Posts Tagged ‘corrections’

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Mandatory minimum penalties are preventing judges from arriving at just sentences

Friday, November 20th, 2020

Courts have ruled some mandatory minimums unconstitutional, but that is not an acceptable substitute for justice reform. The COVID pandemic has emphasized that good leadership requires putting politics aside and listening to evidence and expert advice that serves the public interest… Sound justice policy can and should protect public safety, address systemic racism and support fair and just results for all.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »


‘Dehumanizing, counterproductive, unlawful’ – Canada’s correctional system resists all attempts at reform

Monday, October 26th, 2020

… despite many calls for reform [the correctional system] remains steeped in an archaic cultural mindset, focusing on punishing prisoners instead of preparing them for a safer and healthier future. The resulting living conditions, long denounced by experts as dehumanizing, counterproductive and unlawful, are still allowed to continue.

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Can Canada pivot from pandemic to progress?

Sunday, September 20th, 2020

… the Liberals’ Throne Speech on Sept. 23 will be an opportunity to set out policies and programs to carry us forward in ways that are more inclusive and equitable… a guaranteed livable income, along with adequate wages and benefits for the employed – as well as other social and health supports such as child care, education, pharma, mental health and dental care – would be a way to protect all Canadians.

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Ontario and Ottawa keep failing on reforms to solitary confinement

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

The debilitating effects of solitary confinement on prisoners’ mental health are well known. There’s a reason the UN defines stints in solitary beyond 15 days as torture. It should be used only as a last resort and not, as it so often is, to put a troubled inmate out of sight and out of mind, or as a way to maintain security in the face of under-staffing or lack of appropriate mental health care inside institutions.

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Facing a huge COVID-19 backlog, prosecutors are quietly diverting more drug possession and impaired driving charges from criminal court

Monday, August 24th, 2020

TheStar.com – GTA Aug. 23, 2020.   By Betsy Powell, Courts Reporter Without fanfare, the federal and provincial governments have begun targeting drug possession and drinking and driving offences as potential charges that can be diverted out of the criminal justice system to help reduce massive backlogs that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. But just […]

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Black people more likely to be arrested, charged, shot and killed by Toronto police, Ontario Human Rights Commission finds

Monday, August 10th, 2020

The results are “highly disturbing, and confirm what Black communities have said for decades — that Black people bear a disproportionate burden of law enforcement”… although Black people represent 8.8 per cent of Toronto’s population, Black people represented 32 per cent of the charges in the data set… The charges… involve a high degree of discretion on the part of the officer.

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During the pandemic, one prison crisis was eased – but another one got worse

Monday, July 27th, 2020

Right now, the reintegration process begins six weeks prior to release, and there is no continuum of services and support before or after that point… Families must learn all of this on their own, often on the fly. If they stumble or fail, the risks of homelessness, mental-health crises, addiction and reoffending significantly increase. Relationships with an incarcerated person are challenging… reintegration is a process that must consider the entire family unit.

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Canada’s bail system is broken and unjust. The Supreme Court shows how to fix it

Friday, June 26th, 2020

The Court says the default position should be to automatically grant bail with no conditions, other than that the person attend their next court date. Other conditions should only be imposed to the degree they address three questions: “Is this person a flight risk; will their release pose a risk to public protection and safety; or is their release likely to result in a public loss of confidence in the administration of justice?”

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Clean clothes, decent food: Ontario’s inmates deserve this much

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

… decent water to drink; food that’s not expired or mouldy; clean clothing delivered on time and not covered in feces, urine and blood stains; books from outside; adequate time for phone calls so inmates aren’t left to fight among themselves for the chance to talk to family, friends and lawyers; some video visits; access to rehabilitation programs and exercise. Those are pretty basic standards that any jail in Ontario should be able, and expected, to deliver.

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When I was in cabinet I pushed for bold criminal justice reform. Nothing happened. Now Ottawa has another chance to do the right thing

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

It is up to the Prime Minister and his government to… show whether they are up to the task of real change or will they just take a knee. Make your voices even louder. Say that you expect our government to reflect the will, vision, and courage that thousands have shown across this country… We can make the changes that generations of Canadians have fought and sacrificed to see happen.

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »


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