• Ontario’s jails can’t even count their dead, review finds

    “If the purpose of corrections is to contribute to a peaceful and just society by assisting those in conflict with the law to learn to live within it, then the work of corrections must be done in a way that models ethical, legal and fair behaviour,” Sapers says. Ontario’s corrections work doesn’t. It models slop, neglect and randomness.

  • Top court’s time-limits ruling has hit legal aid hard, lawyers say

    Provinces have mostly ignored legal aid as they increase resources to meet strict time limits imposed in a landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling, the head of the Criminal Lawyers Association says… You can have all the judges in the world, you can have all the prosecutors in the world. But if you don’t have defence counsel that are properly trained, properly skilled, those cases are not going to run smoothly.”

  • How to overhaul child care in Ontario: A road map for revolution

    This child-care institution needs a tear down, not a renovation. With wait-lists, poorly compensated early childhood educators, a separate market of unlicensed child-care operators and parents who either essentially work to pay daycare bills or put careers on hold to stay home and look after their children becoming part of the rule, not the exception, it’s clear several structural problems plague the current system.

  • Full-day kindergarten works, and should be extended across the country

    … two-year, full-day kindergarten are well-worth the initial investment. Here’s why: First, it found children in the two-year, full-day learning program scored higher on reading, writing and number knowledge than those in a half-day program, and remained ahead until the end of Grade 2. Second, the children also scored higher on self-regulation… “Existing research shows that self-control, an aspect of self-regulation, predicts long-term health, wealth and even a reduction in crime.”

  • Elizabeth Wettlaufer murder inquiry must confront struggling long-term care system

    The key reason why no one suspected foul play, I suspect, is that nursing home patients are expected to die… The government’s political aim is to get eligible seniors off the waiting list and into long-term care beds as quickly as possible without spending too much… nursing homes face no financial loss if a resident dies. There are always people anxious to fill the beds of those who pass on… neither has a material incentive to look too closely if seemingly natural deaths do occur.

  • In cases of sexual violence, justice can come from outside the courts

    The evidence is clear. Many survivors of sexual violence experience the criminal justice system — with the intense public scrutiny and victim blaming that often come with it — as causing them further trauma…. Given the limitations of the system, survivors should be given access to meaningful alternatives to criminal justice so they can make an informed choice about which process is right for them. One option is “restorative justice,” which is increasingly being offered in sexual violence cases across the country.

  • Ontario’s children’s aid societies grappling with how to monitor privacy breaches

    CPIN gives workers access to care history information in a youth’s file within their department. The youth’s health, criminal and legal records are blanked out in the file and require special permissions to access… Only restricted files, which are few in number, trigger email notifications to a children’s aid society supervisor when an unauthorized person views a record. Youth who have “aged out” of the system are also searchable because there is no retention period for child welfare files.

  • Thousands of under-65 adults with physical disabilities are being forced into Ontario nursing homes: Ministry data

    More than 90,000 people spent time in “long-stay” beds in Ontario long-term care homes last fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care… including… more than 2,300 people in their 50s, and about 500 in their 40s. Doctors and residents say they have seen people as young as 21 entering nursing homes, to live with people older than their grandparents. “Essentially it’s a default scenario because there is nowhere that a young person can go for long-term care, except a nursing home,”

  • With new solitary rules, Canada gets smarter on crime

    Prison is a paradox. In a civilized society, the goal of putting people behind bars is to prepare them to be released, and to equip them to live successfully on the outside. That’s what Canada’s federal prison system says its about, and it should go doubly for the provincial prison systems… most people behind bars in Canada are getting out – soon… The use of solitary confinement for anything other than short periods of time doesn’t further that objective. Even relatively short spells in isolation can harm mental health.

  • Senate report on court delays gets at big truths about criminal justice system

    … if a country is smart on community safety, the first order of business is to acknowledge that most offenders don’t belong in prison except for those who commit violent crime — convicted murderers, rapists, child abusers, etc. The committee never explicitly says that prison should be for the few, not the many, but it’s that principle that drives its cry for reform – for better ways to handle impaired driving offences, for more restorative justice, for alternatives to jail.