Tag Archives: social issues

Trick or Treat -Laws and Canadian Prison Inmates

inmate prison cells block

Laws in Canada are available across the nation for many Canadians. Laws are created to help keep society operating, and sets down rules for actions and behaviors that are unacceptable and applies consequences. They serve as guidelines for how people can best manage themselves both in private and in public life. Most importantly, to help keep harm from befalling the people.

Laws are created by the government and enforced by police and the Judicial system (Judges, jails, prisons). Citizens are able to go to court to defend themselves with a court-appointed lawyer, or hired lawyer.

A prison sentence can be applied for crimes that fall within the Canadian Criminal code. There are Federal, Provincial and municipal laws, courts and varying levels of consequences. Canadian prisons have a high number of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color) which should beg the question, why? And what does this say about the government, courts and nation, to accept such obvious differentiation?

I’m Indigenous, and would think, I’m NOT safe in this country because I’m colored. Does it seem like the Life of a minority is meaningless in this nation?

Crimes are committed by both genders, men and women, and Youth laws apply to youths since they too have proven that they can commit adult crimes. Outcomes of going through the court system, after age 18 for criminal charges, creates a Criminal record. This record keeps a record of all crimes that a person commits and, becomes a barrier towards finding employment in certain careers. It is permanent. Youth records get sealed but not always.

Tricks

Now, let’s take a peek at those behind bars residing in jail/prisons. A common antic that arises for an inmate nearing his/her release date. One or more inmates will go all out with violence to sabotage and/or cancel outright, the release of another inmate.

Such acts will ensure another criminal charge upon the inmate ready for release. This will prolong his/her stay in jail for another time frame, and until another court day is set for this new charge.

A deliberate physical assault gets initiated against the inmate set for release, and the one initiating the fight will ‘play‘ the role of victim. We’ll assign them as inmate A, ready for release, and inmate B, plans to stop the release.

Jails and prisons may and/or will have two inmates per cell. So, during lockdown the two inmates are in one room. Nobody is looking, staff shortages do not have guards patrolling the cells, and there may be no cameras. Inmate B will not have any witnesses other than maybe one or two cells across the aisle and those inmates may support his claim.

The distance between cells may skew line of sight. Nobody may see inmate B throwing the first punch. They may not see the non-stop attack being done upon inmate A. They may only see the middle-to-end fighting.

payhip advert

Inmate A defending himself from harm and inmate B taking hits willingly even deliberately walking into the return punches. After all, the worst inmate B looks, the worst the jail and courts will see inmate A.

Once this assault has the attention of the prison guards. Inmate B enters his/her role, the victim of a physical assault. Inmate A is immediately removed and put into another prison area designated for the ‘violent’. A serious unpredictable environment literally has inmates in high stress and survival mode. Is this supposed to help ‘rehabilitate‘ inmates too?

Usually, an inmate is moved to a ‘range’ with other inmates soon to be released, and they wait out their time with minimal, if any, problems. Unfortunately, this practice may not be followed nor available.

Office of the Correctional Investigator

Oh yes, I know. This can’t be real! No way, etc, etc. It happens, is happening. I suggest you read one, or more, reports from the Office of the Correctional Investigator –> here to learn about the most recent 2019-2020 report.

The reports are honest and definitely fall within his Mission Statement of investigations and “ serves Canadians and contributes to safe, lawful and humane corrections through independent oversight of the Correctional Service of Canada by providing accessible, impartial and timely investigation of individual and systemic concerns.” I appreciate the honesty, courage, humanity and objectivity of these reports, and glad he can present them to Parliament.

It is greatly alarming to read about Corrections staff permitting harms between inmates, and permission from Superiors, to use ‘techniques‘ requiring brutal physical force upon inmates aka ‘pain compliance techniques‘ for 17 minutes.

Reading this section of the report was quite eye opening, and I have to ask the governments and all parties who ‘create‘ such policies, why allow inflicting such brutality on others? Add to these abhorrent acts done by Corrections staff – there are zero consequences. Nobody takes responsibility nor are charges applied. I do not see how such treatment of inmates helps to ‘rehabilitate‘ them for re-entry into mainstream society.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Canada has a Constitution Act with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and under Legal Rights, the following says :

Treatment and Punishment

12. Everyone has the Right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

The policy for ‘Pain compliance‘ has since been changed. No such force is permitted but how long will that last? We saw the effects on inmates of what ‘Segregation‘ does to the human mind. Yet this practice is still ongoing. It just has a new name, Quarantine being one. Inmates still sit in segregation cells for 23 hours and maybe, allowed out for one hour, and time runs out to use the phone for many when they’re forced to return to their cells.

Further into reading the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we will see ;

Application of Charter

27. The Criminal Law, except the Constitution of Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction, but including the Procedure in Criminal Matters.

  • 32 (1) This Charter applies
    • (a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and
    • (b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.

Read a little further into the Constitution Act and we’ll find a division between Federal and Provincial powers and jurisdiction that shows TWO Constitutions;

VI. Distribution of Legislative Powers

Powers of the Parliament

Legislative Authority of Parliament of Canada

28. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Penitentiaries.

Exclusive Powers of Provincial Legislatures

6. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Public and Reformatory Prisons in and for the Province.

7. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Hospitals, Asylums, Charities, and Eleemosynary Institutions in and for the Province, other than Marine Hospitals.

Laws and Inmates

Sleight of hand? Create changes in policies to become law of the land. A method used in Federal and Provincial governments, to skirt accepting responsibility for any wrongdoing. Do you see it? One level of government follows the rules and turns a blind eye on the 2nd level of government allowing brutalities behind bars and near open abuses on the People. Both claim innocence and, ‘its for public safety‘ and neither allowing consequences for such brutalities.

Is this a Proud moment for Canadians?

Is this truly acceptable treatment of prison Inmates?

Do you question the state of mind of government officials who write policy?

Does each ‘erosion‘ of Rights mean LESS Protections for the People?

Should any level of government be allowed to ‘violate’ Constitutional rights of the People with impunity (exempt from punishment)?

Is this how Canada should be governed ?

Is there no ONE and TRUE Constitution now?

Learning in Motion

Reading Resources

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, PDF

What is difference between flawed democracy and full democracy?

10 Awful Canadian Violations of Human Rights

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your new found knowledge with others. Use the ‘Ask A Question’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by RSS feed.

Share

Living the Conditions of Genocide

genocide,60s Scoop, ptsd, mental health, living genocide, healing and welness
Healing from Genocide

One day, nestled in the forest, a child giggles and points to the birds flying by, staying close to his/her parent. This parent teaches the child how to pronounce words, naming the birds, a tree, the grass. That smile that lights up the parents face when this child repeats the words back, correctly, makes this child happy beyond words. It’s called joy. This world can truly be a wondrous place with this parent. Can you imagine experiencing such a joy and sense of freedom, security, from your own childhood years?

Genocide, in our minds, refers to ‘mass murder’ of a people but there are a few other terms that need explaining since they get used interchangeably but have their own separate definitions. As we know, the United Nations defines Genocide as ‘the destruction of a national ethnic, racial or religious group‘ and is considered the ultimate crime against humanity. It doesn’t have to necessarily mean complete annihilation of a group but still aims, to ‘eradicate‘ a part of Humanity.

Crimes against Humanity refers to systematic attacks against the civilian population regardless of whether in times of peace or war. It refers to acts against common human rights and values such as murder, extermination, forced displacement, slavery, rape, torture and other inhumane acts.

War Crimes, refers to criminal acts committed during armed conflicts and severe acts of Breach to the Rules of warfare. These rules are set down in the Geneva Conventions to protect the innocent civilian population, prisoners of war, sick or wounded military personnel, destruction of towns, cities, not justified by armed combatants.

The term crimes against humanity, is considered an ‘umbrella‘ term to encompass crimes that are not necessarily extreme as genocide but these crimes do not need to reach this point, in order to be defined and punished, by International laws.

The conditions that occur in armed conflict zones affect people who make up a society. A society is defined as, ‘a group of people who live within the same territory and share a common culture’ (Sociology, The Core). Their social structure (more-or-less recurrent and stable patterns) are disrupted and people are displaced when homes, towns, villages are destroyed.

Culture refers to ‘the social heritage of a people, learned patterns for thinking, feeling and acting that are passed from one generation to the next. It includes ‘non-material’ culture, (the abstract creations like values, beliefs, symbols, norms, customs) and the ‘material’ culture which refers to the ‘physical’ artifacts and objects’.

The armed conflict zones, even in peaceful zones,can affect society and culture especially if ‘ethnocentrism‘ (judge the behavior of other groups by the standards of one’s OWN group) is the driving force to perceive others as an object of loathing, strangeness, evil and danger. It is one of three ingredients that arise from apathy towards the acts of racism.

The urge and need, for self-preservation kicks in, and people will flee the conflict zone. They will enter a new nation seeking asylum and refuge. They will learn to add a new ‘culture‘ to their own. One barrier may be ‘language‘. It is considered one of Man’s greatest ‘symbols‘ since it is ‘a socially structured system of sound patterns with specific and arbitrary meanings’. Language is the ‘cornerstone‘ of every culture around the world and PRINCIPLE means by which human beings create culture and share it from generation to generation’.

Perspectives on reasons that conflict exists may differ, such as :

i) failure to give minorities full equality, wastes valuable human resources, generates ethnic hostilities, reduces economic production and undermines authority

ii) A study of dominant group policies has revealed that a dominant nation ‘developed six types of policies: assimilation, pluralism, legal protection of minorities, population transfer, continued subjugation, and extermination‘(George E.Simpson and J.Milton Yinger, 1972). The minorities are kept ‘in their place‘-subservient, vulnerable and exploitable.

The long term effects of conflict zones have been studied since the First World war. Many names have been applied and today, a common term is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is used to describe the psychological impact of a traumatic event for an individual.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that ‘10% of the people who experience traumatic events will have serious mental health problems and another 10% will develop behavior that will hinder their ability to function effectively‘. It is a tragic consequence of living through conflict upon any Human regardless of age.

Research has found that rehabilitation can be gained with positive new life experiences, psychological support, religious and cultural practices. If we can provide opportunity to fulfill Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs: physiological (water, food, air), safety and security (shelter), love and belonging (family, friends, community), self-esteem (positive new experiences, hope, joy), self-actualization (conscious of others, able to help others), rehabilitation and recovery can be attained. People accessing help are found to be resilient and find recovery. WHO and the UN continue their research for improving and providing continual help in this area.

Did you know that 2/3 of the Indigenous population of N America, were wiped out by the early colonists and pride abounds, in that extreme act? Remember the little child, so happy beyond words? Well, 1950’s to today, First Nation children have been systematically and regularly ‘apprehended‘ and removed, from their FN communities and families. Adult children of the 60’s Scoop have literally ‘lived‘ the EXACT same conditions and experiences, as the terrified refugee’s (arriving on our shores) but, in government care by the Childrens Aid Society, in their own homelands, Canada. Do you think that’s truly fair to do, upon a People? a Child?

Learning in Action

Related Reading

Racism Can Cause PTSD Similar To That Of Soldiers After War

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

FREE Download, UN Declaration of Human Rights

What is PTSD and What can we do about it?

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to share your new found knowledge with others. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. I hope you visit again for more informative articles coming soon.

Article(C)2009 current  AIC| An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us. She works as a VEA to help businesses operate more effectively.

Share

Why Incite Domestic Genocide?

state genocide, united nations, human rights violations
why incite domestic genocide?

Laws are created to govern human behavior and enforced through institutions, such as law enforcement and judicial offices, to maintain peace and order. These laws are rules and guidelines designed by government or evolve as precedents by Judges. What about laws created by governments to specifically ‘target’ citizens or groups, for political or financial gain? Who now protects these citizens from their own government?

Rafal (Raphael) Lemkin had visited war torn nations where acts of genocide had been committed. He was the first to coin the Greek-Latin term ‘genocide’: ‘geno’ translated means ‘race, people’ and ‘cide’ in latin, means ‘to kill’. His experience with ‘group exterminations‘ led to writing his book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. Mr Lemkin would help orchestrate the introduction of the draft resolution for the ‘Genocide Convention’ treaty’, with support from the USA, to the United Nations, which was adopted December 9, 1951. It has withstood time and referenced for major cases of genocide.

The Genocide Convention did not fully accept ALL recommendations of Mr. Lemkins draft. He had tried to include ‘non-physical‘ aspects which referred to the ‘pschological‘ effects from acts of genocide that wasn’t related to outright murder. This referred to acts such as ‘ a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.

Genocide is directed against the national group as an entity, and the actions involved are directed against individuals, not in their individual capacity, but as members of the national group’ and he also includes, “Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. This imposition, in turn, may be made upon the oppressed population which is allowed to remain or upon the territory alone, after removal of the population and the colonization by the oppressor’s own nationals.”

Mr. Lemkin believed that acts of genocide required ‘techniques‘ that would affect a people as a whole, such as the Russian genocide. Ukrainians died and suffered during a deliberate ‘famine‘ consequently wiping out five million Ukranians and ‘Ukranian Nationalism‘. Lemkin considered this as wiping out a culture and nation. He stated how techniques could be used in other areas, to diminish a groups’ politics, social, cultural, economic, biological, physical self (endangering health, mass killing, religious) and/or their moral beliefs.

Two scholars from Canada, Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn, would also draw their own observations on the subtle motives and characteristics of genocidal acts, categorized in the following;

Ideological, creating a society to hold ONE belief, race and culture
Retributive, steps are taken to eliminate real or imagined threats. Dominant group is in fear of rebels and/or outright rebellion.
Developmental, steps are taken by a dominant group, for economic gain.
Despotic, terror is spread against real or imagined threats.

The United Nations is considered one of mankind’s great achievements. It was set up to encourage governments from around the world to work together to keep world peace next to advancing economic partnerships, international laws, security, social progress, a podium for nation-to-nation discussions and protect human rights, on a global scale. It is an institution that has fantastic ideals but in reality, has become considered impotent, an office only for ‘prestige’ and offers NO true protection.

Domestic genocide (Kuper, 1985) is a problem that’s been found to exist yet remains un-addressed. It refers to ‘acts of genocide committed within a state by citizens of the state‘. Prosecutions for this particular act(s) of genocide are ignored therefore begs the question, should those in knowledge , giving permission, be considered as ‘complicit‘, to the various forms of genocide being enacted? A definition of complicity is, a ‘partnership, or one is privy, criminal participance‘.

Atrocities have been committed and continue in this day and age (Rwanda, Darfur, Kurds,etc). Acts and violations against others, have evolved, are practiced and explained (excused?)  away but are the very forms of genocide, that are NOT included, in the Genocide Convention. What has gone wrong?

Why allow citizens to hate on their fellow citizens regardless of gender, culture, ethnicity, race, belief, etc.? It seems to only grow, when there’s silence from government or protective laws don’t exist. It’s a good step towards letting a nation tear itself apart and government to herald in, stricter laws for ‘reactions‘ of victims vs ‘behaviors’ of the abuser. Do you see anything wrong with this system?

Criminal studies have documented that criminals look for ‘avenues of ample opportunity‘, to commit or hide their crimes. They are opportunistic and predatory therefore prey on those considered ‘weak‘. So, when people with criminal behaviors enter government offices, and start creating legislated hardships, on a specified citizenry, where are the people expected to turn for help, especially if a war, would literally, annihilate them? Or they’re threatened with loss of freedoms (prison), when their acts are not criminal or harmful towards others?

The Genocide Convention should create an ‘Addendum‘ to include the ‘psychological‘ and ‘subtler‘ acts of genocide, found, seen, experienced and recommended by Mr. Lemkin, Mr, Chalk and Mr. Jonassohn but a few obstacles, in the areas of immunity, jurisdiction, extradition, and definition, have prevented prosecution of these crimes. If members of the UN agree to uphold UN conventions within their own nations, it should be assumed, they shall adjust their own nations’ laws accordingly, to follow a new ‘addendum‘ of the UN. Leaders want their people and others, accountable but they too, should return the favor, and be accountable to the People.

A major obstacle has been providing a ‘precise‘ definition of genocide. Many reports and studies have been provided but no decision made as to specifying the term. It must include both the ‘intent to destroymotive of the perpetrator as well as the ‘group characteristic’ of the victims. Meanwhile, studies and reports about the many forms of motives and characteristics have been provided! Incessant arguments about accepting and settling upon a final decision, on the definition of genocide, continues to leave many victims helpless to attacks and extreme lack of legal recourse. What could ‘criminals‘ do, sitting in as UN members?

A few nations have listened to their citizenry over the years and enacted laws considered beneficial for society, as a whole. New criminal laws and punishments are created and continue to evolve due to technological advances, and arising new crimes. This too, should be a goal of the United Nations, EVOLVE into a better institution with updating their own laws, especially in the area of criminal laws. Paying attention to new and questioning rescinded protective laws, of developed nations, could help develop inspiration towards their own law creation and updates.

A need to build a better mousetrap, seems always ongoing but there’s no such thing as ‘perfect’. Laws evolve with society, some good, some not but they are not written in stone. There’s always room to change and adjust as time goes by, but help from the United Nations, in keeping with their mandate, should always be immediately available to the oppressed. Where have you seen acts of domestic genocide?

Knowledge in Action

Related Reading

Genocide Watch

Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide

The Genocide Education Project

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your thoughts. Use the contact form to send me a email, if you have a request for a topic of your interest, would like a guest post, or to just say Hello!

Article(C)2012, all rights reserved. Ginsense creates and posts articles online about business development, micro business, health, science, technology and social issues.

Share