profile image

Joan Ruzsa

Coordinator, Rittenhouse

Joan Ruzsa is the coordinator of Rittenhouse, an abolitionist organization that advocates for alternatives to incarceration, based on traditional Indigenous justice practices. Abolitionists believe that prison is a failure as a response to social harm, and that certain groups, such as Indigenous people; people from racialized communities; people with cognitive, intellectual and physical disabilities; people who use drugs; queer and trans people and people living in poverty are criminalized by and over-represented in the criminal legal system. While people should be held accountable for their actions, it is also important to look at the context in which crime occurs, and the social inequalities and systemic issues that lead to certain people and behaviours being criminalized. Building prisons doesn't make people safer. Building strong communities makes people safer.

For more information about Rittenhouse's mission and programs, please check out Just Blog at joanr73.wordpress.com
Alamy

Vic Toews and the League of Imaginary Crime Fighters

After Statistics Canada reported that police-reported crime was at its lowest level in 40 years, Vic Toews tweeted "Crime rate down 6% -- shows CPC tough on crime is working." I couldn't really understand how Bill C-10, which doesn't even begin to come into force until August 9 of this year, could somehow be responsible for a drop in crime in previous years. But then I realized...Toews must be the MP version of The Terminator: "A human-looking, apparently unstoppable cyborg (or in this case, Public Safety Minister) is sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor (or in this case, crime)."
08/06/2012 08:10 EDT

Crime Doesn't Deter Tories -- Nor do Facts

In a statement Wednesday, Vic Toews said the Omnibus crime bill had not led to the predicted rise in prisoners and prison costs. Either the Public Safety Minister is being intentionally deceptive, or he lacks a basic understanding of how the court system works. I'm not sure which one is more disturbing.
07/16/2012 12:12 EDT