• Fixing solitary isn’t enough. Canada’s prisons need to be reformed top to bottom

    … progress on the issue of reducing solitary confinement is halting at best, in spite of heightened public attention… the broader question of getting Canada’s prison system back on its intended course – that is, rehabilitating convicted criminals and preparing them for their eventual and in most cases inevitable release – has not been addressed. The overuse of solitary confinement is, in fact, a symptom of a larger problem.

  • The problem with #MeToo? The backlash

    There is something disconcerting about the #MeToo movement… It’s the backlash. More specifically, it’s the assumption that women raising their voices are undermining the integrity of the justice system. In fact, it often is the opposite… The #MeToo movement isn’t about abandoning justice. It is about saying: Pay attention. We are here. It’s time to take sexual assault and harassment seriously. The legal system must be about more than just law: It must be about justice for all.

  • How to pull voters back from the far-right brink? Look to Germany

    “We realized that people are turning toward extremist parties not because they believe their ideas, but because they feel that the government doesn’t have things under control,” Mr. Kretschmann said. “So we listened to them.”… Crime rates in his state, and across Germany, are at three-decade lows. But the Greens discovered that a lot of voters, in the wake of the 2015-16 migration crisis, were believing popular notions about immigrants and crime.

  • Decriminalization is one powerful force to ease the overdose crisis

    When possession of drugs is a crime, it creates giant barriers to harm reduction and treatment. First and foremost, it means drugs will be supplied by criminals, and the supply will be unregulated, potentially unsafe and over-priced. This, in turn, means more overdoses, more deaths and more hospitalizations.

  • Policing society’s poor is unjust and ineffective

    … fines do nothing to change the behaviour of those who are targeted. Though clearly ineffective and inefficient, ticketing of the poor by police in Toronto has grown… The city should decide that fines and scarce police resources will not be used to police the poor, except in circumstances where public safety is at risk. More effective alternatives are available… It’s time for a public conversation.

  • Ford’s aim way off on gun crime strategy

    Consider our experience with mandatory minimum sentences. Gun sentences have tripled since significantly harsher mandatory minimums were introduced for gun crimes in 2008, yet these sentences have had no discernible impact on stemming gun violence… In addition, blanket opposition to bail is morally unfair and legally unconstitutional. It is antithetical to a justice system predicated on treating each distinctive case on its own merits and context.

  • Gun violence a ‘significant concern’ for Canadians and government must deal with it, Bill Blair says

    Bill Blair is acknowledging that the latest rash of shootings – most recently in Toronto – has touched off a sense of urgency among the public for the government to do more to keep deadly firearms out of the wrong hands… the prime minister has asked me to… look at every aspect in every ministry so that we address all of the issues related to gun violence and that will enable us to take effective action in addressing it”

  • Ford opposes handgun ban as he pledges funds to fight gun violence

    Ruling out new funding for community programs aimed at curbing violence, Mr. Ford said the province would send $18-million to Toronto police to buy new digital and investigative tools, while allocating $7.6-million to staff seven of Toronto’s courthouses with a legal team dedicated to denying bail to people accused of gun crimes… Mr. Ford said certain city councillors, “activists,” “so-called experts” and “special interests” had used shootings to demand spending on what the Premier called “layers of bureaucracy” and “handouts,” instead of on policing.

  • How Canada can actually fix the migration mess on its borders

    The core principle is that a genuine refugee can not be returned to a country that presents a threat to his life or freedom. This is the heart of the Convention and it does not demand much beyond that fundamental obligation. It does not require any state to accept refugees. It does not tell states how to adjudicate claims. It does not include in its definition people fleeing war or natural disasters. It does not condone illegal entry unless the individual enters the asylum country direct from the country of persecution. It does not include people who are internally displaced in their own country.

  • Should we make drug use illegal, or make it safer?

    The war on drugs has always been about trade and politics, trying to control and contain a lucrative market, and an excuse for political interference. We need to stop treating drug users like commodities to be controlled and contained, and start treating them like people who need to be supported and informed.