• Why the Soulpepper Four skipped the cops and went after Albert Schultz in civil court

    While many a criminal case has floundered trying to overcome the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, civil plaintiffs need only prove their case on a balance of probabilities – more-likely-than-not. Civil cases almost never go to trial, dramatically increasing the prospects that these women will see some sort of negotiated settlement rather than the winner-take-it-all conclusion that is more common in criminal cases.

  • Treatment of women in Canadian prisons a human rights travesty

    “… CSC’s tool to assign women offenders to security levels was designed to assess men, not women. CSC also used this tool to refer women offenders to correctional programs, which is problematic since the tool was not designed for this purpose.” … “being classified as maximum security… limits your access to programs and services… It makes the experience of punishment more onerous and more punitive than it should be.”

  • Why Sexual-Assault Survivors Look Outside the Criminal System for Justice

    For survivors who want monetary compensation—perhaps to help rebuild their lives—another option is criminal-injury compensation, such as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in Ontario… Sometimes, claimants will be required to attend a hearing, but if the claim can be assessed on written evidence alone, there’s no need for one… the CICB is also important because it gives survivors a forum to have their harm heard and acknowledged in an official capacity.

  • Ontario must make bail reform meaningful

    If you own a house, have a job, and have family or friends who can pledge a sizable sum of money and act as supervisors, you are likely to soon be on your way home… immigrants, the mentally ill, racialized groups, and the poor stand the least chance of being released on bail. Despite remaining wholly innocent under the law, they lose their freedom for months or years as the criminal process plays out.

  • What to do about the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in prisons

    Between 2007 and 2016, while the overall federal prison population increased by less than 5 per cent, the number of Indigenous prisoners rose by 39 per cent… In fact, for the last three decades, there has been an increase every single year in the federal incarceration rates for Indigenous people. While they make up less than 5 per cent of the Canadian population, today they represent 26.4 per cent of all federal inmates.

  • Mentally-ill female inmates housed in male facility: report

    … Mr. Zinger focused on the conditions of confinement in Canada’s federal prisons, which “serve no underlying correctional or rehabilitative purpose.” … women with serious mental-health issues are more likely to be placed in maximum-security units, which are “far from therapeutic,” and noted nearly half the maximum-security population in women’s prisons is Indigenous… While Indigenous people make up less than 5 per cent of the total population, they comprise 26.4 per cent of the total federal inmate population,

  • Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin on sex assault cases: ‘No one has the right to a particular verdict’

    … while the system seems focused on the accused, “complainants and victims are also part of the process,” and the integrity of the system demands that they be taken seriously and that their interests be reconciled with the rights of the accused… The justice system can achieve a “fine but crucial balance” between protecting the right of the accused and the dignity of complainants, but “we must not divide ourselves into warring camps shouting at each other…

  • Mr. Trudeau, stop the residential school to solitary confinement pipeline

    Canadian prisons are filled with people who carry the deepest of traumas from a young age. Many of the incarcerated are disproportionately Indigenous people, and about a third of all prisoners who are isolated in segregation cells are Indigenous… Justin Trudeau’s government speaks of reconciliation for past wrongs, but doesn’t seem to recognize its responsibility for the traumatic legacy it actively perpetuates within its own prisons.

  • 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.

  • Ontario’s correctional system needs overhaul, report says

    … across the country, and globally, correctional facilities “have put in place a range of measures to help facilitate family contact and support, including child-friendly play spaces, open visiting areas that allow for barrier-free interactions, private family visiting accommodations for longer stays, and mother-child programs that prevent the separation of mothers and young children.
    “Ontario’s correctional institutions offer almost none of these opportunities.