Are we anywhere near there yet? The state of harm reduction in North America in 2017

The emergence of the new disease, AIDS (first reported as a clinical syndrome in the USA in 1981), was the principal reason for the birth of harm reduction in the mid to late 1980s. The first appearance of clinical evidence of AIDS was based on the appearance of opportunistic infections among young populations not normally associated with such infections—e.g., Kaposi’s sarcoma and other symptoms of immune disorders, normally mostly seen among older populations. The fact that these first cases were among young gay men hospitalized in Los Angeles [1, 2] became the basis of the initial professional and popular conceptions

Ottawa asking Canadians to weigh in on sentencing reform

The Justice Department wants to know what Canadians think of changing some of the former Conservative government’s controversial tough-on-crime sentencing legacy, including mandatory minimum penalties. An online survey asks respondents to judge several unique scenarios, such as a brain-damaged offender whose condition leads to poor decision-making skills, or a single mother whose children were placed in foster care after her arrest. Once respondents choose a course of action, the survey notes that currently, a judge would have no choice but to imprison the convicted offender for a minimum period of time. The Canadian Press Global News, 2017-08-17