Monthly Archives: September 2015

September 2015 Vol 7 (2) Edition

News From the BCCJA Board


Wednesday, September 16, 2015 1200 at the Justice Institute of BC
Please join us!

In case you were wondering the BCCJA Board Officers are:

  • Tim Veresh – President
  • Hank Mathias – Vice-President
  • Bill Turner – Treasurer

There have been some changes recently on the BCCJA Board. Cindy Ramos and Treena Smith have felt the call of new responsibilities and have left our Board. Their contributions to the work of BCCJA have been greatly appreciated and will be sorely missed. Thank you Cindi and Treena!

Plans are afoot for the presentation of public forums in the lower mainland this coming year.  Please watch the BCCJA website for more information.

On another note, the Board’s work on plans to reshape the association to enable greater involvement of our members are much closer to fruition..  The proposed changes will be considered at the BCCJA Annual General meeting.  The meeting is being held at the Justice Institute of BC on Wednesday,September 16, 2015 at Noon.  Please plan to attend and find out where we are headed!

Our Island affiliate, the Vancouver Island Criminal Justice Association (VICJA) Executive are meeting with the Greater Victoria Chiefs of Police this month to reaffirm our excellent working relationship and to pursue new possibilities. VICJA continues to put  the CCJA Public Education funding it received  to good use.  VICJA members are back sponsoring another year of public forums on criminal and social justice issues beginning with several in the works for the fall and winter.  Check the BCCJA website for updates and details (


A Word From Your Editors…

In our last issue we reported the following…”As you can no doubt appreciate the Newsletter remains a work in progress”   Well, with Cindy Ramos leaving us, we lost our Newsletter Co-editor…and believe me that is a loss! So, if this issue seems a little shorter or a little less informative and/or cogent you can point in my direction. Hopefully the next edition will be fuller, more informing and back to the standard Art, Gordon, Tim Stiles and Cindi set. Remember patience is reportedly a virtue. Hank Mathias – Editor

As always remember we are  looking for guest editorials, information on conferences and training events.  Just drop us a line at

Newsletter Summary of Contents

Criminal Justice Policy (5 items) Mental Health (5 items)
Criminal Justice System (6 items) Sexual Offenders (5 items)
The Law and Courts (9 items) Social Capital (0 items)
Law Enforcement (4 items) Women and the Criminal Justice System (5 items)
Children and Youth (5 items) International News (3 item)
Corrections and Community (7 items) Related Interest (3 items)
Criminal Behaviour (0 item) National Security (0 Items)
Victims of Crime (1 items) Did You Know? (1 Items)

Upcoming Events

Congress 2015 – Justice at the Crossroads.

Symposium Date: Wednesday, September 30 – Friday October 02, 2015
Location: Delta Regina Hotel, Regina Saskatchewan
Symposium Program: Link
Registration Form:   Link

ATSA 34th Annual Research and Treatment Conference

Breaking New Ground:Understanding and Preventing Sexual

Montreal, Quebec
October 14–17 | 2015
Hotel: Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel
Program Information: Link

37th Annual BC Crime Prevention Training Symposium

Burnaby, British Columbia
November 5th – 7th, 2015
Delta Burnaby Hotel and Convention Centre

FASD Collaboration Roundtable’s Fall Conference

Finding Our Way – 8th Annual FASD Collaboration Roundtable’s Fall Conference
November 28, 2015
Where: Douglas College, 700 Royal Avenue in New Westminster
For more information,

Federal Election 2015

As you are no doubt aware there is a federal election campaign underway in our country right now.  It seemed a reasonable thing to see what the political parties are saying about justice related issues.  So we checked the  party web sites and here is what we found..

Conservative Read  NDP – nothing noted  Liberal – nothing noted  Green – Read

There appears to have  been little  discussion of criminal justice issues and policies so far in the campaign. Perhaps we will hear more as the campaign moves forward..

The John Howard Society of Canada and the United Church of Canada have provided some questions to be asked/answered by candidates should the opportunity arise.  JHS   UCC

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Criminal Justice Policy

Flawed Humans, Flawed Justice

Author asks “What would it take to achieve true criminal justice in America?” Opinion

Myths of Fairness in the Criminal Justice System and Consequences for the Innocent

Chief Judge Kozinski has served on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals since 1985 talks about his recommendations for improving the US system . Synopsis   Full Article

Howard League announces radical strategy to keep children out of prison

The Howard League for Penal Reform has recommended a raft of radical youth justice reforms that would help children and save the taxpayer millions. Read Story

Heroin addiction as a US campaign issue

A heroin epidemic in New Hampshire, which will hold the first presidential primary, has forced both Democratic and Republican candidates to address this nationwide problem. The surprising consensus is on the need for treatment versus jail time. Read Story

Restorative Justice: Underlying Mechanisms and Future Directions

As the popularity of restorative procedures increases, it is important to reflect on what we do and do not know to enhance the effectiveness of restorative practices. Abstract

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Criminal Justice System

Mapping new ideas for the digital justice system

Work on “Government as a Platform”, a UK government initiative, shows how digital people, technology, and thinking could transform the justice system. Service design, not silos. Read Article

Modern Methods Help Judges Solve an Old Problem
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (USA) saw an opportunity and began collaborating with researchers to develop a data-driven tool to assist Judges in making pre-trial release decisions. Read Article

The Bail Trap
Every year, thousands of innocent people in the US are sent to jail only because they can’t afford to post bail, putting them at risk of losing their jobs, custody of their children — even their lives.  Read Article

United States Crime Spike Has Law Enforcement Retooling Its Approach LE

Crime in the United States may be on the rise again. While it is too early to talk about a national trend there have been troubling spikes in shootings and murders in big cities such as New York, Baltimore and Los Angeles. Read Story

Ontario not protecting probation, parole officers: OPSEU

The Ontario government’s ongoing refusal to put metal detectors in Ontario’s probation and parole offices is putting the health and safety of the province’s probation and parole officers at serious risk, according to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). Read More

The third rail of criminal justice reform in the USA

There’s one potential reform most politicians won’t touch, and it could be called the third rail of criminal justice reform: Leniency for violent offenders. Read More

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Law and Courts

Truth and Reconciliation is Canada’s last chance to get it right

There is one fundamental reality that remains unaddressed in Canada, that being the situation of indigenous peoples. Read Story

Yet another firearms offence declared unconstitutional

An Ontario court has struck down yet another mandatory minimum sentence for a firearms offence as unconstitutional using the hypothetical approach used by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Nur. Read Article

Court Addresses US Government Profiling Allegations and Clarifies What’s Required to Prove Discrimination

The Supreme Court of Canada  has now set out some basic principles that clarify the test to be applied in discrimination complaints, which should help businesses assess potential risk when trying to comply with both US and Canadian requirements. Read Article

Supreme Court of Canada okays pot cookies, other cannabis products
In a unanimous decision the country’s highest court has said medical marijuana patients should not be restricted to just the dried plant.  Read Story

Niqab case loses voices of diversity

On June 22, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in a case that could dramatically reshape the meaning of democracy in Canada that it would not hear from any of the public interest organizations hoping intervene in the case. Read Story

Federal government considers scheme to circumvent effect of ruling that curbs police access to Internet subscriber data

The Department of Justice is reported to be weighing alternatives as the police say they require prompt access to internet subscriber data following Supreme Court of Canada decision. Read Story

The Department of Justice weighs moves as cops say they require prompt access to subscriber info to investigate range of matters,

The U.S. Supreme Court swings in favour of criminal defendants US Court

The court sided with federal criminal defendants in six of seven cases this term. Read Story

Abolition of the dock in English criminal trials

JUSTICE, the all party United Kingdom law reform group published a powerful and convincing report arguing that the dock should be abolished in English criminal cases. Read Article

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Law Enforcement

No judicial warrants required in CRA’s new powers

Revenue Canada has new powers to pass suspect criminal info to police Read Story

Giving police another option
Non-lethal projectiles will give police one more tool to use instead of bullets. Read Story

Police chiefs pushing for permission to seize contraband in mail

In a recently passed resolution the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police seek legal authority to seize mail in transit to stem the flow of illicit drugs, fake medicine and weapons through the postal system. Read Story 

New Internet technology could aid police, courts and prisons

New Internet-based technology may aid criminal justice agencies through tools such as better criminal databases, remotely conducted criminal trials and electronic monitoring of parolees in the community, according to a new RAND Corporation study. Read Article


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Children & Youth

Government of Canada Supports a School-Run Rehabilitation and Reintegration Program for Young Offenders in a Northern Community

Funding for Deh Gah School to deliver Fort Providence Youth Wellness Program  Read More

Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth (Ontario)

Report on the systemic use of secure isolation in Ontario Youth Justice Facilities PDF

Randi Lee Taylor: The sound of silence

Opinion piece on misfeasance and the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development Opinion

Positive Youth Justice: Curbing Crime, Building Assets

There is growing agreement that the United States needs to rethink criminal justice, that the nation is over-reliant on expensive and ineffectual incarceration and short on other strategies that would lower the likelihood of continued criminal behaviour Read More

Measuring Subsequent Offending in US Juvenile Probation

A wide ranging and encompassing review by Juvenile Justice GPS PDF

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Corrections and Community

Why Are So Many Americans in Prison?

A provocative new theory.  Read More

Why Female Prison Employees May Risk Having Sexual Relationships With Inmates

Events at New York State prison examined Read Story

Prison Vendors See Continued Signs of a Captive Market
The United States currently imprisons about 2.2 million people, making it the world’s largest jailer. The American Corrections Association convention is where those in charge of this immense population window shop  Read Article

Probation May Sound Light, but Punishments Can Land Hard

As more US states turn to probation and parole as a means of reducing incarceration, even a supposedly light punishment like probation can severely disrupt a working-class life. Read Article

Study Questions Effectiveness of Jail for Probation Violations
Jails sanctions for those who violate probation or parole are no more effective than community-based sanctions, according to a study in the Journal of Criminal Justice Abstract

The Private Probation Problem Is Worse Than Anyone Thought

A new Human Rights Watch report reveals the extent of the damage done by private probation companies and highlights the ways in which public officials have enabled the practice. Read Article

The soft benefits of deep energy prison retrofits

Building energy-efficiency retrofits usually focus on commercial offices. But with prisons the non-energy benefits of those retrofits really stand out Read More

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Criminal Behaviour

No Criminal Behaviours links this time.

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Victims of Crime

Trends in reporting criminal victimization to police, 1999 to 2009

Statistics Canada report released: 2015-06-22 Report

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Mental Health

It’s a misconception that people with mental illness are prone to violence

In general, the research literature suggests that the risk of violence by people with mental illness is very low, and not much more than for others. Opinion

Kingston (Ontario) is taking steps to treating those with mental health issues.

Kingston is on its way to treating those with mental health issues in the criminal justice system but there are still steps to be taken, says the executive director of the John Howard Society of Kingston and District. Read Article

Resources needed to assess people in court system for mental health

The fundamental question is do these individuals belong in the criminal justice system or should there be some parallel stream to deal effectively with these individuals?”  Read More

Coordinating Community Services for Mentally Ill Offenders

A revealing review of Maryland’s Community Criminal Justice Treatment Program by the U.S. National Institute of Justice – from 1999 PDF

Mental health police triage in Dorset (UK) hits target of zero in cells

A scheme to cut the number of people with mental health issues in Dorset being taken to police cells has reached its target, Read Story

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Sexual Offenders

Police-reported sexual offences against children and youth in Canada, 2012

Statistics Canada report released: 2014-05-28 (if you missed it earlier) Report

Young Sex Offenders Can, Must Be Rehabilitated

So, what will it take to lift this population of young people out of the “remnants of reform”? Read More

The Jared Fogle case: Why we understand so little about child sex abuse

The righteous revulsion we feel when we hear about crimes like those alleged against Fogle is making it harder to explain them and prevent them from happening. Read Story

How the US Supreme Court used a made-up statistic to expand sex offender registries

What if the Supreme Court’s decisions were occasionally based on a totally made-up statistic? Opinion

Tasmanian Government vows to make treatment for sex offenders in prison compulsory

The legislation proposes to remove the possibility of early release for sex offenders who refuse treatment while imprisoned. Read Story

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Women and the Criminal Justice System

Women’s issues ‘invisible’ this election, warns group

Women’s issues are notably absent from the federal campaign so far, a coalition is warning, Read Story

Shelters for abused women, 2014

Statistics Canada report released 2015-07-06 Report

Cases in adult criminal courts involving intimate partner violence, 2012

Report released by Statistics Canada  2015-07-08 Report

Canadian Forces to crack down on crude jokes, racy pics

The country’s defence chief has formally signed orders intended to stamp out impropriety and harrassment, Read Story

Why decriminalising sex work is a good idea

The Economist magazine explains…Read More

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International News

Four Things the FIFA Scandal Tells Us About International Criminal Law

Albert E. Scherr of the University of New Hampshire School of Law discusses four outcomes of the FIFA scandal in the context of international criminal law. Read Article

The Protection and Promotion of Civil and Economic Rights and Liberties in Africa
A paper from the Pan African University Institute of Governance, Humanities and social Sciences Department of Governance and regional Integration focused on Ethiopia PDF

Wrongful Convictions and the Culture of Denial in Japanese Criminal Justice

To reduce the problem of wrongful convictions in Japanese criminal justice, reformers must confront a culture of denial that makes it difficult for police, prosecutors, and judges to acknowledge their own mistakes. Read Article

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Related Interest

Stalking by Cellphone
Although US focused this article on the issue of using cell phones to stalk seems quite applicable to potential Canadian victims as well as well. Read More

Canada’s cloud computing strategy calls for no cross-border data storage
Keeping data inside Canada’s borders is a key consideration in the federal government’s cloud computing strategy. Read More

A Game Filter reveals behaviour
Game theory is much more than the way we design games. Rather it is the study of strategic decision making, used in economics, political science, biology, psychology and increasingly computer science.  Read more.

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Did You Know?

Criminal Justice-Probation Case Manager (Fort Collins, CO)
If you were wondering…from Craig’s List Posting

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