Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Report from Canadian Bar Association: Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions: Considerations for Lawyers
"The collateral consequences of criminal convictions – or the myriad of rules and restrictions that an offender can face due to their criminal history – can plague your clients for the rest of their lives and restrict their successful rehabilitation back into society. The consequences can have an impact on everything from employment to housing, from family to financial considerations, from immigration to pardons.

Collateral consequences have the power to affect an individual – forever.
For lawyers, it is sometimes difficult to describe the full range of potential consequences to the judge at sentencing. The CBA’s Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions report was created to assist legal professionals in understanding these implications and being fully prepared at the sentencing hearing...before your client’s fate might be sealed indefinitely."

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Four Decades and Counting: The Continued Failure of the War on Drugs
"Private individuals and policymakers often utilize prohibition as a means of controlling the sale, manufacture, and consumption of particular goods. While the Eighteenth Amendment, which was passed and subsequently repealed in the early 20th century, is often regarded as the first major prohibition in the United States, it certainly was not the last. The War on Drugs, begun under President Richard Nixon, continues to utilize policies of prohibition to achieve a variety of objectives.

Proponents of drug prohibition claim that such policies reduce drug-related crime, decrease drug-related disease and overdose, and are an effective means of disrupting and dismantling organized criminal enterprises.

We analyze the theoretical underpinnings of these claims, using tools and insights from economics, and explore the economics of prohibition and the veracity of proponent claims by analyzing data on overdose deaths, crime, and cartels. Moreover, we offer additional insights through an analysis of U.S. international drug policy utilizing data from U.S. drug policy in Afghanistan. While others have examined the effect of prohibition on domestic outcomes, few have asked how these programs impact foreign policy outcomes.

We conclude that prohibition is not only ineffective, but counterproductive, at achieving the goals of policymakers both domestically and abroad. Given the insights from economics and the available data, we find that the domestic War on Drugs has contributed to an increase in drug overdoses and fostered and sustained the creation of powerful drug cartels. Internationally, we find that prohibition not only fails in its own right, but also actively undermines the goals of the Global War on Terror."

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How Police Entanglement with Immigration Enforcement puts LGBTQ Lives at Risk
"During his first week in office, President Donald Trump issued two executive orders that greatly expanded on whom the government focuses deportation resources and that also took steps to increase the role of local law enforcement in immigration enforcement. These orders essentially enact a policy of mass deportation that affects the entire immigrant population but poses a unique threat to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, or LGBTQ, immigrants. In general, LGBTQ people have high levels of contact with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. LGBTQ immigrants in particular already face increased rates of policing in the United States in addition to the threat of violence in their home countries if they are deported. President Trump’s orders increase the prospect of entanglement between law enforcement and immigration enforcement and therefore increase LGBTQ immigrants’ vulnerability to violence both in the United States—as a result of overpolicing and fear of reporting intimate partner and hate violence—and abroad through deportation."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Province Commits to Releasing all Past and Present SIU Reports as Recommended in Police Review
"Ontario will publish the details of every police-involved fatality dating back to 1990 — when the Special Investigations Unit was established — following a major report into police oversight in the province.

Attorney General Yasir Naqvi made that commitment and agreed to immediately implement four other recommendations from Justice Michael Tulloch's report about Ontario's three police watchdogs.

Naqvi said reports from 2005 to present-day will be available by December 2017 and reports dating back to 1990 to 2004 will be available by summer 2018, unless the family objects."

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Ottawa is Rethinking its Approach to Immigration Detention
"The Canadian Border Services Agency has released a new report outlining its intention to reduce the use of maximum-security jails and 'better align' itself with international and domestic standards for immigration detention.

The federal government is 'exploring potential policy changes' to reduce the length of immigration detention and get non-violent migrants out of maximum-security jails, according to a new report.

The Canada Border Services Agency’s 'New National Immigration Detention Framework,' released late Friday, is not a concrete plan as much as it is a general set of intentions. But, if implemented, it would signal a substantial shift in how Canada treats its unwanted immigrants."

A Framework for Pretrial Justice: Essential Elements of an Effective Pretrial System and Agency
"...With the release of A Framework for Pretrial Justice: Essential Elements of an Effective Pretrial System and Agency, NIC [National Institute of Corrections] and its Pretrial Executive Network helps inform the discussion on bail reform and pretrial justice by presenting and defining the fundamentals of an effective pretrial system and the essential elements of a high functioning pretrial services agency. This publication presents and describes these essential elements—as well as the components of an evidence-based framework for improving pretrial outcomes nationwide"

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Law and the New Order: A Fresh Wave of District Attorneys is Redefining Justice
"Criminal justice is one of a small number of issues on which conservatives and liberals have begun to adopt overlapping policy positions, if for different reasons. Conservatives worry about the expense of mass imprisonment; liberals talk about the social costs of hollowing out communities through incarceration. But they are coming together. Following a period in which longer and longer sentences were meted out for increasing numbers of crimes, resulting in huge increases in corrections spending, most states have been rethinking their approach. More than 30 have approved laws that seek to reduce prison populations, while increasing funds for treatment or re-entry programs that can cut down on recidivism. The results have been encouraging, with crime rates remaining low in most jurisdictions even as the number of prisoners drops."
Pre-Trial Algorithms Deserve a Fresh Look, Study Suggests
"What if a predictive tool used at the moment of arraignment could simultaneously reduce the number of people sent to jail before trial, reduce crime, and also reduce racial disparities in incarceration? Such a tool could be a game changer in criminal justice reform. There’s good reason to be skeptical, however: Several high-profile analyses of COMPAS — a popular, commercially available “risk assessment” tool — have claimed that the tool unfairly labels black defendants as higher risk, and it does so more often than it overestimates the risk posed by white defendants.

But a new large scale study — Human Decisions and Machine Predictions—  demonstrates that it’s possible to build a predictive tool that simultaneously accomplishes three desirable goals: reducing pre-trial detention rates, reducing re-arrest rates of those released pending trial, and reducing racial disparities in which defendants are jailed. Policymakers across the ideological spectrum should be interested in this result and encourage further study."

Securing Global Cities: Best Practices, Innovation, and the Path Ahead
"Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. Over the next 30 years, that figure will likely increase to 66 percent. This breakneck pace of urban development, coupled with globalization and increased access to information, is changing geopolitics and global economic development....

Securing cities may be emerging as the central challenge of our day. Security for the individuals, communities, businesses, infrastructure, and institutions making up urban areas is crucial in its own right....

...Through conversations with hundreds of practitioners, academics, civic leaders, and government officials over the course of the past year—dialogues that took place in a dozen cities in five countries—we have identified several best practices and principles that should inform the urban security mission."

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Crime in the Age of Technology - Europol's Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2017
"In the SOCTA 2017, Europol highlights in particular the role of technology. Criminals have always been adept at exploiting technology. However, the rate of technological innovation and the ability of organised criminals to adapt these technologies have been increasing steadily over recent years. Developments such as the emergence of the online trade in illicit goods and services are set to result in significant shifts in criminal markets and confront law enforcement authorities with new challenges."

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