Sources and Resources — A Newsletter for Criminal Justice and Related Professionals
The BCCJA is a not for profit association of criminal justice and related professionals which has been fostering debate, dialogue, providing advocacy and advancing current and best practices for 40 years. Visit our website at www.bccja.com.
The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of professional interest to our members and colleagues. Let us know your thoughts and ideas and if you would like to be put on our distribution list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to see us provide more attention to specific criminal-justice areas or topics, please drop us a line and let us know at email@example.com. As always, we welcome your feedback, complimentary and corrective.
VERY BEST WISHES FOR 2014!!
The Board of the British Columbia Criminal Justice Association takes this opportunity to wish our members and all readers of this newsletter a thoughtful, peaceful, joyful and hopeful 2014.
Congress 2013 A Success; Congress 2015 in Regina
Feedback to the organizers of Congress 2013 in Vancouver suggests it was a great success. For those who were able to attend despite meagre financial times for governments and non governmental agencies at all levels found a significant agenda with something for everyone! Connections were made, program ideas discussed and sentiments of re-newed energy and enthusiasm for our business were felt in every sector. We look forward to Congress 2015……!
New Editors for the Newsletter
This issue marks the last under the direction of Tim Stiles and Art Gordon. We have thoroughly enjoyed preparing the newsletter for our many readers and have been heartened by the positive feedback we’ve received. However, the time is come for us to move on to other endeavors. We are pleased to introduce our new editors, Cindy Ramos and Hank Mathias, both members of the BCCJA Board. We know they will continue to provide an excellent product for criminal justice professionals. In fact, we expect that the newsletter may become even better. If you have suggestions for what you’d like to see in future, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome New Members!
Everyone who is a full registrant at Congress receives a full year membership in the Canadian Criminal Justice Association. In addition to that one year membership, membership to their local affiliate association is automatically granted. In British Columbia, that is our BCCJA! Welcome to you!
Newsletter Summary of Contents
|Criminal Justice Policy (19 items)||Victims of Crime (7 items)|
|Criminal Justice System (5 items)||Sexual Offenders (4 items)|
|The Law and Courts (15 items)||Mental Health (18 items)|
|Police (12 items)||Social Capital (4 items)|
|Children and Youth (21 items)||Related Interest (6 items)|
|Corrections and Community (22 items)||Did You Know?|
|Criminal Behavior (7 items)||Important Sources and Resources|
Upcoming Conferences and Events!
- The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), in partnership with The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), is hosting a conference on March 24 to 26, 2014 called “Balancing Individual Safety, Community Safety and Life Quality: A Conference to Improve Interactions with Persons with Mental Illness”. For further information and details on the conference please click here.
- The International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law (BC) is sponsoring an important conference: Crime and Punishment: Back to the Future for Sentencing and Corrections Reform. Chaired by Chief Justice Beverley McLaughlin, the conference takes places in Vancouver June 22-26, 2014. The conference is calling for presenters on the following: sentencing reform, corrections reform, youth criminal justice programs, criminal justice responses to mentally ill offenders, Aboriginal criminal justice programs, parole, probation and re-entry, genetics and sentencing. Contact is Brian Tkachuk, Executive Director, International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy (ICCLR). email@example.com Web site for the conference
Criminal Justice Policy
- The Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that Canada’s current laws on prostitution are contrary to the Charter. The government has a year to revise current law. Meanwhile, France is looking at limiting legal sanctions to clients of prostitutes, while the sex industry in Germany, where it is legal, is booming.
- An upcoming book argues that British Colombians have been misled about the dangers and nature of marijuana grow operations. Apparently, the facts do not support the political rhetoric.
- The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children has released a report documenting legislation related to child pornography in 196 countries. The full report is available here.
- Notwithstanding growing evidence that public sex offender registries may have little impact on public safety, the Canadian government is proposing a national sex offender registry.
- The Canadian government is looking to further toughen penalties faced by sex offenders against children.
- Federal Justice Minister Peter McKay intends to expand the practice of consecutive sentencing.
- With respect to the federal government’s cyberbullying bill, Justice Minister MacKay stresses that permission of a judge will be needed to exercise the new police powers in the legislation. The bill makes it illegal to distribute “intimate images” without consent and easier to get such pictures removed from the Internet.
- Justice Minister McKay will re-introduce legislation to make it more difficult to release those convicted under the not-criminally responsible (NCR) provision.
- Although firearms remain the most common method of suicide by males in Switzerland, reduced availability of such weapons in 2003-04 was found to reduce the general suicide rate and this decrease has endured since that time.
- A new bill to tackle drug use in federal prisons does nothing to address the actual problem and ignores bigger issues like institutional violence, custodial deaths and overcrowding, critics say.
- The Sentencing Project’s fall newsletter for 2013 has a summary of activities over the last year, focused on finding ways to reduce reliance on incarceration.
- This report by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto considers all service stakeholders including police as first responders, mental health courts, and NCR. Additionally the report suggests principles for a comprehensive approach to mental health and criminal justice issues.
- The Toronto Star called it “Stunning…a break-through documentary.” The documentary by John Kastner is most helpful to understand the recent controversy around the treatment and eventual release of those found not criminally responsible. And here is a related article.
- A recent Swedish court finding has determined that masturbating on a public beach is legal as long as it is not directed toward a specific person.
- China is toughening its approach to child sexual abuse.
- This website provides a wide variety of materials related to restorative justice.
- A doctoral thesis paper at Simon Fraser entitled “Punishment or Logical Consequences: A Response to the Punishment Debate Within Restorative Justice”, addresses transitional problems in the adoption of an alternate approach to crime.
- This article discusses the dilemma in the U.S. about a person’s right to own or purchase guns who has a mental health or violent history.
- A recent study challenges the NRA claim that more guns mean fewer homicides. The research shows that states with higher gun ownership rates do, in fact, have higher rates of homicide. The 30 year study in all 50 states found a “robust correlation.”
Criminal Justice System
- Nearly a year after a retired judge called for sweeping change to prevent another Robert Pickton, the British Columbia government has yet to implement the vast majority of his recommendations, with work started on only half of them. Read more.
- Here are some recent statistics on crime rates and the crime severity index for major Canadian cities. The results may surprise you.
- A report from John Howard Society prompted this article, which highlights the findings: availability of bail has decreased while the conditions around bail are increasingly prohibitive. The full report is available here.
- Here are some “lessons learned” from four jurisdictions that changed criminal justice policies to reduce both the cost of incarceration and criminal recidivism.
- New Zealand issues sentences that are longer than comparative countries and they mostly remand those charged, including the mentally ill. An Anglican Bishop built a cell on the cathedral steps and will be locked up for a week to draw attention to the problem.
The Law and Courts
- A panel considering the implications of prison for people suffering from FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) has concluded that mandatory minimums appear entirely inappropriate for people suffering from FASD.
- Some Canadian judges are defying legislation that calls for mandatory fines for offenders to fund victim’s services.
- The Supreme Court of Canada has given the Quebec government one last chance to preserve provincial data from the otherwise defunct federal long-gun registry.
- This major report evaluates the current status of forensic science and recommends steps to improve it.
- This paper considers the growing use of risk assessments in court proceedings. Note, the link takes you to an abstract but you can download the full paper from the site.
- Here is an interesting TED talk on the problems of memory in court proceedings.
- This very interesting series of videos considers the implications of emerging neuroscience research on a hypothetical trial involving a young man who commits murder.
- In the US, finding an accused “not guilty by reason of insanity” bothers some victims’ families and prosecutors. The new push is to acknowledge the guilt but also acknowledge the mental illness: “guilty but insane.”
- The British Crown Prosecuting Service has issued new guidelines for prosecuting child sexual abuse cases that address many if the failings in current approaches. Here are the complete guidelines.
- The UK has issued a new protocol for sharing information in child abuse cases.
- The Law Society of Upper Canada has released a 10-year report that shows little improvement in the rate of gender and minority status discrimination complaints within the legal industry.
- Los Angeles has a new Behavioural Health Court, which has apparently been very successful.
- Utah’s Mental Health Courts and Crisis Intervention Teams serve more clients proportionally than any other jurisdiction in the U.S. in successfully diverting clients from the criminal justice system.
- This discussion paper highlights the distinction between scientific errors/statistical
errors and clinician errors. This distinction is often misunderstood, however
is critical for the legal community and triers of fact.
- Forensic experts are ethically bound to provide objective and unbiased evidence to the court. However, research suggests that their conclusions may vary depending on who is paying them. Is anyone surprised?
- Crime linkage analysis is an important investigative tool employed by investigators,
however little empirical research on behavioural consistency has been
undertaken. This study examines both environmental and geographic variables
that help understand offender consistency across sexual assault series.
- This article about the hearing into recent police shootings of the mentally ill in Toronto gives a flavor to what police face before, during and in the aftermath of such an event. Worth reading.
- Issued jointly with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, this 41 page report offers a perspective on community safety and crime prevention and was introduced at the recent national restorative justice meeting in Toronto.
- Ottawa police say the gangs are getting more sophisticated in the way they do business, and are learning to operate to thwart traditional police efforts to monitor and investigate gang activities.
- Ottawa police are about to put a new approach to policing in place. The model used is from the Community Mobilization program in Prince Albert, Sask., which reportedly has brought violent crime down 32 per cent since it began in 2011.
- Vancouver police officers could begin wearing cameras on their bodies next year as part of a pilot project.
- Posted by Smart Policing, the VERA Institute of Justice offers criteria helpful for establishing the success of evidence based programs. Full report.
- The author is British and a former police chief superintendent who used a US grant to study new notions of policing mingled with restorative justice.
- The illicit drug trade is a profitable base for the gangs in the UK and the top policeman wants to distribute the heroin and cocaine through the National Health Services in order to wrestle power and profits away from the gangs.
- Previously reported as involved in ‘carding’, Toronto police have a new name – community safety notes, instead of Form 208 –and a promise to purge the data after seven years while monitoring for racial bias.
- Toronto police have dedicated six officers in an effort to establish trust with Toronto’s Somali community. The Project Traveller raid in July exposed some raw relations and police will spend two years trying to heal the riff.
- Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair is asking the Police Board for almost $400,000 to equip 184 front line officers with Tasers.
Children and Youth
- McCreary released the results of their third survey of youth in custody based on data from 114 young people aged 12-19 who were in custody. To read the media release, please click here. To download a copy of the report, please click here.
- A new report argues that youth charged with status offenses should never be incarcerated.
- Research has shown that about 50% of teens who suffer from serious substance use disorder also display a diagnosable mental illness. This program attempts to work on treatment of both at the same time.
- Youth Gang Prevention: A Toolkit for Community Planning offers a comprehensive plan for developing a community response to the threat of gangs in the community. The kit includes preparation, a five stage application with appropriate handouts, and a series of support pages.
- Cyberbully laws will only work if kids understand them: makes sense?
- The federal government has a Youth Justice Fund that looks to projects under one of three components: the Main Fund, Drug Treatment, and Guns, Gangs and Drugs. There is a broad list of those who are eligible for the funding on the link.
- If you were still wondering about zero tolerance as a disciplinary tool for schools, this latest Vera report should put an end to any equivocation around the issue.
- For 21 years, the Thomas Haney secondary school has allowed individual students to focus on their own needs, strengths and aspirations in a self-directed program. Recently, the province released a proposed curriculum redesign intended to modernize the education system for B.C. students. The plan focuses on more personalized learning and allows for greater flexibility for course and subject material.
- In a joint effort with the North Shore Restorative Justice Society, the Circles in the Schools Project seeks to equip students to deal with conflict – “to help children and youth understand their own capacity to transform conflict, heal relationships, and create stronger communities.”
- The author and founder of Acestoohigh.com tells the story of the growth of restorative justice discipline at Le Grand High School in central California. The school population is 487 and the Restorative Justice League sets the tone in a school where suspensions and expulsions are just about gone.
- Acknowledging a wide gap between international standards and practices on the ground, UN Special Representative Marta Santos Pais hopes that a strong and cohesive child protection system will mitigate the use of criminalization and punishment of children.
- The B.C. Coroners Service released the report of a death review panel looking at 91 youth suicides between 2008 and 2012. It recommends better coordination between schools, hospitals and mental health services to identify teens at risk of suicide.
- Past chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Kirby wants to tackle the issue of youthful suicide – the leading cause of non-accidental death for youth and wants $100 million over four years from the federal government to raise awareness and offer preventative measures.
- Are bullying laws helping? Here are some cautionary views.
- Prison Reform International has produced a training manual and reference point for
professionals and policymakers “…designed to strengthen the capacity of those involved in working with children involved in the justice process and will be relevant for a wide range of professionals and policymakers”. There is a related resource also called: Ten Point Plan for Fair and Effective Criminal Justice for Children.
- ACE’s are Adverse Childhood Experiences. The Pew Charitable Foundation now reports that one in every 28 children has a parent incarcerated. The incarcerated lose their economic future and their children tend to lose their education, social and economic mobility as well.
- Nearly 25% of the youths booked for crime in San Francisco come from one postal zip code. When punishment has failed, this approach turns to dealing with crime as a (mental) health issues. Related article.
- A New York teacher, counsellor and administrator of 33 years adds his opinion to why children drop out of schools, a problem contributing considerably to juvenile delinquency. No punches pulled!
- Eight well known advocates in juvenile justice, academics and legal professionals, each offer a paragraph size comment on what is needed for effectiveness. Taken together they make an interesting composite.
- This article in The Guardian provides an interesting counter point in the debate about effectiveness of social workers in the UK. No, Mr Gove, social
workers don’t lack compassion or intellect. They lack time and resources
- Smoking marijuana has been steadily falling out of favour with adolescents in Western nations, while in many former communist countries, pot use has either held steady, or been increasing, a new 30-country cross-national study suggests.
Corrections and Community
- An inquest into the death of Ashley Smith in a CSC facility has ruled that the death was homicide.
- This report from the Office of the Correctional Investigator considers chronic self injury among federally sentenced women. The same author is calling for enhanced training for guards who work with offenders who may harm themselves.
- In his recent annual report, the Correctional Investigator maintains that the disproportionate increase of Aboriginals and other visible minorities reflects “covert racism”. You can read the full report here.
- Issues around prison segregation continue to be of concern. Here are the data concerning the use of segregation in CSC over the last decade. And here is an interesting radio documentary on the topic.
- This article asks whether California’s use of segregation constitutes torture.
- The John Howard of Ontario has launched Counter Point, a new series calculated to spark conversation about community safety, crime prevention and prisons. There are videos at the links focused on the topics as well. Counter Point link
- This briefing note arises from a study completed by the Howard League for Penal Reform and considers the issues and ramifications of consensual sex in UK prisons.
- The Sentencing Project – Trends in US Corrections provides 6 pages of graphic information updates.
- A Vancouver lawyer argues argues that often, prison is not the place you go for punishment but prison is the punishment.
- The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) newsletter in the UK is an excellent source for new developments in the research around prisons and incarceration. This edition has commentary on super-sized prisons and the tendency to greater use of them, community justice for women, a 52 page report on how computers can help in rehabilitation, prisoners with learning disabilities and the aging population in prison.
- The monthly newsletter from Prison Reform International (PRI) is now available with focus on activities at the UN around women in prison. Additionally, there is an article on preventing maltreatment of the LGBTI inmates, A framework for Preventive Monitoring. Women’s issue. LGBTI.
- Here is a different sort of reporting on prisons and mental illness. Thompson has brought together a series of eight links that offer the best of in depth reporting on the intersection of mental illness and prisons, including solitary and capital punishment insects.
- This article discusses the serious problem of sexual abuse in prison.
- A pilot project in a Scotland prison provides a multi-agency team to work with addiction and mental health issues from the time an inmate arrives until a year after release.
- The state prison system of Louisiana is getting into tele-medicine in a big way. Last year the system had over 3,000 consultations with off-site specialists.
- Here are recently published guidelines for releasing people with behavioral health disorders from jail and prison.
- Focused on the Nevada prison system, the article explores the problems and costs associated with an aging prison population, a problem not anticipated for most of the tough-on-crime legislation in the US or in Canada.
- Here’s an approach to both jail reduction and fire fighting in Los Angeles County. Up to 500 County jail inmates are offered the chance to be transferred to the Los Angeles Fire Department inmate fire suppression camps, where they are trained in the skills and later perhaps may be hired by the state fire-fighting agencies.
- We would call them trailers and work gangs but they are the latest solution to prison over-crowding for Australia. In fact, officials have determined that some of the overflow will be housed in … shipping containers.
- Fulbright scholar Kathy Fox has extensively researched the notion of restorative justice as an adult inmate re-integration tool.
- Here is an interesting take on how to fix the Canadian federal prison system.
- Private prisons are a $5.1 billion industry in the US. A report published in September 2013 entitled How Lock-up Quotas and “Low Crime Taxes” Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations is interesting reading.
- This study sought to identify psychiatric characteristics of homicide defendants which may be associated with offense characteristics and court outcomes. The results indicated that the rates of axis I disorders were lower than reported in previous studies.
- Researchers recently surveyed men in five Asian countries on their thoughts about rape. Almost 25% reported having engaged in such violence.
- Ten percent of young Americans surveyed acknowledge having engaged in some form of sexual violence.
- A recent study has concluded that sleep deprivation may be related to criminal behavior in adolescents.
- Research has shown increased likelihood of adult criminal behavior among those who were spanked as children. The findings seem to hold across 15 different countries. And a new book summarizes years of research and concludes that spanking slows cognitive development and contributes to criminal behavior.
- The Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency website lists the 10 biggest myths about serial killers.
- Research at the University of Cincinnati has looked at the connection between the minimum wage and the crime rate from 1977 to 2012 and concluded that the two don’t seem to be related.
Victims of Crime
- The Canadian government is seeking to give victims of crime a more active role in the legal process.
- The John Howard Society of Canada is concerned that the focus of the federal government on victims’ rights is likely to bring our justice into a primitive reliance on vengeance and may regress to the notion that victims rights trump all considerations.
- While rates of physical and sexual child abuse have declined over the last 20 years, rates of neglect remain constant.
- This discussion focuses on male victims of sexual assault.
- This blog considers the scary idea of “corrective rape” in South Africa as a means of “correcting” the sexual orientation of gay women.
- This recent report provides the latest data on domestic violence.
- Addressing Trauma with Dr. Joe Solanto is is a must see for those assisting with victims’ trauma.
- The more prominent typologies of pedophilic sex offenders and the role of child
pornography are discussed here. Included is a discussion of female offenders
who sexually abuse children as well as the sexual abuse of children in
childcare settings and by members of the clergy. Recommendations are offered.
- This study explores crime scene factors extracted from 350 sexual homicides, using
police data to determine if there are crime scene factors which can help
classify these types of offenders and from there inform further investigative
strategy. A discussion of the practical implications of this study is discussed
in the conclusion.
- Sex offenders are often considered more likely to re-offend than other criminals but that is not true, found a 2010 study by the University of Southern Maine. The study looked at the stats up to three years beyond release.
- You can have free access to a special journal issue focusing on a wide variety of sex offender issues.
- A simple measurement of the sweat gland activity of a depressed person can determine if he or she is suicidal – with 97 per cent accuracy. Now another large clinical study confirms the correlation.
- A recent study examined neurological deficits in inmates who self-injure.
- Prison Reform International’s new publication Mental Health and Learning Disabilities in the Criminal Courts is intended to assist court personnel in dealing with learning disabled offenders.
- Legal Aid Ontario is proposing a “pioneering” new model to better serve clients with mental illness.
- The tools used to diagnose psychopathy and predict the likelihood of psychopaths to re-offend are rated by this study at about 46% or as good as a toss of a coin.
- This study appears in the July edition of the journal Brain and is entitled “Reduced Spontaneous but Relatively Normal Deliberate Vicarious Representations in Psychopathy.”
- This article is a commentary on the recent classification of disorders in the DSM-5 associated with psychosis. It talks about the lack of consistency in the application rating scales, the progress that has been made in terms of at-risk mental states and the recommendation of a future treatment approach which may useful.
- The DSM-4 classifications of substance use disorders have been under much scrutiny since their emergence. This article considers the issues that were considered by the DSM-5 working group, based on an extensive literature review. Perhaps the most notable change in the new classification is the recommendation to combine both abuse and dependence criteria into a single classification.
- This article summarizes the current body of knowledge relative to Borderline Personality Disorder over the 33 years that this diagnosis has been part of the American Psychiatric Association’s classification system. It highlights the strides that have been made over the last three decades.
- The efficacy of treatment regimes for borderline personality disorders predominantly during the last 5 years are discussed here. Consideration is given to interaction of genetics and adverse life events in the development of the disorder.
- A report in Ontario entitled: Building Bridges between the Community Mental Health and Justice Sectors: A Work in Progress has recently been released. The key message summary and the recommendations for improvement are interesting . The second link is directly to the e-health page.
- Mentally ill people placed in apartments scattered across the city break the law less and live happier lives compared to those put in hotel-style buildings, according to a national study on homelessness.
- One jurisdiction is trying to improve mental health services by bringing these services directly to potential clients rather than expecting the client to attend clinics.
- Seventeen and 18-year olds are victims of a B.C. mental health system gap in services between pediatric and youth services that typically end at age 16 and the adult system of psychiatric care which starts at 19.
- The American Public Health Association has passed three significant policy changes around justice issues related to mental health impact of solitary confinement, the need for housing and support services on re-entry after prison and around medication use.
- A new study shows that people with severe mental illness are much more likely to be victims of crime than the average person in the population. Details provided.
- Here’s a look at the problem of senior citizens involved in the justice system because of aggressive behaviours, sometimes related to dementia.
- This article is about one of Canada’s top forensic psychiatrists and the strains that come with providing professional services in some of our most notorious and grisly murders.
- Thanks to Vancouver’s Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub (CCS iHub), a unique program sponsored by UBC’s Sauder School of Business and Coast Capital Savings credit union social enterprises get help starting up with the enterprise skills necessary to assure an on-going capacity to stay in business.
- ‘Social investment’ is the new priority among many social justice groups looking for new and perhaps more reliable funding. Business and investment firms also realize that there are increasing numbers of investors who want both a return and evidence of contributing to wider social development. The Social Investment Research Council in the UK is backed by both government and lottery funds and seeks to research where such funds could usefully go.
- This article comes from an US investment company. It offers a forecast that social investing specifically on gender issues may be helpful and growing in attractiveness for investors. You can also access the full report.
- And here is another article on social investing, in Ontario. Socially-minded investors
who want to make a difference while making a profit have a new financial tool at their fingertips. The MaRs Discovery District’s Social Venture Connection has launched at the Toronto Stock Exchange. Billed as “first of its kind” in North America it includes an on-line impact investing program”.
- If you find some of the items we cover leave you feeling down, we remind our fellow Canadians that you live in the sixth happiest country in the world (our American friends are 17th). You can review the full report, including happiness rankings of 150 countries, here. Feeling better??
- Complete Globe & Mail six-part series about building a better daycare system in Canada.
- Should ‘isolation rooms’ be banned in BC schools?
- B.C. has Canada’s highest child poverty rate at nearly 19 per cent
- Operating under the slogan “Fight Crime: Invest in Youth,” the long term impact of pre-school is emphasized.
- On a tour of BC, Robert Reich drew comparison between the social upheaval of the Great Depression and the social strife found now in the growing income inequality. Reich says that though the recession ended in 2009, the impact has not ended nor will it.
Did You Know?
The Smart Justice Network is a consortium of volunteers to promote a vision of responsible justice in Canada. It was created by a number of concerned individuals who have or are working in the justice system. Smart Justice puts out a daily bulletin of topical news items, and in the interests of enhancing the distribution of justice information, a significant number of selected items are routinely included in this newsletter, along with those from a variety of other sources. Smart Justice can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to receive their daily bulletin. Smart Justice is also on Facebook.
The BCCJA Island Branch is an active Branch of the BCCJA located largely in the south Vancouver Island. Get involved! For additional up to date information on Vancouver Island activities at any time, click on the VICJA button at www.bccja.com.
The Canadian Criminal Justice Association (CCJA) is our national organization and has existed since 1919. CCJA publishes the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, quarterly Justice Reports, and an electronic newsletter regularly. Their website includes book reviews and position papers on important topics of relevance to criminal justice. Take a few minutes to update yourself on the information available on their website. Their periodic electronic newsletter provides a quick scan of issues before government and items in the public eye.
Important Sources and Resources
The Justice Institute of British Columbia specializes in justice and public safety agency training and education. Its’ library is a premier source of academic and experiential training information. For instance, visit the Library site for a prepared bibliography on a wide range of topics: gangs, bullying, critical incident stress, emergency management, etc.
The Vera Institute of Justice is a research body which we have quoted in the BCCJA newsletter in the past. The Institute has begun a newsletter to help popularize some of its findings.
The National Institute of Corrections‘ excellent website gives access to a wide variety of materials related to criminal behavior and corrections issues. We found the “Library” tab an excellent start.
Restorative Justice BC has an excellent website as a resource of interest to practitioners, community partners and others with an interest in restorative justice, who are wanting to stay up to date on current issues and practices. As an example, the latest newsletter from Restorative Justice International is available on their web-site.
JusticeBC.ca has been created by the British Columbia government “… to ensure the right information and services are available for people who become involved with the criminal justice system in B.C.” It’s a good resource for everyone, with information on legal assistance, jury duty, corrections and court services, plus more……
As part of its Domestic Violence Action Plan, the Government of B.C. has developed a new web portal of resources for victims of domestic violence to help them get the support they need. Click here for the website. The following is another site that provides a wealth of information on preventing domestic and sexual violence.
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder website is for justice system professionals and provides important excellent information on such matters as identification, causal factors, legal resources and effective intervention strategies.
Changing Directions, Changing Lives: A Mental Health Strategy for Canada was launched on May 12, 2012 by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The Commission exists to promote mental health in Canada, and works with stakeholders to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems, and to improve services and support. Check their web-site for a series of audio-visual clips on the Strategy, and also for important information regarding a number of key initiatives.