Does Trudeau back harm reduction or not, ask Sandra Ka Hon Chu and
Implementing needle and syringe programs in federal prisons could
prevent numerous new HIV and Hepatitis C virus infections each year,
saving tens of millions of dollars.
Five years ago, we started a constitutional court case, because it was
clear that, despite the evidence, the previous government would never
agree to implement these health services in federal prisons.
But the Trudeau government has repeatedly declared its commitment to
harm reduction and evidence-based policy, to Charter rights, and to
the health and welfare of vulnerable Canadians. Prison-based needle
and syringe programs reflect all of these.
[continues 585 words]
Anthony Gray expected to be an old man when he got out of prison after
serving a 30-year sentence for a relatively minor drug offense.
Aron Tuff was certain he would die there, having been sentenced to
life without parole after he was convicted in 1995 in Colquitt County
for possession of .03 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Both men were sentenced during a time when tough on crime drug laws of
the 1980s and '90s left many low-level drug offenders serving long
[continues 99 words]
The Atlanta City Council on Monday unanimously passed legislation
eliminating jail time and reducing penalties on possession of small
amounts of marijuana, but not before mayoral candidates got into
heated debates and backers of the bill became rowdy.
The legislation, which was resurrected in September after spending
months in committees because of concerns it might send the wrong
message, brings Atlanta closer to other large cities across the nation
that are either lessening penalties on pot or decriminalizing it
altogether as Americans' opinions on the drug evolve.
It will reduce the financial penalty for possession of one ounce or
less from up to $1,000 to a maximum of $75. Jail time, currently six
months for possession, would be eliminated for an ounce or less.
Convicted Chatham man may have qualified for conditional sentence if
legislation hadn't changed
Steven Wheeler will serve a sixmonth jail sentence for being in
possession of 11.2 kilograms - 24 pounds of marijuana - for the
purpose of trafficking.
However, the support received by his employer along with family and
friends may have enabled him to serve a conditional sentence - house
arrest - if changes had not been brought in under Bill C-10, in March
2012, to limit when the court can impose conditional sentences.
[continues 427 words]
Drug dealers convicted on federal trafficking charges received the
stiffest sentences from federal court judges last year in the Midwest
and the Southeast.
But the longer sentences are more driven by the type of drugs common
in different states rather than judges in one region being tougher on
drugs than counterparts elsewhere.
In many states with longer average sentences, methamphetamines were
the most prevalent drugs in these federal cases, according to a USA
Today Network analysis of U.S. Sentencing Commission data.
[continues 438 words]
The surge of illicit fentanyl endangering lives on Canadian streets
has now flooded into the country's prisons, posing a greater threat to
those working in an already perilous job.
In the past three weeks, at least nine federal correctional officers
have been exposed to the lethal drug, according to one union official,
putting staff on high alert for a substance they often can't detect
until it's too late. There have been no reported fatalities involving
correctional officers, but several inmate deaths owing to fentanyl
[continues 599 words]
Two former Kern County Sheriff's deputies avoided prison time Monday
for stealing and selling marijuana that was seized during drug busts.
Logan August and Derrick Penney were sentenced Monday to three years'
probation for the charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with
the intent to distribute marijuana, according to the U.S. attorney
office in Fresno.
August, a 30-year-old Bakersfield resident, was also ordered to serve
1,500 hours of community service and forfeit $16,500 earned in the
trafficking operation, federal authorities said.
[continues 600 words]
Correctional Service Canada vows to look into resources for inmates
with addictions following Vancouver-based group's call to action
Canada's prison agency said it will review the way it treats inmates
with opioid addictions in light of a series of accusations from
A letter sent to the Correctional Service Canada (CSC) on Monday - and
shared with The Globe and Mail - summarized the experiences of 33
prisoners held in the federal jailer's Pacific region who said they
couldn't access basic treatment for the highly addictive class of
drugs that includes fentanyl and oxycodone.
[continues 598 words]
Man convicted despite evidence being lost by police prior to
A man convicted of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking
despite police losing the drugs will appeal both his conviction and
the 30-month sentence he received Monday.
"I have already consulted with appeal counsel in Toronto," said Ken
Marley, defence lawyer for Miles Patrick Meraw. "I'm hoping the Court
of Appeal will have the opportunity to analyze this. A case like this
has never been before an appellate court."
[continues 350 words]
Auditors uncovered what a prison spokesman called "terrible" and
"unacceptable" failures to conduct contraband searches of inmates,
cells and staff.
The Michigan Department of Corrections said Thursday it may take
disciplinary action after auditors uncovered what a prison spokesman
called "terrible" and "unacceptable" failures to conduct contraband
searches of inmates, cells and staff at a women's prison.
Auditor General Doug Ringler said during two five-day periods last
year, the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti did
not conduct or document nearly a quarter of the required cell searches
and prisoner shakedowns. Using surveillance video, auditors also found
that 58 of 170 required cell searches were not backed up by the
footage -- meaning they were potentially falsified.
[continues 272 words]
It was a miscarriage of dust-ice.
A handyman spent three months behind bars after cops believed they'd
found cocaine sprinkled around his car -- until test results later
proved it was clean, according to reports.
Karlos Cash, 57, says the white powder was actually drywall -- just as
he'd been telling them all along.
"I know for a fact (that) it's drywall because I'm a handyman," he
told WFTV Orlando. "I said that continuously during the arrest stop."
[continues 164 words]
In "A New Kind of Jail for the Opiate Age" (Sunday Review, June 18),
Sam Quinones argues for in-jail treatment as a solution to rising opioid
We should certainly improve treatment in jails. But by focusing on
building drug treatment infrastructure inside the criminal justice
system, we further institutionalize its placement there. This
reinforces the belief that people battling addiction deserve
punishment -- undoing years of progress to understand addiction as a
Any contact with our justice system affects people beyond their time
behind bars. Incarceration or a criminal conviction should not be a
prerequisite to treatment. In many states, possession of opioids
remains a felony. We should divert these people away from
incarceration and into treatment programs instead.
The writers are, respectively, director of the Justice Program at the
Brennan Center for Justice at the N.Y.U. School of Law and a research
associate in the program.
To the Editor:
Using jail as a program for drug users is a symptom of another urgent
problem: mass incarceration, which increasingly takes the form of an
overcrowded rural or small county jail.
In 2010, Kenton County, Ky., built a very large jail for a county its
size, equivalent to New York City's tripling the size of Rikers Island
to 30,000 beds. Kenton's new jail is overcrowded, costs the county more
than expected, and is soaking up tax dollars that could be used for
innovative, community-based drug treatment that would look much more
affordable if the jail weren't so large.
[continues 65 words]
The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, but this
hasn't solved our problems. There were a record 33,000 opioid deaths
in the U.S. in 2015. Our homicide rate is seven times the average of
21 Western developed nations, plus Japan.
Politicians are making jail the answer to addressing issues dealing with
drug addiction, mental illness and violent crime. Yet jail doesn't seem
to properly address these issues and often worsens the problems
associated with them.
[continues 54 words]
Drug use in jail is a reality and reducing harm is vital, say Richard
Elliott and Rick Lines.
Almost one-third of federal prisoners reported using drugs during the
past six months.
In December 2016, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott committed her
government to a new national drug strategy that reinstates harm
reduction as a non-negotiable pillar. It was a welcome announcement,
signalling a modest shift away from the last decade's emphasis on
prohibition and punishment - policies that continue to kill people who
use drugs in Canada.
[continues 590 words]
Mark Baratta works with drug users on the front lines of Ontario's
opioid epidemic. But as deaths mount, Baratta's story illustrates how
far society has to go to end the crisis . . . if it so chooses
Like most people who might be called heroes, Mark Baratta shies away
from the label. A lean and purposeful man, Baratta has saved 17
people, each on separate occasions. He chalks it up, with a shrug of
his shoulders, to keeping his head in the presence of death.
[continues 3104 words]
KITCHENER - The Crown will be seeking jail sentences for the owners of
a Waterloo marijuana store charged after a police raid last summer.
Nour Louka, 30, pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for the
purpose of trafficking. Her husband, Shady Louka, 31, pleaded guilty
to careless storage of a 9 mm Glock handgun.
They both face a string of other charges, including additional counts
of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, after
police raided their Waterloo Dispensary store on King Street North in
uptown Waterloo last August.
[continues 247 words]
'Prince' and 'Princess of Pot' face several drug-related charges after
Marc and Jodie Emery, Vancouver's first couple of cannabis, have been
arrested, as police across the country raided seven of the couple's
Cannabis Culture marijuana dispensaries, including a shop on West
Hastings and a residence in Vancouver.
The Emerys were charged Thursday with drug-related offences in
Toronto, after raids in Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver. They are due
back in Toronto court this morning.
The self-styled "Princess of Pot" were arrested Wednesday as they went
to board a plane at Toronto's Pearson International Airport for a
cannabis expo in Spain.
[continues 665 words]
Dear Editor: I'm a retired paramedic. I did my first ambulance call in
1952 and my last in 1992 in Vancouver. I totally believe that not even
five percent of addicts can be rehabilitated so I support the mayor of
Coquitlam's suggestion to open up the hospitals at Esondale and get the
addicts off the street and away from drugs is a good start.
But the only way to stop this disaster and get drugs off the street
once and for all is by giving jail time of 15 years for selling drug
and 20 years for trafficking.
When addicts can't get access to drugs, the problem will go away
Former corrections employee sentenced on drug trafficking
A Sydney Mines woman was given a two-year federal jail sentence Monday
after pleading guilty to drug trafficking at the Cape Breton
Special federal prosecutor David Iannetti told the court that Nicole
Marie Smith, 46, came to the attention of jail officials when a letter
was found in which an inmate thanked Smith for bringing marijuana into
Smith worked part time in the kitchen at the provincial jail and had
struck up a friendship with a male inmate who also worked in the kitchen.
[continues 316 words]