News from the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee
Public Policy Work
The Provincial HSJCC made a pre-budget submission to the Ontario Minister of Finance on January 31, 2014.
You can read the submission here
The Provincial HSJCC wrote to the Minister of Justice regarding Bill C-14, the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act.
Sent on January 21, 2014, you can read the letter here
News from the Northeast
Northeast Regional Outcomes Project – Partners Measuring Performance
The Northeast Regional Justice Programs, comprised of 9 community mental health agencies and the North Bay Regional Health Centre, have been working on a unique collaborative project to develop a set of commonly defined outcomes to measure the success rate of mental health diversions, alternate dispositions and admission aversion rates for fitness to stand trial assessments. Working with a consultant from Statim
to develop the measures well as a web based portal system to collect and analyze the data Phase One of the project went live April 1, 2013. The project is currently in Phase 2 which is being funded by the LHIN and involves analyzing the current data and developing further measures. This unique regional project will assist in demonstrating how universally defined measures will allow us to better analyze the effectiveness of the Justice programs as well as identify and evaluate local and regional trends in the systems.
Sudbury Community Wellness Court
The Sudbury Community Wellness Court had its first sitting on February 7th, 2014 and by all accounts was a success. Nine individuals attended this new bi-weekly court which will assist individuals with mental health issues, concurrent disorders and developmental disabilities who are in the court system in a more compassionate and meaningful way. The court will assist individuals who may be considered for or who are on a mental health diversion plan as well as individuals who wish to plea. The court will also consider fitness to stand trial matters and criminal responsibility on a case by case basis.
Sarah Gauthier, Co-Chair, Northeast Regional HSJCC
HSJCC Webinars Available Online
This webinar explores risk management as it relates to the specific implementation of the Hamilton Anatomy of Risk Management (HARM) Tool. Risk factors for violence vary from inpatient hospital settings to community settings and this webinar also explores implementation of the HARM tool in both settings. Learn from experts about implementation and ways in which your organization can use this tool.
Many individuals are released from custody without their medication, health card, money, keys to their residence and sometimes even without their civilian clothes. Individuals cannot or do not pick up their belongings due to transportation issues and other barriers, leaving them stranded and more likely to re-offend.
Media Items and Press Releases
Mental health court system flawed, but works: lawyer
A St. John's lawyer with expertise in mental health cases says the process to determine if someone is fit to stand trial may be flawed, but it works. "Basically stated, the person has to understand who the judge is, and what is their role; who the prosecutor is and what is their role; who the defence is, and what is their role," said Mark Gruchy, who's also president of the Canadian Mental Health Association's provincial chapter.
Mental health workers say government must do more to ensure safety of all involved
Health care workers in Halifax say the government must change the way people who suffer from mental illnesses are dealt with in the justice system. Joan Jessome, the president of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU), says the safety of clients, health care works and other patients is at stake. “There are some clients that are very violent, and our members get hurt on a regular basis on the job,” she said.
Jury recommends de-escalation in police confrontations with the mentally ill
The Canadian Press
When police encounter an emotionally disturbed person officers should put more emphasis on defusing the situation through communication, particularly if those people don’t respond to shouted police commands, a coroner’s jury recommended Wednesday. The suggestion is one of dozens of recommendations put forward by a five-member jury in an inquest into the deaths of three mentally ill Toronto residents who were shot by police. Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Eligon were all gunned down after approaching officers with knives or scissors. Police should “maximize emphasis on verbal de-escalation techniques” in their training, the jury recommended.
“If the EDP (emotionally disturbed person) has failed to respond to standard initial police commands, ie “Stop. Police,” “Police. Don’t move,” and/or “Drop the weapon,” train officers to stop shouting those commands and attempt different defusing communication strategies,” the jury recommended.
Mother’s cry ‘really confused me,’ officer tells inquest into disabled man’s death
As Charles McGillivary lay on the pavement turning blue and gasping for air, a police officer rolled him onto his side but did not perform CPR, an inquest heard Tuesday.
Raymond Kang had been a Toronto Police constable for two years on Aug. 1, 2011, when he and his partner were searching the Bloor and Christie Sts. area for a suspect who had allegedly violated his bail conditions.
The officers mistakenly apprehended McGillivary, 45, a mute, mentally disabled man who fell into medical distress after officers knocked him to the ground. A coroner’s inquest is examining his death.
Helping victims of offenders who are not criminally responsible
In Canada’s criminal justice system there is strong discussion about offenders who are found not criminally responsible because they have a mental illness (NCR). Our federal government has recently proposed a bill in Parliament that could keep some NCR offenders removed from the community for a longer period of time, but there is also a focus in the Act on “enhancing victim’s involvement.”
Prisons Overwhelmed by Mental Illness: Watchdog
Howard Sapers has spent the last 10 years probing Canada's federal prison system, calling out malpractice and gaps in service and documenting them in more than dozen reports.
As the Correctional Investigator of Canada (currently in his third term), it's his job to advocate for the rights of those inside the system. His most recent reports have slammed Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) for its lax approach to caring for elderly and chronically ill inmates, a growing segment of the prison population.
He's also been highly critical of the impact of Tory crime legislation on issues of overcrowding in prisons -- in particular the criminizialition of mental illness.
Li to get enhanced freedom
Winnipeg Free Press
Vince Li, the mentally ill man found not criminally responsible for a random killing on board a Greyhound bus, has been granted increased freedoms as he tries to work his way back into the community.
The provincial review board released its decision this afternoon, agreeing to all of the proposed enhancements made earlier in the week at Li’s annual hearing.
Allan Schoenborn, convicted child-killer, denied day pass
The B.C. Review Board has denied convicted child-killer Allan Schoenborn's request for escorted community access from the Port Coquitlam Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, according to the family of Schoenborn's victims.
Six years ago, Schoenborn was found not criminally responsible for killing the three children he had with Darcie Clarke.
Inquest commended – Video Interview
CTV News/The Loop
Steve Lurie of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto Branch, says the inquest into the police shooting deaths of Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Eligon did a fabulous job with their recommendations.
Coroners Inquest – Radio Interview
CBC Metro Morning
Seventy-five recommendations have come out of an inquest into police shootings of people with mental health issues. But will they have any effect on the interactions between police officers and people in crisis? Guest host Helen Mann spoke with Toronto Deputy Police Chief, Mike Federico.
Jeffrey Arenburg's story fuels not-criminally-responsible debate
An unprecedented view into the life of a man found not criminally responsible for a death almost 20 years ago is fuelling debate around the issue of what happens to these offenders once they are released.
Jeffrey Arenburg was found not criminally responsible (NCR) on account of mental disorder for shooting Ottawa TV sportscaster Brian Smith in 1995. He told his story for the first time to the fifth estate host Bob McKeown in an interview that will air Friday at 9 p.m. ET on CBC television.
Arenburg says that while Canada’s legal system determined he was not responsible for his actions, it has been difficult to move on with his life.
“Okay, I shot Brian Smith,” he says. But he adds that he also has “a right to have a life without everybody being told what to think” about him because of the NCR label.
Innocent until Proven Guilty - Except on Remand
When we put someone in jail, deprive them of their liberty, the incarceration usually follows a series of legal encounters we call due process. Things like arrest, charge, preliminary hearing, trial, conviction, sentencing. We go through this rigmarole because we believe that a person accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This is nothing new, it's a concept which goes back to Roman times. It is guaranteed in Section 11 of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Except all too often in Canada, we throw people in jail who haven't been found guilty of anything. In provincial jails across the country there are prisoners who have not been convicted of any crime and who are living in appalling conditions awaiting disposition of their case.
They are on remand.
How MPP Kevin Flynn became a mental health crusader
The last thing Kevin Flynn expected when he won his seat in the Ontario legislature was that he would become a mental health champion. He had a business background. He had never studied psychology.
Not once in his 18 years as a municipal and regional councillor had the issue come up. His only exposure to mental illness was “crazy Uncle Larry” in England.
Today the three-term MPP can’t let go of the issue. He can’t stop thinking about the raw pain witnesses poured out as an all-party committee on mental health crossed the province. He can’t rest knowing that hundreds of thousands of Ontarians are waiting helplessly for treatment.
“It changed me. It opened me up to an issue I didn’t understand. Now I see it all around me.”
B.C. judge says mandatory minimum for drug offences is unconstitutional
A British Columbia Provincial Court judge has ruled that a one-year mandatory minimum sentence for drug trafficking recently introduced by the federal government is a violation of the Charter of Rights and declared it "of no force and effect."
B.C. Provincial Court Judge Joseph Galati instead sentenced Joseph Ryan Lloyd on Wednesday to 191 days behind bars, saying the 25-year-old from Alberta was a low-level dealer selling drugs to support his own addiction.
"Provincial Court judges in the City of Vancouver deal constantly with drug addicts who resort to crime to feed their addictions," Galati wrote in a decision last month on an application in the case.
Barrie officers get crisis training to help with mental health calls
Police officers are often called to help people struggling with mental health issues.
In Barrie, for example, there’s a call almost every day. And that kind of police work demands some special skills.
This week, officers in Barrie are getting the training they need.
Const. Paul Matte will never forget the time he had to talk down a woman holding a knife.
“What she conveyed to us was that she was going to kill herself,” he says.
Those kinds of calls are not rare. Often police are the first to get involved when someone with a mental health issue is in trouble.
Better care sought for mentally ill inmates
In less than 72 hours, Zlatko Sego went from enjoying birthday cake in his family home to being found dead in a Toronto jail.
Sego, 39, who lived with schizophrenia, was found hanging by bed sheets in his cell at the Toronto (Don) Jail on April 19, 2012.
His suicide highlights what experts call the “medieval” system of sending people with mental illness to jail. Advocates worry those with severe mental illness continue to be stuck behind bars instead of in hospital for treatment.
“It’s like putting you in jail for having cancer. You’d say, ‘Well, what did I do? I was born this way,’ ” said criminal defence lawyer Frank Addario, who is currently fighting a case centred on the issue at the Supreme Court of Canada. “They seem the least desirable constituency that exists.”
This summer, a coroner’s inquest will try to determine how it got this way — and why the system let Sego down.
Until then, the province must grapple with keeping those with mental illness out of jail and those inside safe.
Would a police record check cost you a job? The answer might surprise you
A 17-year-old woman is caught by the police with an open can of beer. The police officer drives the kid home with no ticket issued or charges laid. She is released into the care of her parents. Three years later, the young woman applies for a police record check in preparation for a volunteer position at her neighbourhood elementary school. The check comes back with a box ticked indicating that she may have had a negative encounter with the police. The elementary school declines her application to volunteer.
Two brothers get into an argument, which becomes heated. Family members are unable to deescalate the situation themselves, so they call the police for support. The police attend, stabilize the situation, and depart the scene. No charges are laid. Six months later, one of the brothers, an emergency medical technician, is getting his license renewed, and the incident appears on his police record check.
A young woman calls her friend and informs him that she is about to commit suicide. He immediately calls 911. The police attend, and take the young woman into custody under the Mental Health Act. She receives treatment and, several years later, is doing very well and has had no further contact with the police. She applies for a job as a dental hygienist and is rejected because her police record makes note of a mental health incident attended by the police.
Although these scenarios are entirely fictional, they are consistent with reports we get on a regular basis from individuals surprised to discover their “criminal records” are not as clear as they thought.
Vigil for Ajax man killed by Durham police demands changes to police training
Ali Van Kirk is still waiting for her big-hearted uncle Mike to open the door, yell her name and scoop her up in a hug.
Standing on the spot where he was shot and killed by police, Van Kirk weeps as she remembers the man who was at every concert or game, cheering the loudest.
“He was our devoted Uncle Mike who never missed an important game, concert or event that any of us ever took part in. Spending time with us was never something he needed to do — it was something he enjoyed doing, and it meant the world to all of us,” said Van Kirk, 18, to an audience gathered at a Saturday evening candlelight vigil in his honour.
Ottawa cops may expend mental health unit ride alongs
Ottawa police are looking into expanding a program that sees psychiatrists ride along with officers, to help people deal with mental health issues.
"It's something that we're considering," said Ottawa police Staff Sgt. Dana Reynolds, with the mental health unit.
"The demand is definitely there."
Slate names Saskatoon Cst. Derek Chesney Most Valuable Cop
Saskatoon police constable Derek Chesney has been named "Most Valuable Cop" by the American online magazine Slate, for a blog post he wrote an hour after learning that a homeless man, Alvin Cote, had died.
Cote was a well-known fixture on the city's downtown streets. Chesney wrote in a post on the Saskatoon Police Service's blog, Cops and Bloggers, that "many of us officers, especially those who've worked in Central Division and the downtown area, have become like an extended family to Alvin over the years".
Red Deer police to launch 'unarmed response' project
Red Deer Advocate
A Red Deer City RCMP pilot project allowing civilians to respond to non-urgent calls is expected to get on the road this year.
Greg Scott, the city’s director of Community Services, told council on Tuesday that the unarmed response pilot project should be up and running by the end of the first quarter in 2014.
Edmonton Police Commission hears one year update on Heavy Users of Service project
He had a lifetime of abuse and alcoholism, homeless at least nine years and addicted before that. The man lived with his brother, until the brother died.
He had life-threatening medical conditions, untreated mental health issues. Between March and December, he had 80 interactions with police, including 50 times where his intoxication was explicitly noted.
After going to a Ponoka centre for detox, sorting through court issues and being placed in a care centre, the client has had one interaction with the system in three months for a health issue.
The story is one case a year into the Edmonton Police Service Heavy Users of Service (HUoS) project.
Dealing with social issues has only just begun.
A death in restraints after ‘standard procedure’
As soon as Lisa Brown saw the ambulance pulling into the parking lot at Bridgewater State Hospital that May evening in 2009, she felt certain something terrible had happened to her son.
Just a few minutes earlier, she’d been sitting with Joshua Messier in the visiting room at the state’s prison for the mentally ill, worrying that he was on the verge of another schizophrenic attack. Messier’s sometimes-violent outbursts in a private psychiatric ward had landed him, much to his mother’s dismay, in the medium-security prison even though he had not been convicted of a crime.
Downtown beat officer spreads mental health awareness
ACst. Derek Chesney is practically a celebrity in downtown Saskatoon. Everyone seems to know him. Everyone seems to like him.
“He’s a good guy,” said Robert Dombowsky, a resident and employee at the Lighthouse Supported Living. “He’s always around the streets and walking around the streets and helping other people.”
Chesney is close with many of the people who live at the Lighthouse and knows very well the many faces commonly seen hanging around Saskatoon’s core. He’s walked the downtown beat for the last four years and said many of the people he speaks with on a daily basis are affected by mental illness.
First Yoga Retreat for Youth in Custody
New Leaf Yoga Foundation
On February 8th, New Leaf broke new and exciting ground by holding our first day-long, silent, yoga and meditation retreat at Roy McMurtry Youth Centre in Brampton.
Four young men who have practiced within our program for between 1-3 years participated in a day that included 2 physical yoga practices, 2 periods of walking and seated meditation, group reflection/discussion, a shared silent meal and a self-expression exercise.
Man acquitted due to insanity in stolen necklace case spends four decades in mental hospital
Franklin Frye was dispatched to a mental hospital in 1971 after a not-guilty-by-insanity verdict in the case of a stolen necklace valued at about $20. Since then he has sought his release several times; his 2008 motion was never acted on.
Mandatory fines for convicts could unduly punish the poor
Nunavut Lawyers are saying a change to a federal law making it mandatory for convicted criminals to pay a fine to victim services could have dire consequences for impoverished families in Nunavut.
The amendment, passed by Parliament last October, says that any person found guilty of a crime must pay $200 for an indictable offence, $100 for a non-indictable offence, or 30 per cent of a fine imposed by a judge.
The victim surcharge has been around in some form or another since 1989 but up until now, judges could wave the victim surcharge if they thought the convicted offender was too poor to pay. Not anymore.
“You can’t squeeze blood from a stone, but the judges are being told: squeeze,” said Rebecca Johnson, a law professor at the University of Victoria, who taught a two-week course at the Akitsiraq Law School Society in Iqaluit last summer.
Fines are said to go to victim support services in Nunavut. And the government of Canada said in an April 2012 news release that, “raising the victim surcharge amounts will directly benefit victims of crime.”
But the real victims are the families of the convicts who are left to pay the bill, Johnson said.
Inmates in solitary confinement 7 times more likely to harm themselves: Study
A first-of-its-kind study found that New York City jail inmates sent to solitary confinement are nearly seven times more likely to try to hurt or kill themselves than those never assigned to it.
The peer-reviewed study, published Wednesday by the American Journal of Public Health, provides empirical evidence of a strong association between self-harm and the place inmates and staff call "the bing." It also backs an argument that advocates and others have long used to criticize a practice that they say is inhumane.
"We've always tracked all acts of self-harm but what we didn't know was, 'What are the variables associated with that self-harm?'" said Dr. Homer Venters, an assistant health commissioner who heads health services for the city's jails and was one of the study's main authors. "We do see that solitary confinement itself is a predictor of self-harm."
Mother accusing Nova Scotia of criminalizing those with special needs
More than 30 people gathered in front of the RCMP station in Lower Sackville Sunday morning to support Nichele Benn.
The 26-year-old woman was born with right-sided cerebral palsy, epilepsy and an organic brain disorder that causes periodic episodes of aggressive behaviour. She was going into the RCMP station to submit her fingerprints.
“It’s not something that any of you want to experience,” said Benn’s mother, Brenda Hardiman, to the crowd demonstrating outside.
Journal Articles, Research, and Presentations
Ashley Smith - Verdict of the Coroner's Jury - 2013-12
Office of the Chief Coroner
Inquest Touching the Death of Ashley Smith - Jury Verdict and Recommendations
Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Eligon - Verdict of the Coroner's Jury - 2014-02
Office of the Chief Coroner
Inquest Touching the Deaths of Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Eligon - Jury Verdict and Recommendations
An Investigation of the Correctional Service of Canada’s Mortality Review Process
Office of the Correctional Investigator
There is little that is natural about dying in a federal penitentiary. In the 10-year period (2003 to 2013), 536 offenders died in federal custody. Fully two-thirds of all deaths (355 of 536) were attributed to natural causes. On average, about 35 federally sentenced offenders die each year from naturally attributed causes. In 2012-13, 56 inmates died in federal custody, including 12 suicides and 31 deaths from natural causes. The number of in-custody deaths attributed to natural causes far exceeds all other causes reflecting the combined effects of a significant proportion of the incarcerated population serving a life or indeterminate sentence, an increasing percentage of offenders sentenced later in life and an accumulation of the inmate population aged 50 or more. More offenders are growing old in custody and succumbing to chronic disease in prison.
Assessing the Impact of Methadone Maintenance Treatment on Recidivism among Male Federal Correctional Inmates in Canada
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) can benefit post-release outcomes for correctional populations with opioid dependence, yet few outcome data exist for Canada. This retrospective study examined return to custody (RTC) outcomes following correctional release among three samples of male federal offenders with problematic opioid use (n = 856): offenders who continued MMT post-release (MMT-C) and offenders who discontinued MMT post-release (MMT-T) after being initiated on correctional MMT, and a non-MMT treated control group (MMT-N).
Gaps in inpatient psychiatry for Ontario youth, study concludes
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
A first of its kind benchmarking survey was used to evaluate the state of inpatient psychiatry settings and services for youth at hospitals across Ontario. On average, the province's services are comparable to other settings internationally, helping youth with the most severe and complex mental health problems, but also show similar signs of inconsistency across settings in the types and quality of inpatient care.
Youth Offending and ABI - A practical approach
International Brain Injury Association
Due to the cognitive, behavioural, psychological and emotional manifestations of childhood acquired brain injury (ABI), it is possible that some young people affected by ABI have a higher likelihood of entering the criminal justice system 24% - 32% general public (McKinley et al, 2008; McGuire et al, 1998) and 65% - 72% young offenders institution (Williams et al, 2010; Davies et al, 2012); and once there, their neurological needs are frequently poor or indeed appropriately supported.
A Phenomenological Psychological Study of the Police Officer’s Lived Experience of the Use of Deadly Force
Journal of Humanistic Psychology
A police officer is sometimes required to literally make a potentially life or death decision and act on it under rapidly evolving and dynamic circumstances involving a variety of mental, physical, and emotional aspects of the deadly force experience. Because the act of using deadly force is so personally influencing, the descriptive phenomenological psychological method was used in this study to provide a qualitative, holistic, and personal viewpoint from the officers’ perspective in their lived experiences.
Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives - Justice Service Collaboratives
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives (SISC) is one initiative encompassed within Open Minds, Healthy Minds: Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. 18 Service Collaboratives established across Ontario will focus on addressing system gaps related to mental health and addictions services.
Evaluating the psycholegal abilities of young offenders with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Law and Human Behavior
Individuals with a diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) experience a range of physical, cognitive, and behavioral deficits thought to interfere with their ability to competently navigate the arrest, interrogation, and trial process. This study examined the psycholegal abilities of young offenders with FASD, including their understanding and appreciation of Miranda rights, and adjudication capacities (factual knowledge of criminal procedure, appreciation of the nature and object of the proceedings, ability to participate in a defense and communicate with counsel).
Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders
Criminology & Public Policy
The prevalence of serious, violent, and chronic offenders is assessed across 5 years of delinquency referrals to a centralized juvenile justice agency. Differences in prevalence by gender and race/ethnicity and by age at first referral are compared for these youth with the other juveniles referred. Analyses examine whether subsequent official reoffending of these juveniles is predicted by similar risk and protective factors as with other youth.
Gap Analysis of Alberta Public Mental Health and Addictions Programs
University of Alberta School of Public Health
GAP-MAP is the first project in Alberta’s history that has attempted to produce a detailed, comprehensive, and systematic description of provincially funded addiction and mental health services in relation to population need.
Despite the many limitations associated with this project, we believe that the results presented here will be strategically valuable for multiple stakeholders, including Alberta Health Services (AHS), Alberta Health, other Government of Alberta (GoA) ministries and GoA-funded service providers, as well as a variety of addiction and mental health advocacy communities.
Psychiatric diagnoses and multiyear criminal recidivism in a Canadian provincial offender population
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law
Abundant research confirms a high prevalence of substance use and mental disorders in correctional samples. It is unclear, however, how these contribute to the risk of repeat offending. The present study examined offense trajectories within a Canadian Provincial offender population (N = 31,014), and observed that offenders with non–substance-related mental disorders were at no greater risk of recidivism than those with no diagnosis. In contrast, odds of recidivism were significantly higher among those with substance use and/or co-occurring disorders.
Penal reform ‘Canadian style’: Fiscal responsibility and decarceration in Alberta, Canada
Punishment & Society
To fulfil a political promise to eliminate the provincial fiscal deficit, the (conservative) Premier of Alberta cut all budgets by roughly 20 per cent in 1993–1994. As an unanticipated by-product, this political solution to a political problem resulted in a 32 per cent decrease in provincial imprisonment between 1993 and 1997. Economic imperatives created the catalyst for changes in imprisonment policies.
However, the types of change and the mechanisms for achieving them reflected Canada’s specific history, culture and politico-legal structures. Decarceration was consistent with core Canadian values rooted in the long-standing belief in the need for restraint in the use of imprisonment and a lack of faith in its effectiveness as a crime control strategy.
Juvenile Economic Sanctions - An Analysis of Their Imposition, Payment, and Effect on Recidivism
Criminology & Public Policy
Economic sanctions, particularly restitution, can help juvenile offenders both learn the extent of the harm they caused and assume responsibility for repairing that harm. If that assumption is true, then restitution should be imposed in every case for which it is appropriate, other factors should not affect imposition, and paying restitution should be negatively related to recidivism.
Brain Awareness Week
Every March, BAW unites the efforts of partner organizations worldwide in a celebration of the brain for people of all ages. Activities are limited only by the organizers’ imaginations and include open days at neuroscience labs; exhibitions about the brain; lectures on brain-related topics; social media campaigns; displays at libraries and community centers; classroom workshops; and more.
March 10 - 16, 2014
Balancing Individual Safety, Community Safety and Quality of Life
A Conference to Improve Interactions with Persons with Mental Illness. Presented by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Conference Goals To bring together multiple perspectives with a view to identifying new opportunities and promoting emerging best practices for improving the quality of interfaces and outcomes with persons with mental illness and the police, criminal justice, mental health and broader human services systems, including promising practices in workplace mental health. To advance the evidence base in support of emerging models and promising practices. To advance collaborative learning in support of such practices across the policing, criminal justice, mental health and related health and social systems. To advance new and common measures of success.
March 24 - 26, 2014 - Toronto
World Autism Awareness Day
The seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2014. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.
April 2, 2014
The 6th National Biennial Conference on Adolescents and Adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
It is imperative to a just society to acknowledge, address and support adolescents and adults with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder within the context of ethical service provision. Now is the time for the exploration, examination and deliberation of what we do, how we do it and how we might change.
The conference will bring together a diverse group of professionals, families and individuals with FASD to discuss research, evidence, model practice and ideas to expand how we sustain and enhance the lives of individuals with FASD. Participants will consider and debate how we continue to build on strengths and modify existing programs, services and systems to address barriers to ethical practice in healthcare, housing, social services, mental health, criminal and civil justice, employment and education. Participants will explore ideas for the creation and provision of integrated and collaborative approaches across systems with an emphasis on inclusion, creating a good life, social justice and practicality.
April 9 - 12, 2014 - Vancouver BC
8th Annual Risk and Recovery Forensic Conference
A conference for professionals in mental health, probation & parole, corrections, legal services and police. The conference will feature a pre-conference workshop, a tour of St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton's West 5th Redevelopment, a tour and dinner at Vineland Estates and a networking dinner at Radius Café + Urban Casual Dining, Hamilton.
April 24 - 25, 2014 - Hamilton
14th Annual Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services
Trauma, Violence and Recovery: Risk and Resilience Across the Lifespan
June 19 - 22, 2014 - Toronto
Brain Injury Association of Canada 2014 Annual Conference
Improving the quality of life for all Canadians affected by acquired brain injury and promoting its prevention.
September 24 - 26, 2014 - Gatineau QC
Police Records Check Coalition
In July of 2011, this Police Record Check Coalition joined together with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and the Human Rights Commission to develop Ontario's first Guideline for Police Record Checks. The Guideline specifies that no mental health terminology or descriptors will appear on a police background check or vulnerable sector screening. The Guideline also determines that no record of a non-violent, non-criminal incident with police related to mental health should be disclosed on a police background or vulnerable sector check.
This Guideline protects tens of thousands of Ontarians from discrimination every year. It ensures that everyone in Ontario has equal access to employment, housing, and social services without fear of discrimination or reprisal.
2013 Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee Conference Presentations
Links to almost all presentations made at the 2013 Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee Conference, held November 25 - 27, 2013, in Toronto.
Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives
In June 2011, the government of Ontario released Open Minds, Healthy Minds: Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, a provincial strategy that commits to reducing the burden of mental illness and addictions by ensuring all Ontarians have timely access to an integrated system of coordinated care. The initial three years of the strategy emphasize services for children and youth. Three priorities in this area will contribute to the goals of the overall Strategy:
1. Providing children, youth and families with fast access to high quality services.
2. Identifying and intervening in child and youth mental health issues early.
3. Closing critical services gaps for vulnerable children and youth, children and youth at key transition points, and those in remote communities.
New Leaf Yoga Foundation
New Leaf Yoga Foundation’s mission is to empower youth through yoga. We work with young men and women who are creating positive change in their lives, overcoming histories that may include abuse, neglect, incarceration, gang-involvement, addiction, and various forms of marginalization.
We see a bright future in all youth, and aspire to support & encourage young people to realize their potential by recognizing the resources that they hold within themselves. It takes peaceful individuals to build peaceful communities, and we believe that when youth create & experience a sense of inner peace, they will contribute to creating a more peaceful world.
Communication Intermediary Roster
The communication intermediary roster is a list of Speech-Language Pathologists who have attended training by Communication Disabilities Access Canada to prepare them to work in legal and justice situations.
The above articles and event listings are just a sample of the hundreds of items posted to the HSJCC website each month.
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