdue Justice to Canada

CBC News- North- Nunavut justice system ‘failing children and youth’: Inuit Group– One step forward two steps back.

Panampost- Cost of Canada’s Policing Soars, Even amid Falling Crime says the Fraser Institute

The Regina Leader-Post (SK)- Editorial- A warning of problems in our jails, dangerous crowding, but no motivation to change. Hamilton Spectator- Susan Clairmont- And when offenders are released they are not adequately prepared to rejoin society.

UTSA Today- Jesus Chavez- Texas is changing- UTSA professor champions new approaches to criminal justice


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Truth and Reconciliation; RJ at work; America, “leader of the unfree world”

November 01, 2014

The Huffington Post- Nicole Belanger- What We Can Do To Bring Peace to Canada– “If we really want a Canada that is peaceful, it’s going to take deliberate, daily action from each and every one of us to make it a reality. We’re going to have to do hard things, like opening our hearts and minds to the truth of Canada’s colonial past, and our present-day colonial reality. It’s going to require us to take a hard look at whether or not our criminal justice system aligns with our values. It will mean that we have to get real about uncomfortable topics like resource exploration and poverty. ” The values and ideals expressed relate strongly to RJ. Worth the read.

CBC News- Truth is hard but residential school reconciliation harder: Murray Sinclair– “Justice Murray Sinclair, head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, says reconciliation for survivors of residential school abuse starts in today’s school system.” In a related analysis, “Canada must confront the truth“, Winnipeg Free Press,- Justice Murray Sinclair states “Since the TRC began its work, the public conversation around residential schools and the devastating effects of colonization has grown.” He suggests we all need to participate in the conversation around human rights and indigenous rights.

Beyond the Books– Wawatay News- Simon Owen- Continuing the conversation regarding the “disease of colonialism” Owen describes the concept of law from Western tradition as “outer boundaries” and from Indigenous tradition as “inner discipline” and rightfully concludes “then we cannot expect – ever – that one law or legal system will speak for or to each one of us”. The StarPhoenix- Justice Cunliffe Barnett shows us how the justice system fails the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

Toronto Star- Katrina Clarke- ‘Spiceman’ gets conditional discharge for attacking man he thought was a theif. When restorative justice works!

National Post- Father Raymond J. DeSouza- America’s justice system gone mad ““Many states’ prison populations outrank even those of dictatorships and illiberal democracies around the world,” “. The stats are shocking.

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