Friday, June 5, 2015

The Missing Statistics of Criminal Justice
"...The federal government compiles a wealth of data on homicides, burglaries, and arson, but no official, reliable tabulation of civilian deaths by law enforcement exists....

...There may be many missing statistics from the realm of policing, but even greater gaps lie elsewhere. Prisons also provide a wealth of statistics, which researchers have used to help frame mass incarceration in its historical and demographic content....

But while current prison statistics give a good sense of the size and scale of mass incarceration, they provide little information on conditions inside the vast constellation of American prisons. Perhaps the most glaring gap is solitary confinement. No one knows exactly how many people are currently kept in isolation in American prisons....

Prisons and police departments may be the most visible parts of the criminal-justice system, but they are not necessarily the most powerful. As judges lost flexibility with the growth of mandatory-minimum sentences during the tough-on-crime era, prosecutors became the most pivotal actors within the criminal-justice process. This rise in influence was matched with a decline in transparency....

One prosecutorial tool with little transparency is plea dealing.... plea deals are also one of the least-scrutinized parts of the criminal-justice system. 'In most cases, that’s a complete black box,' Gottschalk said. 'It allows prosecutors to have this enormous power without much transparency to the public.'

...Legislators and policymakers heavily rely on statistics when crafting public policy.  Criminal-justice statistics can also influence judicial rulings, including those by the Supreme Court, with implications for the entire legal system...."

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Truth and Reconciliation Commission Urges Canada to Confront "Cultural Genocide" of Residential Schools
"Canada needs to move from 'apology to action' if reconciliation with Aboriginal Peoples is to succeed, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says in its landmark report, which includes 94 recommendations for change in policies, programs and the 'way we talk to, and about, each other.'

The summary of the final report, released today after years of hearings and testimony from thousands of residential school survivors and many others, makes many bold and potentially costly recommendations — not just to the different levels of government, but to schools, societies, churches and aboriginal governments.

The recommendations include the creation of a National Centre and Council for Truth and Reconciliation and the drafting of new and revised legislation for education, child welfare and aboriginal languages."

View the Report

Related Article: Chief Justice Says that Canada Attempted "Cultural Genocide" on Aboriginals
 

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Office of the Correctional Investigator: Administrative Segregation in Federal Corrections. 10 Year Trends
"Between March 31, 2005 and March 31, 2015 the overall CSC incarcerated population increased by 13.6% (from 12,623 to 14,335). During the same period women increased 77.4% (from 368 to 653), men 11.6% (from 12,255 to 13,682), Aboriginal offenders 52.4% (from 2,296 to 3,500), non-Aboriginal offenders 4.9% (from 10,327 to 10,835), Black offenders 77.5% (from 792 to 1,406) while Caucasian offenders decreased -6.1% (from 8,815 to 8,281). The Caucasian group is the only group showing a steadily declining population.

The number of admissions to segregation has grown at a slower rate than for the equivalent CSC incarcerated population of Federally Sentenced Women (FSW), male, Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal and Caucasian inmates. However, Black segregation admissions have grown at a faster rate than the incarcerated population of Black offenders."

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New Book Published by CCPA: A Penny for your Thoughts: How Corporatization Devalues Teaching, Research, and Public Service in Canada's Universities
Simmering conflicts in higher education have reached the boiling point across Canada and around the globe. Teach-ins, occupations, strikes, and mass protests are being mobilized against exorbitant tuition fees, declining educational quality, mismanagement, the commodification of research, and the suppression of free speech and critical inquiry. A Penny For Your Thoughts shows how Canadian higher education has come to this point. - See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/penny-your-thoughts#sthash.4yuRmY8A.4cpqFihY.dpuf
"Simmering conflicts in higher education have reached the boiling point across Canada and around the globe. Teach-ins, occupations, strikes, and mass protests are being mobilized against exorbitant tuition fees, declining educational quality, mismanagement, the commodification of research, and the suppression of free speech and critical inquiry. A Penny For Your Thoughts shows how Canadian higher education has come to this point."

View Table of Contents, Preface, and Introduction
 
Simmering conflicts in higher education have reached the boiling point across Canada and around the globe. Teach-ins, occupations, strikes, and mass protests are being mobilized against exorbitant tuition fees, declining educational quality, mismanagement, the commodification of research, and the suppression of free speech and critical inquiry. A Penny For Your Thoughts shows how Canadian higher education has come to this point. - See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/penny-your-thoughts#sthash.4yuRmY8A.4cpqFihY.dpuf
Simmering conflicts in higher education have reached the boiling point across Canada and around the globe. Teach-ins, occupations, strikes, and mass protests are being mobilized against exorbitant tuition fees, declining educational quality, mismanagement, the commodification of research, and the suppression of free speech and critical inquiry. A Penny For Your Thoughts shows how Canadian higher education has come to this point. - See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/penny-your-thoughts#sthash.4yuRmY8A.4cpqFihY.dpuf
Simmering conflicts in higher education have reached the boiling point across Canada and around the globe. Teach-ins, occupations, strikes, and mass protests are being mobilized against exorbitant tuition fees, declining educational quality, mismanagement, the commodification of research, and the suppression of free speech and critical inquiry. A Penny For Your Thoughts shows how Canadian higher education has come to this point. - See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/penny-your-thoughts#sthash.4yuRmY8A.4cpqFihY.dpuf
Simmering conflicts in higher education have reached the boiling point across Canada and around the globe. Teach-ins, occupations, strikes, and mass protests are being mobilized against exorbitant tuition fees, declining educational quality, mismanagement, the commodification of research, and the suppression of free speech and critical inquiry. A Penny For Your Thoughts shows how Canadian higher education has come to this point. - See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/penny-your-thoughts#sthash.4yuRmY8A.4cpqFihY.dpuf
Simmering conflicts in higher education have reached the boiling point across Canada and around the globe. Teach-ins, occupations, strikes, and mass protests are being mobilized against exorbitant tuition fees, declining educational quality, mismanagement, the commodification of research, and the suppression of free speech and critical inquiry. A Penny For Your Thoughts shows how Canadian higher education has come to this point. - See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/penny-your-thoughts#sthash.4yuRmY8A.4cpqFihY.dpuf

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Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era
"Years of surveillance-related leaks from US whistleblower Edward Snowden have fuelled an international debate over privacy, spying, and Internet surveillance. Much of the focus has centered on the role of the US National Security Agency, yet there is an important Canadian side to the story. The Communications Security Establishment, the Canadian counterpart to the NSA, has played an active role in surveillance activities both at home and abroad, raising a host of challenging legal and policy questions.

With contributions by leading experts in the field, Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era is the right book at the right time: From the effectiveness of accountability and oversight programs to the legal issues raised by metadata collection to the privacy challenges surrounding new technologies, this book explores current issues torn from the headlines with a uniquely Canadian perspective."

View the Complete Publication

Related Article:  Canada's National Security Agencies Too Secretive, Experts Tell Senate Open Caucus 
 

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The Governance of Telecommunications Surveillance: How Opaque and Unaccountable Practices and Policies Threaten Canadians
"The Telecom Transparency Project investigates how telecommunications data is monitored, collected, and analyzed for commercial, state security, and intelligence purposes.  The Project is associated with the Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto....

Core to the Telecom Transparency Project's work is interrogating the practices of telecommunications service providers (e.g., AT&T, Vodafone, and Bell Canada) that route data traffic between communicating parties and the mechanisms that third parties use to access the digital information that is endlessly flowing through telecommunications service providers' networks.  Rendering telecommunications processes transparent will help citizens, politicians, and businesses understand how private or public, and how secure or vulnerable, their communications are to service provider-linked communications interferences and data disclosure."

View the Full Report

Related Article:  How We Sold Our Souls - and More - to the Internet Giants 

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The Police and Public Discourse on "Black-on-Black" Violence
"A new report released today by Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety (2008-2014), sheds fresh light on media coverage of racial issues, and presents the case for more sober analysis of black-on-black violence when measured as a homicide problem. Also addressed is how misconceptions of black-on-black violence coupled with over- and/or under-policing of black neighborhoods can further erode citizen confidence in the police.

The report, titled 'The Police and Public Discourse on ‘Black-on-Black’ Violence' (pdf) was co-authored by Senior Research Fellow Anthony A. Braga and Rod K. Brunson and funded by the OJP National Institute of Justice (NIJ) as part of the Executive Session’s ‘New Perspectives in Policing’ series."

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Black Americans Killed by Police Twice as Likely to be Unarmed as White People
"Black Americans are more than twice as likely to be unarmed when killed during encounters with police as white people, according to a Guardian investigation which found 102 of 464 people killed so far this year in incidents with law enforcement officers were not carrying weapons.

An analysis of public records, local news reports and Guardian reporting found that 32% of black people killed by police in 2015 were unarmed, as were 25% of Hispanic and Latino people, compared with 15% of white people killed.

The findings emerged from a database filled by a five-month study of police fatalities in the US, which calculated that local and state police and federal law enforcement agencies are killing people at twice the rate calculated by the US government’s official public record of police homicides. The database names five people whose names have not been publicly released."

Related Articles:

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National Institute of Justice Research and Reports

Police Use of Force
"There is no single, universally agreed-upon definition of use of force. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has described use of force as the 'amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject.'

A Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) analysis of national data on citizen complaints about use of force found that in large departments (those with 100 or more sworn officers), the complaint rate for police use of force was 6.6 complaints per 100 sworn officers. Of these complaints, 8 percent had sufficient evidence to take disciplinary action against the officer."

Diversion Program for those with Serious Mental Illnesses Rated "Promising"

Report: Protect, Heal, Thrive: Lessons Learned from the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program 
"In order to address the high prevalence of children's exposure to violence, eight sites around the country were selected by the Department of Justice for the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program.  This national initiative aims: 1) to prevent children's exposure to violence; 2) to mitigate the negative impact of such exposure when it does occur; and 3) to develop knowledge and spread awareness about children's exposure to violence, both within and beyond the chosen pilot sites."

Interventions Targeting Street-Connected Youths Receive Mixed Ratings

Effective - One Meta-Analysis Family Functioning - Family functioning
No Effects - One Meta-Analysis Drugs & Substance Abuse - Alcohol
No Effects - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Internalizing behavior
No Effects - One Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Multiple crime/offense types
No Effects - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Psychological functioning