Posts Tagged ‘crime prevention’

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Ontario expanding jails by several hundred beds to deal with overflowing institutions

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

As of September 30, 2023, there was an average of 8,889 people in provincial jails, well over the 7,848-person capacity. Overall, the jails were operating at 113 per cent capacity at that time. Premier Doug Ford pledged in March to build more jails to deal with an influx of inmates, the vast majority of whom are innocent and awaiting trial. Ontario will reopen two intermittent detention centres inside Toronto and London jails that had been closed in order to add up to 430 beds by 2026.

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Court strikes down most of Ontario’s Mike Harris-era anti-panhandling law

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

Most of Ontario’s bans on panhandling in public places… have been struck down by a Toronto judge as unconstitutional… While finding that the ban on squeegeeing and panhandling in roadways should be upheld, Centa struck down all other prohibitions on soliciting donations in public, including from people near public toilets, payphones, ATMs, taxi stands and public transit stops, as well as on transit vehicles and in parking lots. 

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Pierre Poilievre’s proposed mandatory minimum penalties will not reduce crime

Tuesday, March 5th, 2024

… with MMPs [mandatory minimum penalties], Parliament removes judicial discretion for any sentencing option other than imprisonment and imposes a minimum term of incarceration, regardless of the facts of the case… The evidence shows that MMPs are ineffective at reducing crime, may actually increase recidivism, are highly vulnerable to being struck down by the courts as unconstitutional, can increase delays in an overburdened system, and perpetuate systemic racism.

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The crisis hitting small-town Ontario

Saturday, February 24th, 2024

Communities across the province are grappling with overdoses and appealing for more resources to deal with the crisis… According to the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network, the opioid death rate is three times higher in northern than southern Ontario… While we often hear complaints about the lack of sufficient treatment and harm reduction facilities in large cities like Toronto, smaller communities are lucky if they have any at all.

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Toronto is getting a fourth emergency service. That’s vital for helping people in crisis

Wednesday, November 29th, 2023

The service, which offers a non-police, community-based response to people experiencing mental health crises… will soon cover the entire city… Police are, after all, not trained mental health professionals, and police involvement has all too often ended in tragedy. In contrast, 93 per cent of the crisis calls were successfully completed, and 95 per cent of people served by crisis teams said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the service.

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‘We have a system that has lost its integrity’: Canada moves to reform its international student program

Monday, October 30th, 2023

“The worst of the private colleges are the storefront, fly-by-night operation, and they’re really dashing people’s hopes in this country. And those need to be shut down,” said Miller, adding that education is outside of the federal jurisdiction and it takes provincial leadership to address these problems… A new program has been developed to let immigration and border officials to quickly authenticate international students’ offer letters and payment status in real time.

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Montréal’s ‘mixed’ police squads don’t help the city’s unhoused people — they cause more harm

Monday, October 9th, 2023

The squads add a layer of surveillance and harassment that leads unhoused people to leave the spaces they know best and distance themselves from their support network in order to avoid police… the report calls for a new approach to homelessness, including abolishing mixed squads and reallocating their funding to two types of interventions.

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From ‘tough on crime’ to a new transformative vision for Canada’s justice system

Friday, September 29th, 2023

… compassionate, evidence-based policies… make us safer at a fraction of the cost of ineffective “tough on crime” approaches. We don’t have to let fear win. We don’t have to tolerate an ineffective status quo. There’s a better way and it involves a new transformative justice vision: to transform the trauma in our society, rather than continue to transmit it.

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Mental health and prison: a tragic cycle that repeats itself

Saturday, September 16th, 2023

… when offenders are released, they often return to the same circumstances — homelessness, unemployment, drug use, lack of mental health care — that led to their offending in the first place.
Post-release treatment must therefore be just one part of a more comprehensive community effort, one that attends to the health, housing and employment needs of offenders.

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To reduce rising crime rates, Canada needs to invest more in social services

Thursday, August 17th, 2023

Rather than continuing to spend on reactive models such as policing that do little more than criminalize poverty and disadvantage, we need to reinvest in preventive strategies that actually work. To prevent crime, governments need to invest more in existing social welfare programs and reestablish social services such as basic income… The provision of basic income and social services would both support vulnerable populations and be cost-effective. 

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