NANCY WRIGHT Editor
Solitary Confinement in Canada and the Promise of Structured Intervention Units in Canadian Penitentiaries – Part 3: Response to the 2021/22 SIU IAP Annual Report Recommendations
Part 1 of this series (JR 37.4) by Howard Sapers discussed the history of the use of segregation (solitary confinement) in Canada and the creation of Structured Intervention Units. The role and function of the Structured Intervention Unit Implementation Advisory Panel (SIU IAP) was introduced. Part 2 (JR 38.1) explored the ways in which the first 18 months of SIU operation fell short of the legislative framework’s expectations. Based on the recommendations of the 2021/22 SIU IAP Annual Report and the responses by CSC and the Minister of Public Safety, this final segment reveals flaws in the implementation of the new system.
The Impact of Canada’s Assistance to Develop Legal Aid in China: A Case Study of Canada’s Soft Power in Promoting the Rule of Law Globally
VINCENT CHENG YANG
The success in assisting the development of a legal aid system in China is an outstanding example of Canada’s soft power in promoting the rule of law and human rights globally. Even at present, we are still witnessing the positive impact of Canada’s early work in this field. In 1998-1999, through the CIDA-funded CCLLP Project, the Vancouver-based ICCLR became the international pioneer helping China to set up its framework for legal aid. In 2003, China’s first Legal Aid Regulations were promulgated and, based on ICCLR’s groundbreaking work and at China’s request, the government of Canada launched a bilateral project (CCLAS), with the CBA taking the lead in a consortium to assist staff training, setting up grass-root “model” legal service offices, and other working-level improvement in China. In 2012-2013, CBA launched another project for marginalized communities in China. Canadian program to assist Chinese law reforms ended in 2013. However, the results of Canada’s assistance in Chinese criminal justice reforms, including criminal procedures, community corrections, and legal aid, are not lost. In 2021, China finally enacted the Legal Aid Law. Legal aid services have continued to improve and expand in the past decade. As Canadians we are always prepared to share our best practices with countries when they are willing to improve their systems in light of international standards of the rule of law and human rights.
The Evolving Nature of Criminology and Criminal Justice: Studying at the First and Only University in the World Dedicated Exclusively to Forensic Science and Crime Investigation
Since 1972 and Université de Montréal’s first criminology program, universities and colleges in Canada have offered a wide range of criminology and criminal justice programs, incorporating a growing number of Canadian textbooks. Yet Canadian students wishing to receive an advanced degree in certain areas of these subject areas, such as criminal forensic sciences, are faced with either studying online or abroad. One option for such seekers is the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) at Gujarat, India, the world’s only university dedicated exclusively to Forensics: Behavioural, Cyber, Digital, and allied Sciences (www.nfsu.ac.in).
From Handcuffs to Healing
DOUG HECKBERT WITH JENNIFER BRYCE
Section Editor Doug Heckbert brings hope and possibility alive with real-life success stories in criminal justice. Jenn’s enlightening story illustrates that people can change, including those with long histories of criminal justice involvement, homelessness, alcohol and drugs. She began working with an Elder while serving her final sentence and held casual-labour jobs, volunteered at Elizabeth Fry, and worked with high-risk youth for the Native Counselling Services of Alberta postrelease. Jenn then worked with the Edmonton police and Native Counselling Services of Alberta in HELP (Human-Centered Engagement and Liaison Partnership) until resigning in May 2023 to focus exclusively on her business, Lil’ Bear Resources.
SECTION – 39TH CCJA CONGRESS (Call for Abstracts)
Recidivism, and the Failure to Recognize the Root Social Causes of Conflict and Crime Reflect the Failings of Retributive Justice: Restorative Justice Presents an Opportunity to Address These Problems and Improve the Justice System
Research has shown that the current retributive justice model is plagued by victim dissatisfaction and offender recidivism. Norwegian criminologist Nils Christie (1977) highlighted these and more issues related to this criminological model and created a new paradigm (now called restorative justice) that is victim focused. Restorative justice not only addresses the needs of victims and offenders but can also allow us to recognize and address the social causes of some criminal behaviour along the lines of transformative justice. In recent years many restorative justice elements have been incorporated into the current Canadian Criminal Justice System (particularly for youth offenders), but we need to take it further.
BIO SECTION (in the publication)
Restorative Justice: A Path Towards Addressing Systemic Racism in the Criminal Justice System
The Canadian government’s 2020 repeal of mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug-related offences marks a positive step forward for restorative justice in many ways. For example, Indigenous persons facing such charges can again be considered under the Gladue sentencing principles (1999). Nevertheless, the fundamental mismatch between restorative justice and Canada’s retributive legal framework, as illustrated by our courts’ persistent failure to implement the Gladue sentencing principles before 2011, calls for further research to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous, Black, and other racialized persons in Canadian prisons.
A Summary of “Addressing Violence in Prisons: An Analysis of Situational Crime Prevention and its Theoretical Application to the Canadian Correctional System”
The narrative around Canada’s penitentiaries has been almost unchanged since the opening of our first official correctional facility, Kingston Penitentiary, in 1835 (Correctional Services Canada [CSC], n.d.). There has been a shift in the conversation surrounding how we approach corrections as a punishment and the retributive mindsets that many hold. Many of the restorative models for situational crime prevention (SCP) have focused on transformation of decimated urban spaces, the use of healing lodges and other alternative spaces, and even changes to the way police intervene. However, such conversations are rarely extended to the prison setting and the architectural shift needed to create more rehabilitative environments inside the walls. With Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design making headway in nations such as Norway and Australia, perhaps it is time to shift the Canadian narrative.
A Book Review of
Ezzat A. Fattah’s
For the Love of Humanity: A Criminologist’s Testament (2023)
JOHN WINTERDYK (BOOK REVIEW)
This ‘surprise’ book review is written by our Book Review Section Editor, Dr. John Winterdyk, as a former student of Dr. Ezzat Fattah. Fathoming Fattah’s latest book (an anthology of his work spanning six decades) and recent trilogy (especially the volume on restorative justice), Winterdyk reflects on Fattah’s timeless and controversial take on death-penalty abolition and his prophecy that restorative justice will become the next “empire” in criminal justice.
Dr. John Winterdyk Retires— Scholar, Teacher, Mentor
Professor John Winterdyk, who always went the extra distance for students, has retired as full professor at Mount Royal University (MRU) in Calgary where he taught for 35 years but remains active in Canadian criminal justice.
Fact In Fiction
This instalment of Fact In Fiction features Dream Catcher: The Call Home by upcoming ‘mainstream’ Canadian novelist Bob Chrismas—criminologist (PhD), founding leader of Winnipeg’s newly established Community Safety Team and recently retired from 34 years in the Winnipeg Police Service. In this sequel to his first novel, The River of Tears (see JR 37.4), Bob sets the stage by fathoming the power of change: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man…” (Heraclitus, in the Epigraph). Dream Catcher not only exposes Human Trafficking’s reliance on negative change, but it also illustrates the exponential impact of positive change.
Opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the Association’s views, but are included to encourage reflection and action on the criminal justice system throughout Canada.