February 2016 Vol 8 (1) Edition


 “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

— Albert Einstein

News From the BCCJA Board

In case you were wondering the BCCJA Board Officers are:

  • Tim Veresh – President
  • Hank Mathias – Vice-President
  • Bill Turner – Treasurer; and,
  • John Braithwaite – CCJA Board Member

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

The Board’s work to reshape the association to enable greater involvement of our members moved closer to fruition.

Our Island affiliate, the Vancouver Island Criminal Justice Association (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 including Role of the Federal Correctional Investigator, PTSD, Safe Housing and morel in the works for the spring. Check the BCCJA website for updates and details (www.bccja.com/vicja).

A Word From Your Editor…

Much has happened since last we corresponded.

There is a new government in Ottawa with all the attendant changes in people, priorities and policies. Changes are already occurring as the new federal government sets about altering what has been described as “the tone” of public discourse. We will try to capture those changes that relate to criminal and social justice issues as the government’s mandate progresses.

“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”

— John Maynard Keynes

Already the planning for a “National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls” is well advanced. For the current status of this important initiative you can go here.

Maurice Strong, a founder of the international environmental movement, died November 27, 2015 a few short days before the opening of COP21 in Paris. Mr. Strong s words from the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 continue to ring true as much today as then:

“We have determined that we must control and harness the forces, which we have ourselves created. We know that if these forces can be effectively controlled, they will provide everything that life on this planet desires and requires; but if they are permitted to dominate us, they will have an insatiable unforgiving appetite.”

To read John Ralston Saul’s “In Memoriam “about Mr. Strong click here.

— 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@bccja.com

Newsletter Summary of Contents

Criminal Justice Policy (6 items) Mental Health (4 items)
Criminal Justice System (2 items) Sexual Offenders (4 items)
The Law and Courts (6 items) Social Capital (0 items)
Law Enforcement (4 items) Women and the Criminal Justice System (4 items)
Children and Youth (7 items) International News (5 item)
Corrections and Community (9 items) Related Interest (4 items)
Criminal Behaviour (0 item) National Security (3 Items)
Victims of Crime (3 items) Did You Know? (1 Items)

Upcoming Events

Bridging Research, Policy and Practice: Final Conference

Brussels Belgium
March 11th – 12th, 2016
Free University of Brussels
For more Information

Alberta Provincial Victim Services Conference

Banff Centre
April 14, 2016 @ 8:00 am – April 16, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
For More Information

Police Victim Services BC 31st Annual Training Symposium

May 6, 2016 @ 8:00 am – May 7, 2016 @ 4:00 pm
Executive Airport Plaza Hotel
7311 Westminster Hwy. Richmond BC
For More Information

International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law Conference

Protecting Privacy – Domestic and International Criminal Justice Responses to Crimes Against Personal Privacy and the Balance between Individuals Privacy and Collective 
24 – 28 July 2016
Where: The Halifax Convention Centre, Halifax, NS
For more information:  www.asantecentre.org/fasdcollaboration.html

American Corrections Association Corrections Congress

August 5-10, 2016
Boston Massachusetts
For More Information

35th  ATSA Annual Research and Treatment Conference 

November 2 – 5, 2016
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
Orlando, Florida
For More Information

↑ Back to Summary

Criminal Justice Policy

Canadian Bankers Still View Marijuana Businesses With Caution
At least three of the big five banks do business with the new industry. Read Story

Drug-Impaired Driving
Unlike alcohol, there is no universally accepted roadside test for marijuana impairment.  Article

Prison Needle Programs Touted to Reduce HIV and Hep C
After years pushing for safe drug-injection programs in Canadian jails, health advocates say mounting evidence and a new government in Ottawa present a chance to finally make it happen. Read Story

Lawmakers Face Profound Issues in Weighing Law on Assisted Death
Ethics, implementation, oversight, power division all factors to consider Read Article

Risk Assessment in Criminal Sentencing
Study by the University of Virginia Law School and U.C. Berkley Law examines the surge of interest in using risk assessment in criminal sentencing, both to reduce recidivism by incapacitating or treating high-risk offenders and to reduce prison populations by diverting low-risk offenders from prison. PDF.

To Protect Animals, We Need Better Law Enforcement More Than We Need Better Laws
Blogger argues Canadian animal protection laws are routinely criticized for being weak, and certainly there is plenty of room for improvement. However, the reality, however, is that both provincial and federal law ostensibly prohibit harming animals, with few exceptions. Read More.

↑ Back to Summary

Criminal Justice System

Proportionality in Sentencing (Canada): White Collar Offenders Beware
In December  2015 the Supreme Court of Canada in the decision of R. v. Lacasse [1] sent a warning to ordinarily law abiding citizens who commit impaired driving. Read Article.

La Loche Studied, Rejected Crime-Prevention Model Before Shooting
In the months before a gunman took four lives in La Loche, town leaders debated adopting a made-in-Saskatchewan crime-prevention model designed to identify and pre-empt residents on the verge of committing crimes. Read Article.

↑ Back to Summary

Law and Courts

Lower Mainland First Nation Files Charter Claim with Top Court
The Kwikwetlem First Nation has filed an Aboriginal title and rights and Charter claim with the Supreme Court of Canada. Read Story.

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

Constable James Forcillo’s 5-year Mandatory Minimum Could Go to Supreme Court
The question of whether  Officer Forcillo should be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years is one that could go all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada — following the path of several other constitutional challenges before it.  Read Article.

Supreme Court of Canada to Consider Admissibility of Police Expert Opinion Evidence When Motorist Charged with Drug-Impaired Driving
The Supreme Court of Canada announced on January 28 it will hear an appeal from a motorist who was charged with driving while impaired by drugs, where a central issue is the admissibility of opinion evidence of a police drug recognition expert.

A Primer on Competition Investigations in Canada
Although not usually thought of as a criminal investigation agency Competition Investigations Bureau may use both mandatory Orders and voluntary requests to collect evidence during an investigation or formal Inquiry, from the target, its competitors, suppliers and customers in the industry.  Read Article.

Ghomeshi Trial
Jian Ghomesi’s legal team closed its case by arguing the women accusing him of assault are liars. 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.

↑ Back to Summary

Law Enforcement

Canadian Police Can Decrypt PGP BlackBerrys
Leading Dutch forensics investigators say they are able to read encrypted messages sent on PGP BlackBerry phones.  Read Story.

Rogers and Alcatel-Lucent Proposed an Encryption Backdoor for Police
As telecom companies prepare for the day when phone calls are counted in megabytes and not minutes, yet another contentious encryption debate is looming: how to secure subscribers’ voice conversations, while balancing law enforcement’s need to eavesdrop when needed.    Read Article.

Why is Marijuana Legal in Vancouver and Not Saskatoon?
Why is marijuana openly for sale by retailers all over Vancouver and Victoria, while elsewhere in the country, people still are getting arrested for simple possession? Read Story.

The Changing Nature of Canadian and American Border Security
The Canadian border with the United States is the longest un-militarized border in the world, a statistic symbolic of the peaceful relationship the two countries have held for hundreds of years; however, it does not take into account recent efforts or attitudes towards strengthening security along this 8,890 kilometre long international border. Article.

↑ Back to Summary

Children & Youth

Youth Correctional Statistics in Canada, 2013/2014
The latest information from Stats Canada Report.

Member of International Child Exploitation Conspiracy Sentenced with Aid of RCMP
According to court records, members of the conspiracy to which these men belonged created false profiles on social networking sites. Read More.

Reconciliation Resolution: Help Eliminate the Overrepresentation of Indigenous Youth in Custody
Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto to  launch a campaign urging Canadians to take up implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Review of the Youth Justice System in England and Wales
Plans to transform youth custody in England and Wales have been set out by child behavioural expert and former head teacher Charlie Taylor. Press Release  Link To Report

The Handbook of Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
Outlines a novel and innovative approach to the status and health of the juvenile delinquency and justice system in the United States and throughout the world.  Read More.

Infographic Series: Improving Outcomes for Youth
This infographics series, from the Council of State Governments Justice Center, detail three critical challenges faced by states to improve outcomes for youth, identify the key questions that policymakers should ask, and offer strategies for protecting public safety and using resources more efficiently. Infographics.

Juvenile Justice 2.0
A new website is introducing powerful tools to help policy makers, advocates, researchers and the media to chart nationwide change in juvenile justice policy, practices, and statistics. Article.

↑ Back to Summary

Corrections and Community

Deal with Ontario Corrections Workers Includes ‘Essential Service’ Designation
With a strike deadline only hours away, Ontario inked a new contract with its correctional workers.  Read  Article.

Community Supervision in the Post Mass Incarceration Era
Article in September edition of Federal  Probation Journal Story Page 41.

Corrections Canada Must Respond to Demographic Shift Behind Bars, Watchdog Says
Federal Corrections Investigator, Howard Sapers, says older inmates have different needs than young offenders.   Article.

Nunavut Lacks Prison Watchdog to Monitor Rights Abuses
Nunavut’s justice department confirmed Jan. 29 that the rights of inmates housed inside the territory’s correctional facilities are not monitored by an external agency, such as an ombudsman.  Article.

Springhill Institution Finally Accepts Inmates
Two, 96-bed units built as part of a $40 million expansion to Springhill Institution finally began accepting inmates after remaining empty for a year because the cell doors wouldn’t lock. Read Article.

The Curious Disappearance of Sociological Research on Probation Supervision
Abstract of a paper focused on the shift in sociological research to incarceration and parole and away from probation.

The Forgotten Ones: Queer and Trans Lives in the Prison System
It is only in the past decade that academics have begun to take up the question of how gender identity, particularly for trans and gender-nonconforming people, relates to the prison system. Read Story

Congressman Takes Aim at ‘Probation Companies’
An Inland Empire congressman has introduced legislation seeking to cut off federal grants to cities throughout the USA that do business with so-called “probation companies”.  Article

Washington State Senators grill state prisons chief over early releases. Read More

↑ Back to Summary

Criminal Behaviour

No Criminal Behaviours links this time.

↑ Back to Summary

Victims of Crime

The Trafficked: How Sex Trafficking Works in Canada
To most Canadians, human trafficking evokes images of women smuggled from far-off lands or over the border. In reality, it needn’t involve physically moving anyone anywhere. Read Story.

A Practical Guide to Elder Abuse and Neglect Law in Canada
This tool has been designed to apply to abuse and neglect occurring anywhere in Canada. Each province and territory has a unique set of laws that apply to elder abuse.  Guide

RCMP Statement on Elder Abuse
Defines Elder Abuse and outlines RCMP commitment to responding to the issue…with a number of useful links. Statement.

↑ Back to Summary

Mental Health

Experiences of Victims of Mentally Ill Offenders in Canada
This bilingual online resource (January 2015) published by the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime provides victims and victim service providers with a better understanding about when and how a mentally ill offender is diverted into the forensic mental health system. Read.

Drastic Change in UK to Use of Cells as Mental Health ‘Safe Places’
Sweeping reforms will restrict the length of time for which people experiencing mental health crises can be detained in police cells. Read Article.

When Did Prisons Become Acceptable Mental Health Care Facilities?
A 2015 Report from Stanford Law School “Three Strikes Project”.  Report.

The Gaping Hole in the Prison Early Release Program: Mental Health Care
The Atlantic Monthly suggests much has been made of the latest efforts, but inmates who suffer mental illness will continue without the services they need—in and out of prison. Article

↑ Back to Summary

Sexual Offenders

Myth And Reality About Sex Offenders
Article by author Dan Gardner  Article

A Longitudinal Study of a Program for  Juveniles who Sexually Offend
The study investigates factors that predict outcomes in a program for juveniles who sexually offend. Three program outcomes were used, termination, graduation,and sexual acting out in the program.  Study

Sex Offender Research: How do we Interpret the Evidence?
Poster presented at the 3rd North American Correctional and Criminal Justice Psychology Conference, Ottawa.  Poster.

The Social Costs of Youth on Sex-Offender Registries Far Outweighs Benefits

An analysis shows that public notification is almost certainly a highly cost-ineffective way to reduce future sex offences.  Abstract.

↑ Back to Summary

Women and the Criminal Justice System

Missing, Murdered Women Inquiry Must Go Beyond Just Federal Jurisdiction
The scope of the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women must include areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction, indigenous women’s groups and others say.   Read Story.

Racism, Legal Inequality Key Issues in Murdered and Missing Inquiry, Victims’ Families Say
Racism in police forces and an “uneven application of justice” must be addressed as part of the public inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women, victims’ families told federal ministers at a closed-door consultation in Toronto. Read Story.

Why the Closure of Holloway Could Bring a Prison Revolution Closer
It saw the suffragettes force-fed, and Ruth Ellis hanged. Now that the largest women’s prison in Britain is closing.  Article.

Evidence of Violence: Forensic Nurses Balance Health Care and Justice
Here at the nexus of health care and criminal justice that Fraser Health’s forensic nurses t go into action dozens of times each year.both to treat victims of sexual assault or intentional violence – the vast majority of whom are women – and, if they consent, to collect evidence.  Read Story

↑ Back to Summary

International News

Right to a Fair Trial: New Rules to Guarantee Presumption of Innocence
EU Member States have adopted new rules that will guarantee the presumption of innocence of anyone accused or suspected of a crime by the police or justice authorities. The Directive also ensures that everyone benefits from the right to be present at their trial.  Press Release.

This Is What Justice Looks Like in Saudi Arabia
One Sri Lankan housemaid has been saved from a stoning death—for now. Others are still dying. Read Article.

Impact of U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Amendments on Fraud and Economic Crime on Prosecutions of Individuals in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Cases
On November 1, 2015, several important amendments to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines became effective. The amendments include changes to the guidelines governing fraud and economic crime that will have a significant impact on the prosecution of individuals for a wide range of conduct. Read Article.

Malawi Gets Its First Grammy Nomination, With Album by Prison Inmates
Old, overcrowded and unsanitary, the maximum-security Zomba prison holds murderers, robbers, rapists — and Grammy-nominated singers. Read Story.

Children in Trouble: Punishment or Welfare?
Malcolm Stevens, the United Kingdom government’s youth justice professional advisor responsible for the original design and operating specifications for Secure Training Centres, opines on the state of youth justice services in the UK. Read Article

↑ Back to Summary

National Security

Balancing Human Rights and National Security Concerns : A Reality Check
The Honourable Simon Noël of the Federal Court speaks about the steadily increasing number of National Security matters coming before the Court, and the increasing complexity of many of those cases. Read Article.

The Psychology Of Radicalization: How Terrorist Groups Attract Young Followers
Hidden Brain looks at the social and psychological drivers behind international terrorism, and why the best efforts to prevent radicalization so often fail. Read Article.

Securing an Open Society: Canada’s National Security Policy
A new strategic framework and action plan statement from the new federal government designed to ensure that Canada is prepared for and can respond to current and future threats. Policy Statement

↑ Back to Summary

Related Interest

How to Change Your Work Habits, for Real This Time
The deliberate, decision-making part of the brain only processes a maximum of 50 bits per second.

Facial Recognition Testing for Canada’s Border Security
The Canada Border Services Agency science and engineering directorate has been working with the University of Quebec and other partners to trial facial recognition technology. Read More.

Oregon Spending on Education vs. Corrections:  Confused Priorities?
Oregon’s prison spending requires more money per prisoner than it does per student since prisoners require constant care and supervision.

The Rise of Automated Parole 
Vending machine-style kiosks are replacing parole officers, which means less rehabilitation work and more surveillance.  Read More.

↑ Back to Summary

Did You Know?

Why You’re More Likely To Make A False Confession If You’re Sleep-Deprived
A study finds that after losing a night of sleep, people are five times more likely to falsely admit to wrongdoing. Article.

↑ Back to Summary