NS 298 Jan 22nd.odt

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Department
Indigenous Studies
Course
INDG 298
Professor
Allison Piché
Semester
Winter

Description
nd 298 January 22 2013 1 Human Rights in Prison Why talk about human rights? – a lot of arguments about who and why we protect – are we protecting the rights of criminals the the expense of law abiding citizens – securing rights for those made vulnerable and marginalized – inmates, particularly aboriginal fit into this Why talk about human rights in prison? – Inmates are seen as vulnerable – human rights in some form or measure are denied in prison – when are such limitations justifiable? Unjustifiable? – What rights can be denied in prison? – To agree upon we need to know what rights are universal Universal Human Rights – 928 – 48 signatory – 8 extensions – talked about in the context of the declaration of human rights – largely about standing up to injustices – west vrs east ideas for human rights (democratic vrs communist) what are human rights 1. equal: we are all human beings 2. inalienable: a person cannot stop being human no matter how badly they behave or how terribly they are treated 3. universal: since we are all humans we all have access to human rights components to declaration and covenants 1. rights or entitlements are mechanism for such values of nondiscrimination and a adequate (food, water, shelter) standard of living 2. all rights are the rights of individuals not corporations. Except self determination and groups rights for indigenous 3. internationally recognized human rights are treated as a whole and cannot be selectively chosen and applied 4. though they are universally recognized and held it is a states own responsibility to implement them criticism – human rights 'alien' to some cultures that might prioritize other principles – individual rights – between a state and an individual nd 298 January 22 2013 2 – usa has a decloration on the rights of indigenous peoples, in 2010 canada indorsed it – colonial rights – many of the parties present in the drafting process where from western nations – western ideas may be colonizing other peoples – entrenching property rights – reinforces the right to own land and material goods, therefore could reinforce consumerism and the need for goods – feminist critique – in large parts they have failed to address structural inequalities between men and women, violence against women, and the roles of women in discussion making preferences – how are human rights understood today – obvious, self logical, just make sense – claims often occur after one feels wrong done by, harmed, injustice – shared strength in grievance – solidarity for those claiming rights – could be invoked to challenge existing laws – a way to rethink/reevaluate the structures we have today – associated with western ideals mostly, it is still a grassroots movement from the ground up – sense of solidarity between those transgressed, this solidarity can link different classes, colours, and backgrounds, develops a sense of collectiveness between peoples – commonality and shared suffering – they are always evolving What are important human rights? President Roosevelt • Freedom of speech • freedom of worship • freedom from want • freedom from fear The fight for rights in Canadian prisons • aboriginal spirituality ◦ was an continues to be a fight for human rights • standard minimal rules for treatment of prisons part one - 1957 approved by the UN social council - recommend they conduct a complaint survey every 5 years Nnd298 January 22 2013 3 - Canada didn't indorse until 1975 - federal or provincial - office of the correctional investigator - preliminary observations - nonbinding - based on what is generally accepted as good principle and practice for the treatment of prisoners - acknowledges rules are not possible in all places, situations, or times - minimal conditions that the prisoners should be treated with - can depart from the rules as long as you maintain the spirit of the document - rules cover general prison management, should work for all categories of prisoners - part two - prisons only not young offender centres - recommend young offender should not be sentenced to imprisonment ◦ united nations convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment ▪ bans torture and cruel treatment ▪ ◦ united nations international covenant on civil rights ▪ 1966 – 1976 ▪ those who sign onto it to respect civil and political rights of individuals ▪ freedom of speech ▪ freedom of assembly ▪ electoral rights ▪ right to a fair trial ▪ • yalden report – Micheal Jackson ◦ 1997 ◦ Canada is generally compliment with international and national human rights norms ◦ does not acknowledge the international obligations ◦ oversight of institutions were not intended to be an extra level of management ◦ there to assess the state and can make recommendations but cannot enforce them ◦ no way to enforce that the recommendations are put into office ◦ need to improve the communication of a human rights strategy to the public Nnd298 January 22 2013 4 ◦ public sees the justice officials of being soft on crime ◦ justice system isn't rehabilitating those in prison enough ◦ called for increased staff training in the area of human rights ◦ creation of human rights unit, recommendation ▪ to run workshops for staff
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