Solitary Confinement Continues in Canada Under a Different Name

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Reports by Anthony Doob and Jane Sprott:

Understanding the Operation of Correctional Service Canada's Structured Intervention Units: Some Preliminary Findings

Is there Clear Evidence that the Problems that have been Identified with the Operation of Correctional Service Canada's "Structured Intervention Units" were Caused by the COVID-19 Outbreak? An Examination of Data from Correctional Service Canada

"Exactly one year ago, in November 2019, Structured Intervention Units (SIUs) were implemented by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) in federal prisons to replace the old solitary confinement system. The new regime was supposed to abolish what is typically defined as segregation. Individuals placed in an SIU would receive four hours out of their cells and two hours of meaningful human contact. Solitary confinement is often defined as isolation for 22 hours or more in a given day and no more than two hours of human contact.

However, an independent report using CSC data released at the end of October 2020 shows that SIUs are in fact solitary confinement under a different name and with fewer restrictions."



Atlas of Surveillance: Documenting Police Tech...

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"The Atlas of Surveillance is a database of surveillance technology deployed by law enforcement in communities across the United States.

This includes drones, body-worn cameras, automated license plate readers, facial recognition, and more.

This research was compiled by more than 500 students and volunteers, and incorporates datasets from a variety of public and non-profit sources."


Traffic Without the Police

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"We are at a watershed moment in which growing national protest and public outcry over police injustice and brutality, especially against people of color, are animating structural police reforms. Traffic stops are the most frequent interaction between police and civilians today and are a persistent source of racial and economic injustice. Black and Latinx motorists in particular are disproportionately stopped as well as questioned, frisked, searched, cited, and arrested during traffic stops. Traffic enforcement is also a common gateway for funneling over-policed and marginalized communities into the criminal justice system....

This Article offers a different normative vision of our driving system that challenges the conventional wisdom that traffic enforcement is impossible without the police. A new legal framework for traffic enforcement is articulated, which decouples traffic enforcement from the police function. This framework offers a starting point for renewed thinking about the basic structure of traffic enforcement, the role of police in traffic enforcement, and the ways in which law and policy can be used as tools to achieve fairness and equality in traffic enforcement. The Article provides a comprehensive analysis of the important policy benefits of implementing non-police alternatives to traffic enforcement for public safety, policing, and criminal law reform, especially for people of color and other marginalized communities vulnerable to over-policing and over-criminalization in today’s driving regime. The Article concludes by addressing potential objections to removing the police from traffic enforcement."

Freedom on the Net: An Annual Study of Internet Freedom around the World

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"Freedom on the Net is Freedom House’s annual survey and analysis of internet freedom around the world. This cutting-edge project consists of ground-breaking research and analysis, fact-based advocacy, and on-the-ground capacity building. The hallmark of our analysis is the annual Freedom on the Net report. It features a ranked, country-by-country assessment of online freedom, a global overview of the latest developments, as well as in depth country reports."


Explaining the Past and Projecting Future Crime Rates

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"To date criminologists have a poor record of anticipating future crime rates. As a result, they are ill-equipped to inform policy makers about the impact of criminal justice reforms on future crime. In this report, we assess the factors that explain changes in crime during the past three decades. Our analysis shows that macro-level economic and demographic factors best explain trends in violent and property crime. Together, those factors outweigh the impact of imprisonment rates on crime. We also show that it is possible to lower imprisonment rates without causing an increase in crime. Indeed, several states have done exactly that. Finally, we present models for projecting future crime rates. Based on these models, crime is projected to decrease over the next five years."

What If Nothing Works? On Crime Licenses, Recidivism, and Quality of Life

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"We accept uncritically the 'recidivist premium,' which is the notion that habitual offenders are particularly blameworthy and should be punished harshly....

...I offer a counterintuitive proposal, which is to provide 'crime licenses' to recidivists. But I limit this prescription model to only a collection of quality-of-life offenses, like drug possession, vagrancy, and prostitution.... I present the crime license as a modest opportunity to test bolder concepts like legalization, prison abolition, and defunding police....  I draw upon successful prescription-based, radical-pragmatic reforms, like international addiction-maintenance clinics, where habitual drug users receive free heroin in safe settings. I endorse 'harm reduction,' the governance philosophy that grounds those reforms. And I imagine our system reoriented around harm reduction, with crime licenses as one pragmatic, experimental step in that direction." 

Policing Studies Measure Benefits to Crime Reduction - But Not Social Costs

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"Perhaps one of the more unexpected events this turbulent year has been the rate at which efforts to defund police departments gained national political traction. Local governments collectively spend roughly $100 billion per year on policing, and with big cities dedicating about 15 percent (if not more) of their budgets to police, a growing number of people are asking if it may make more sense to spend some of that money elsewhere, like on drug treatment, mental health, social work, or shelter. One of the many questions raised by the defund movement: Is spending on police justifiable from a policy perspective?"

Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Policing: A Roadmap for Research

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"In this report, we present the initial findings from a three-year project to investigate the ethical implications of predictive policing and develop ethically sensitive and empirically informed best practices for both those developing these technologies and the police departments using them."

Police Programmes that Seek to Increase Community Connectedness for Reducing Violent Extremism Behaviour, Attitudes and Beliefs

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"Community connectedness and efforts to engage communities may help to mitigate the risk of individuals radicalizing to violent extremism. Police, under some circumstances, can play a key role in programmes aimed at tackling violent extremism. This includes working with communities and other agencies to tackle social isolation, economic opportunity, and norms and beliefs that lead individuals and groups to radicalize and support extremist causes.

This review looked at whether or not strategies involving police in the initiation, development or implementation of programmes aimed at community connectedness had an impact on reducing violent extremist beliefs and behaviours."

Body-Worn Cameras' Effects on Police Officer and Citizen Behavior: A Systematic Review

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"Law enforcement agencies have rapidly adopted BWCs in the last decade with the hope that they might improve police conduct, accountability, and transparency, especially regarding use of force.

Overall, there remains substantial uncertainty about whether BWCs can reduce officer use of force, but the variation in effects suggests there may be conditions in which BWC could be effective. BWCs also do not seem to affect other police and citizen behaviors in a consistent manner, including officers’ self‐initiated activities or arrest behaviors, dispatched calls for service, or assaults and resistance against police officers. 
BWCs can reduce the number of citizen complaints against police officers, but it is unclear whether this finding signals an improvement in the quality of police–citizen interactions or a change in reporting.

Research has not directly addressed whether BWCs can strengthen police accountability systems or police–citizen relationships."