Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Crime Prevention Part Two

Here’s today’s press release from Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who appears to be trying to counter Sam Katz’s announcement from two days ago to hire more cops with a pledge to attack the root causes of crime:
Community resource hubs, local action plans form the first of five crime-reduction planks to empower communities, begin reversing pervasive crime trend: Wasylycia-Leis
Directly addressing neighbourhood needs via community resource hubs, plus local action plans that empower communities to work with the city to prioritize urgent issues round out the first plank of a comprehensive five-point safe neighbourhoods strategy to begin reversing crime trends across the city, Judy Wasylycia Leis announced today.
This strategy is about giving communities the tools they need to replace a culture of crime with a culture of hope, inclusion, empowerment and opportunity, said Wasylycia-Leis.
Its about supporting Winnipeg families, and giving every kid the chance of a bright future free from the lure of gangs. Its about finally moving away from simply treating the symptoms of crime and instead working directly with communities to prevent it.
Wasylycia-Leis said a key priority of the five-point crime-prevention strategy is building community capacity to start to reverse the crime culture that affects families across the city.
The mayoral candidate today rolled out details of the plans first plank of ensuring neighbourhoods have the tools they need to directly tackle the causes of crime.
Under the first plank announced today, City Hall would prioritize expanding service delivery of needed programs at community resource hub sites, beginning with the highest-need areas of the city. The hubs would be tailored to meet local, community-identified needs, from parenting resources, to employment tools, to learning supports, to anti-gang initiatives.
Wasylycia-Leis said existing community-driven service-delivery sites would serve as hubs in neighbourhoods where key community needs have already been identified. Todays announcement was held at the Elmwood Community Resource Centre a community-driven service-delivery centre presently delivering vital programming but in need of far greater resources to adequately meet the needs of the community.
In at-risk communities where the highest-priority needs have not yet been fully identified, facilitators will bring together community leaders and citizens to hold roundtable meetings to develop local action plans to prioritize local need. The action plans would effectively serve as blueprints for City Hall to ensure that the highest-priority needs of each target neighbourhood were given precedence.
No one knows better which strategies are needed to steer neighbourhood kids away from crime and toward brighter futures than community leaders and families themselves, said Wasylycia-Leis.
Communities across our city know which tools they need to start making neighbourhoods safer, but they need support to do it not piecemeal plans that only scratch the surface of the deep-rooted challenges many communities face.
Wasylycia-Leis said enhanced policing is a key part of strengthening community safety but noted that crime continues to rise in Winnipeg despite an increase in police officers. Meaningful, sustained community supports to strike at crimes root causes are long overdue.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis today committed to a comprehensive, five-point strategy to tackle the causes of crime to begin reversing the upward crime trend that affects neighbourhoods across the city. She today rolled out key details of the plans first plank of ensuring communities have the tools they need to address deep-rooted causes of crime, with the goal of working with neighbourhoods to build engaged, safe, supported communities.
Under this first plank, community resource hub sites would be identified and given the tools they need to better meet the social needs of the community, as identified by the community itself. Depending on the neighbourhood, hubs might deliver employment information, youth supports, parenting resources, or other services vitally needed in the community.
The city would work with hubs to better integrate existing resources to avoid duplication of services, expand programs that are working well, and fill in identified service gaps. In many communities, gaps in the spectrum of services have already been clearly identified by the community, but resources to fill the gaps arent available.
In at-risk neighbourhoods where the communitys highest needs have not yet been fully identified, city facilitators would work with community leaders and families to hold open roundtables to prioritize needs and summarize them in local action plans. These plans would effectively serve as blueprints to ensure that the highest needs as identified by the community were reflected at City Hall.
Wasylycia-Leis earlier announced an initial piece of her first plank of engaging communities is an expansion of the successful PowerLine program and the implementation of the City Watch program proven successful in B.C.

It’s strike two for mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis on justice issues after another bogus announcement on how to tackle Winnipeg’s burgeoning gang and violent crime problem.
One more strike and she’s out — out of the mayoral race, that is.
Wasylycia-Leis told us last month during her first announcement on justice she wants to encourage more people and city workers to report crime through an anonymous phone line.
She talked about wanting to “empower” people to report crime. That went over like a pro-free enterprise speech at an NDP convention. Strike one.
On Thursday, she gave us a bunch of platitudes about wanting to set up “hubs” around the city to provide more resources to communities to help prevent crime and to create a comprehensive crime-prevention strategy that allows neighbourhoods to identify local needs and to formulate action plans in a more holistic and grassroots way and to ... yeah, that’s right, pure gibberish.
A bunch of meaningless rhetoric that explains why increasing numbers of people are tuning out of politics and election campaigns altogether.
Wasylycia-Leis didn’t have one concrete proposal in her Thursday anti-crime “plank,” other than to give $110,000 to an Elmwood “hub,” or resource centre.
She gave us the usual hyperbole about how we have to stop looking solely at policing to fight crime and focus instead on crime-prevention through more parenting resources, amateur sport opportunities and employment tools, as if we don’t do that already.
Winnipeg has hundreds, probably thousands, of programs, sporting opportunities, employment resources, parenting supports, community centres, local health services, family centres — you name it — funded by all levels of government and non-government, not-for-profits to provide services in all of those areas.
To suggest society doesn’t already work in those capacities is an insult to the thousands of volunteers and paid staff who do.
That was strike two.
Strike three and Judy will be sent packing to the bullpen.
Because crime is emerging as the top issue in this campaign. And even though municipal politicians are limited in their ability to fight crime in a meaningful way, any candidate who wants to make a strong impression on voters is going to have to come up with something more creative than creating “hubs” around the city.
I’m all for finding new and creative ways of trying to get to the root of crime.
It’s a very complicated subject. We have dysfunctional households all over the city and in rural and northern Manitoba producing broken people, in some cases with severe — and completely avoidable — mental health problems like fetal alcohol syndrome.
We have parents who are incapable or disinterested in raising their children properly. We have AWOL parents. We have parents who play the race card and the “poor me” card instead of picking themselves up off the mat and breaking through the trap they feel they’re in.
It’s going to take a lot more than beefing up resources at the local community centre to solve those problems.
Let’s face it, in many cases resources already exist to help families in need. But people have to want to help themselves.
That doesn’t mean we don’t need new and innovative ideas to help create more resources and opportunities for families in need.
But I didn’t hear any from Wasylycia-Leis.
All I heard was a bunch of white noise.
Next pitch is a change-up, Judy. Better keep your eye on the ball.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis agrees Winnipeg needs more cops on the street, but said they won’t do much good if we don’t nip young criminals in the bud before they bloom.
“If we ignore the needs of children and families, we will never get a handle on this crime problem,” Wasylycia-Leis said during a campaign announcement Thursday.
“Do we need more police? Absolutely. I’ve said that from day one ... (but) all the police in the world will not reverse the crime stats unless we have a way to get at the causes of crime.”
The mayoral candidate proposed Thursday what she believes is a way to tackle those root causes.
The city needs to increase funding to “community resource hubs” in the 10 highest-crime areas of Winnipeg, she said, so those centres can better offer everything from parenting supports to employment information to anti-gang initiatives — all of which she said can help reduce crime by addressing its root causes.
Wasylycia-Leis said she would work with each hub — like the Elmwood Community Resource Centre, which served as the backdrop for the announcement — to determine specific needs and see what they think would work best for their neighbourhood.
“It cannot be a top-down approach,” she said. “There isn’t one size that fits all.”
Wasylycia-Leis estimated between $1 million and $1.5 million could help the first 10 community hubs get what they need. She said the city doesn’t have much money dedicated for this type of idea, and what does exist is “ad hoc and piecemeal.”
Mayor Sam Katz was unavailable Thursday due to the Rosh Hashanah holiday, but his campaign manager Marni Larkin said the city already has a program in place similar to what Wasylycia-Leis is suggesting.
“She keeps announcing things that are already in place,” Larkin said. “The things she’s talking about today city council did in 2008 under the current mayor. They’re continuing to offer those programs. They’re already in existence.”

WINNIPEG - Mayoral hopeful Judy Wasylycia-Leis wants to earmark about $1 million to fund "community hubs" that offer recreation, parenting classes and other programs to inner-city neighbourhoods.
It’s the first of five planks in her crime-fighting agenda, the rest of which will be announced as the campaign wears on.
Wasylycia-Leis made the announcement over the noon-hour at the Elmwood Community Resource Centre, which needs about $110,000 for a bigger office that can offer more programs and stay open later to help keep kids off the streets.
Wasylycia-Leis said the city provides very minimal funding for inner-city programming.

As part of a campaign announcement, mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis unveiled a plan to create community resource hubs to help prevent crime in Winnipeg.
The hubs would offer things such as parenting classes and recreation programs in areas of Winnipeg where crime rates are high.
"We need police officers, yes, for safety purposes and to work with neighbourhood associations, but if we don't have programs that stop crime in the first place, how are we ever going to pay for this and keep on top of it in the long run," asked Wasylycia-Leis. She said Winnipeg needs to do more to meet the needs of children and families.
If elected, she said she would set aside $1 million to create the hubs. Wasylycia-Leis previously announced a proposal to expand a community-based hotline to respond to crime.
Wasylycia-Leis said she will be announcing in upcoming weeks more details of her plan for tackling crime in Winnipeg. 

Winnipeg mayoralty hopeful Judy Wasylycia-Leis is promising a $1-million boost to community resources as part of her crime-prevention platform.
The former NDP MP said Thursday the money would be spent on community services in areas of the city with the greatest need for youth-related programming.
The approach is in marked contrast to that of incumbent Sam Katz, who said Tuesday he would hire 58 new police officers as a crime-fighting measure.
However, Wasylycia-Leis said putting more police on the street isn't a long-term solution.
"If we don't have a crime prevention strategy, we're going to have to put more police in place," she said.
Wasylycia-Leis made the announcement at the Elmwood Community Resource Centre.
People living in the Elmwood area said they've lived with high crime rates for years and agreed with Wasylycia-Leis's approach. .
"Education is the main thing," said Brian Whidden. "If people are idle, if they're not educated, if they're not working, then they get into trouble," he said.
Wasylycia-Leis said more details about her crime-cutting strategy would be coming over the next few weeks.
In August she promised to expand an anonymous crime-reporting phone line similar to one in operation in Winnipeg's Point Douglas neighbourhood.
Winnipeggers head to the polls on Oct. 27.

Judy concepts are right on. It's a proven fact that education is the way to long term rehabilitation. If we can show them how to get out of the ghetto, get into a real job and get hold of their own reality, you've got a chance to change the direction a youth gone wrong is headed.
Judy has her priorities right. You catch them prior to the crimes being committed. Prior to the gangs being joined and by introducing a proactive life stye you will significantly decrease a criminal life stye.
Judy has an educated view of how to solve criminal behaviour. You don't just throw 58 new police officers at them and hope for the best.

I think the Conservatives, including you Tom, greatly lack information, understanding and knowledge about the workings, effectiveness and issues of our justice system. They completely ignore the criminological research, proving that prisons and tougher laws are NOT effective in preventing and reducing crime. You can't ignore that fact. Inmates with longer sentences are more likely to re-offend when released. How does that improve community safety? Please do tell b/c II am not understanding. It have been proven to be more successful and cost effective to focus on preventing the root causes of crime through community programming, services, resources, etc. Proactive and preventive crime strategies have a long term effect on community safety.

What is being discussed now is targeting programs as anti-gang initiatives. Certainly we have lots of sports and activities but none of them are focused on specifically mentoring at-risk youth away from gangs and criminal activities. I should also mention that the best resources now go to better neighbourhoods and address community entertainment demands, not social improvement. I would think that if you truly wanted to reduce crime, you would be encouraging better alternatives. If it's the number of programs that bother you perhaps Lindenwoods can put off their gym expansion or we can eliminate some hockey teams in Grant Park etc. in order to save a few kids from joining gangs.

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