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Effective, just and humane responses
to the causes and consequences of crime

Want to reduce crime? Reduce risk factors.

by Chris Hay, Executive Director, John Howard Society of Alberta What are risk factors? Risk factors are factors in people’s lives that increase the likelihood that they will commit crimes and become involved in the criminal justice system.  There are many risk factors, including but not limited to: low education poverty mental illness drug and alcohol use…

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3 Reasons Why Deterrence Doesn’t Work

by Chris Hay, Executive Director, John Howard Society of Alberta This blog entry is a continuation of our recent discussion about deterrence.  Previously, we talked about the purpose of our criminal justice system and how it seems to be based on the concept of deterrence and how this might be a mistake.  Here are the reasons why.…

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Does deterrence work?

by Chris Hay, Executive Director, John Howard Society of Alberta What is the purpose of the criminal justice system?  Does it exist for rehabilitation?  For changing behavior?  For societal protection?  For show?  For the creation of safer communities?  For punishment?  For deterrence?  One could argue that it is here for each of these and possibly…

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Video: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

This video was produced as part of the Criminal Justice Education program. It was designed for use by Criminal Justice Educators (CJEs) in classroom presentations to illustrate particular aspects of the criminal justice system in Alberta as it applies to minors (under 18 years of age). While the CJE program has been discontinued, this video…

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John Howard on Alberta Primetime: First Nations Overrepresentation in Prisons

John Howard on Alberta Primetime: First Nations overrepresentation in prisons from John Howard Society of Alberta on Vimeo. Original Air Date: Monday, November 03, 2014 Reposted with permission from Alberta Primetime. Description from their website: “Alberta’s been flagged by The Fraser Institute as a place where First Nations people are severely over-represented in prison populations.” John…

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John Howard on Alberta Primetime: Mental Health in Prisons

Video courtesy Alberta Primetime. Their description: “Reports of suicides and solitary confinement of the mentally ill inmates in federal prisons is raising concerns over how inmates with mental health issues are treated in our correctional centres. How prevalent are mental illnesses in Alberta jails, and what services are available to treat them? “We’re joined by…

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Chris Hay at Creative Alberta

Chris Hay at Creative Alberta from John Howard Society of Alberta on Vimeo. John Howard Society of Alberta Executive Director Chris Hay speaks at the 2012 Creative Alberta conference, on the need to bring creativity to the criminal justice system. (Video courtesy Creative Alberta, posted with permission.)    

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TV for Alberta Inmates

John Howard on Alberta Primetime: TV for Alberta Inmates from John Howard Society of Alberta on Vimeo. Original Air Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Posted with the permission of ACCESS Television Network and Alberta Prime Time. From their website: “The Bowden Prison is putting out a request for proposal for a company to provide cable…

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Closing Liquor Stores Early to Prevent Crime in Alberta

Original Air Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 Posted with the permission of ACCESS TV and Alberta Primetime. From the website: “Edmonton has now broken its record for homicides in a single year, and as that murder rate continues to balloon, police suggest closing liquor stores at midnight in certain neighbourhoods would help curb violent crime.…

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Should Alberta Have a Mental Health Court?

Original air date: August 8, 2011. Posted with the permission of ACCESS TV and Alberta Primetime. “Mental health courts have the power to order treatment in cases where mental health issues are the likely cause of criminal behavior and they already operate in provinces like Ontario and B.C. “Some say mental health courts reduce the…

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