Prison reform needed to prevent in-custody deaths: ombudsman

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Sept. 8, 2010
Ombudsman Howard Sapers… said the Conservative government’s plan to put more people in prison and keep them there longer will only exacerbate ongoing problems in prisons, which are already ill-equipped to ensure the well being of inmates… Among the shortcomings that have been identified: a failure to recognize “suicide pre-indicators” among inmates; holding inmates with mental-health issues in isolation which made their medical problems even worse; and delays in responding to medical emergencies.

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Supreme Court upholds restrictions on government documents

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Jun. 17, 2010
In a unanimous 7-0 decision, the court concluded that the freedom of expression protection in the Charter of Rights does not guarantee “access to all documents in government hands.” The ruling overturns a decision in the Ontario Court of Appeal… “Some information… is… entitled to protection in order to prevent the impairment of those very principles and promote good governance.”

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Tories revive mandatory sentences for drug crimes

Friday, May 7th, 2010

May 07, 2010
Two studies prepared for the Justice Department, one in 2002 and the other in 2005, say that mandatory minimums do not work. Mr. Nicholson said his bill is designed to “send a message” that “if you sell or produce drugs, you’ll pay with jail time.”… The Harper government’s bill comes at a time when several American states have retreated from mandatory minimum sentences, saying they are a glaring symbol of the failed U.S. war on drugs.

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