Race and Criminal Injustice: An Examination of Public Perceptions of, and Experiences with, the Criminal Justice System among Residents of the Greater Toronto Area

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"...Race and Criminal Injustice is an important examination of perceptions of the criminal justice system in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and follows earlier research by the same authors that found that perceptions of the police and the courts differed significantly by racial group. Using many of the same survey questions from their 1994 and 2007 studies, the authors found that Black and Asian people are still more likely than Whites to perceive racial bias in law enforcement, and also more likely to have negative perceptions of the police. And yet a majority of all respondents perceive that police treat Black citizens worse than Whites. In addition, public perceptions that the police and courts are racially biased have increased over the past twenty-five years. These findings are especially stark considering the number and scope of anti-racism initiatives and programs that major police services have undertaken to improve community relations during those years...."

Aging Out: Elderly Defendants and International Crimes

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"One of the most salient characteristics of international criminal justice is delay. Whether at international tribunals, hybrid “internationalized” courts, or domestic ones, seldom do courts reach or adjudicate atrocity crimes quickly. Although much has been said about the speed or lack thereof of international criminal trials, little attention has been given to the almost inevitable side effect of the slow pace of international criminal justice: elderly defendants and prisoners.  

This Article attempts to fill this void. It explores the human rights implications of prosecuting and punishing elderly, and often extremely elderly, atrocity perpetrators and the degree to which prosecution of elderly alleged atrocity criminals furthers the objectives of international criminal justice. Whereas international human rights law recognizes that criminal proceedings must accommodate the special needs of the elderly person on trial and that serious physical or mental ailments can render prosecution and incarceration inhumane, at present, age alone is no impediment to prosecution or punishment. Age is, however, a permissible consideration at sentencing or reviews thereof. Further complicating matters, there is a tension between age-related arguments in favor of release or home confinement of defendants and prisoners and human rights norms demanding the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of perpetrators of atrocity crimes."

The Stress of Injustice: Public Defenders and the Frontline of American Inequality

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"Fairness and due process in the criminal justice system are all but unattainable without effective legal representation of indigent defendants, yet we know little about attorneys who do this critical work—public defenders. Using semi-structured interviews, this study investigated occupational stress in a sample of 87 public defenders across the United States. We show how the intense and varied chronic stressors experienced at work originate in what we define as the stress of injustice: the social and psychological demands of working in a punitive system with laws and practices that target and punish those who are the most disadvantaged. Our findings are centered around three shifts in American criminal justice that manifest in the stress of injustice: penal excess, divestment in indigent defense, and the criminalization of mental illness. Working within these structural constraints makes public defenders highly vulnerable to chronic stress and can have profound implications for their ability to safeguard the rights of poor defendants."

Correctional Services During and Beyond COVID-19

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"Correctional services, both institutional and within the community, are significantly impacted by COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown those living and working in correctional facilities are particularly susceptible to exposure to potential contagions....

In this policy brief, we focus on the current situation and examine the tensions around how COVID-19 has introduced new challenges while also exacerbating strains on the correctional system....

As the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked public discourse about the fact that our correctional systems are in crisis and need to be reformed, we believe this is a particularly opportune time to consider drastically reducing the incarcerated population (decarcerating) and to reconsider who could be safely housed in the community. As many of our recommendations with respect to addressing the pandemic in correctional systems speak to efforts and considerations toward reducing the incarcerated population in the federal and provincial/territorial correctional systems, we see the current brief as an opportunity to also suggest improvements for those who will remain in prison (during COVID-19 and beyond).

In that respect, we highlight and make recommendations for the needs of those who remain incarcerated in general, and for Indigenous people in particular, as well as for those who are serving their sentences in the community. Further, we make recommendations for those working in closed-custody institutions and employed to support the re-entry experiences of formerly incarcerated persons."

"One Property at a Time": A City Tries to Revive without Gentrifying

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"Construction workers in the South Ward of Newark, one of New Jersey's most distressed areas, are busy converting a long-abandoned bank into an apartment building and poets cafe.

A decrepit mansion in the Central Ward built by a Newark beer baron before the turn of the 20th century is being revamped as a 'makerhood,' a first-of-its-kind co-working residential and retail space....

The transformation, fuelled largely by a push to expand affordable housing and homeownership in this city of renters, his part of a deliberate strategy with an ambitious goal: erasing Newark's long legacy of blight without pushing out residents 86 percent of whom are Black or Latino."

Joint Investigation of Clearview AI, Inc. by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada...

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"The Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC)... commenced a joint investigationFootnote 1 to examine whether Clearview AI, Inc.’s ('Clearview') collection, use and disclosure of the personal information by means of its facial recognition tool complied with federal and provincial privacy laws applicable to the private sector.

...the Offices determined that Clearview collected, used and disclosed the personal information of individuals in Canada for inappropriate purposes, which cannot be rendered appropriate via consent. We found that the mass collection of images and creation of biometric facial recognition arrays by Clearview, for its stated purpose of providing a service to law enforcement personnel, and use by others via trial accounts, represents the mass identification and surveillance of individuals by a private entity in the course of commercial activity. We found Clearview’s purposes to be inappropriate where they: (i) are unrelated to the purposes for which those images were originally posted; (ii) will often be to the detriment of the individual whose images are captured; and (iii) create the risk of significant harm to those individuals, the vast majority of whom have never been and will never be implicated in a crime. Furthermore, it collected images in an unreasonable manner, via indiscriminate scraping of publicly accessible websites."

State Crime Journal. Special Issue: The Covid-19 Pandemic and State Crime (Open Access)

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Contents:

  • State Crime, Structural Violence and COVID-19
  • Do Prisoners' Lives Matter? Examining the Intersection of Punitive Policies, Racial Disparities and COVID-19 as State Organized Race Crime
  • State Crime, Native Americans and COVID-19
  • Dying for the Economy: Disposable People and Economies of Death in the Global North
  • Violating Food System Workers' Rights in the Time of COVID-10: The Quest for State Accountability
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic in Puerto Rico: Exceptionality, Corruption and State-Corporate Crime
  • COVID-19 and the U.S. Health Care Industry: Towards a "Critical Health Criminology" within State Crime Studies
  • Amplified Vulnerabilities and Reconfigured Relations: COVID-19, Torture Prevention and Human Rights in the Global South
  • The Harms of State, Free-Market Common Sense and COVID-19

Predators Behind the Badge: Confronting Police Sexual Misconduct

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"As more efforts to stem sexual abuse by powerful men come to light, there still remains a marginalized group that continues to suffer at the hands of the people who should be protecting them.

They are the victims of police sexual misconduct.

Interviews with police and other experts and a review of available data by The Crime Report indicated that police sexual misconduct (PSM) most affects young people and others who are the most vulnerable in society— amounting to a betrayal of trust of those who look to them the most for guidance, protection and safety."

Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2020

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"Female victims continue to be particularly affected by trafficking in persons. In 2018, for every 10 victims de- tected globally, about five were adult women and two were girls. About one third of the overall detected victims were children, both girls (19 per cent) and boys (15 per cent), while 20 per cent were adult men.

Traffickers target victims who are marginalized or in dif- ficult circumstances. Undocumented migrants and peo- ple who are in desperate need of employment are also vulnerable, particularly to trafficking for forced labour."

Series: The Cocaine Pipeline to Europe

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"When Mexico's drug cartels forced Columbian traffickers out of the US cocaine market, they seized control of the most coveted prize in the global drug trade. But the smartest traffickers soon began to turn elsewhere, to a market where the profits were higher, the risks were lower and the potential for growth was immense. They turned to Europe.

Today, Europe is arguably the most attractive cocaine market in the world, and its size and importance only continues to grow. This series, which is the product of field work and investigations over two years in more than 10 countries in Latin American, the Caribbean and Europe, traces the evolution of the European cocaine trade and the Latin American and European criminal networks that have shaped it."

Did Prisons Ever Work? A Growing Movement Believes it's Time to Stop Putting Women in Jail

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"...Sandra Bucerius heads the University of Alberta Prison Project and is a professor of sociology and criminology at the school. She has interviewed over 600 prisoners in one of the largest qualitative studies on the challenges facing inmates worldwide. Dozens of women have told her that incarceration is better than the alternatives: going hungry, living on the street, being beaten by partners, being unable to afford medication, or facing addiction without access to treatment. But, as Bucerius points out, prisons were never designed to be stand-ins for mental health support, addiction care, employment services, or shelters. Instead, they are structured around ideas of punishment, places where we 'lock ’em up'—'them' being Canada’s dangerous and undesirable. Even as notions of reform and healing have muddled their purpose, the ugly truth is that prisons warehouse people we don’t want or don’t know what to do with—people our society has failed to support."

Stories of Injustice: The Criminalisation of Women Convicted under Joint Enterprise Laws

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"Joint enterprise (JE) is a set of legal principles grounded in common law and originating from Victorian times. They have re-emerged in the last two decades allowing for the collective punishments of many hundreds of people (McClenaghan et al, 2014). Through principles of common purpose, foresight and intent multiple individuals can be convicted for one offence, without taking account of the differing roles played; that some may not have participated or been present when the incident occurred; and were not aware that the offence was likely to happen....

This report uncovers new data related to the useof JE against women and significantly, presents qualitative accounts of the experience, harms and impact of such JE laws on women."