Restorative justice is the law
by Dan Van Ness
Heartspeak Productions is a remarkable Canadian group that describes itself as "on a continual quest to learn about & share the principles and best practices of restorative justice." It does this by creating excellent videos exploring dimensions of restoration. Fraser Community Justice Initiatives Association is a community NGO also in Canada that for 25 years has developed programs and training that help people in conflict find good resolutions.
Harper government misguided in its tough-on-crime approach
from the Globa and Mail editorial:
David Daubney, a justice-department adviser, could have gone quietly into retirement. Instead, he tried to talk some sense back into this country. Prison overcrowding will worsen and breed violence, he told The Globe's Kirk Makin in an exit interview. The tough-on-crime route has been tried and failed. The government knows what it knows, doesn't listen to evidence and is reluctant to ask for research to be undertaken.
“The policy is based on fear – fear of criminals and fear of people who are different. I do not think these harsh views are deeply held.” It's a good point. A new poll shows that 93 per cent of Canadians feel safe from crime. Why, then, spend billions of dollars to go backward?
Fearmonger and Through The Glass: Books that undermine Harper's omnibus crime bill
from the review by Matthew Behrens in rabble.ca:
It's a rare event in the Canadian publishing world when non-fiction books line up in sync with current events, but these two titles are perfectly timed as Canadians consider the serious consequences of the Harper government's dramatic omnibus crime bill, one that will radically alter an already deteriorating judicial system.
....Those who'd like an inkling of what could come down the pipe can do no better than read Paula Mallea's appropriately named Fearmonger, an outstanding overview of recently passed and proposed crime legislation.
I am meeting with the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights this morning.
This is what I will be saying.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am pleased to have this opportunity to address you and the rest of the committee regarding Bill C-10, The Safe Streets & Community Act.
....My daughter, Candace, was 13 years old when she was abducted and found murdered six weeks later. We lived without knowing the details of what happened for two decades.
Tough on crime but short on logic
Promises beget price tags.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has revealed very little about the cost of the crime crackdown his government has begun and plans to extend in this session of Parliament.
The Department of Public Safety has estimates of the growth of the prison population but the minister, Peter Van Loan, refuses to make them public, citing cabinet confidentiality. The government has projections of the cost of imposing mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences, meting out longer jail terms and beefing up police forces. But it hasn't made them public.
Even in secrecy-obsessed Ottawa, however, some information gets out.
This month, Correctional Service Canada released its spending estimates for the coming fiscal year. They showed a 43 per cent increase in capital expenditures on penitentiaries.
In 2010-11, the government expects to spend $329.4 million on prison infrastructure. Last year's jail-building budget was $230.8 million. To put these numbers in perspective, Correctional Service Canada spent $88.5 million on prison construction when Harper took office four years ago.