The Law and Society Association Annual Meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. from May 30 to June 2, 2019.
As part of the conference, the Aging, Law, and Society Collaborative Research Network has issued a call for papers, inviting scholars to participate in a multi-event workshop sponsored by the CRN:
CALL FOR PAPERS
Aging, Law, & Society
Collaborative Research Network (CRN)
Law and Society Association Annual Meeting
Washington, DC (May 30- June 2, 2019)
The Aging, Law & Society CRN brings together scholars from across disciplines to share research and ideas about the relationship between law and aging, including how the law responds the needs of persons as they age and how law shapes the aging experience. This year’s workshop will feature themed panels, roundtable discussions, and rapid fire presentations in which participants can share new ideas and research projects.
The CRN encourages paper proposals on a broad range of issues related to law and aging. This year, we especially encourage proposals on the following topics:
In addition to paper proposals, we also welcome:
For more information, including application instructions, please see the CALL FOR PAPERS.
By Heather Pope
“My recommendation is build more prisons, not more half way houses,” said one commenter. Another wrote, “How lame! The government didn’t create the problem, the criminal did! If they didn’t murder and sexually assault people they would not be in this situation. KARMA!” And a third concluded, “I really couldn't care less if they ended up in a snow bank eating dog food.”
These statements are from the comment section of a recent CBC Out in the Open episode on aging ex-inmates living at Haley House, a 10-bedroom transition home in Peterborough, Ont., for elderly and palliative federal offenders on parole. Open for two years, the house is mainly funded by Correctional Service Canada (CSC) and run by the non-profit Peterborough Reintegration Services.
The reactions are natural. It is difficult to have compassion for murderers and sex offenders.
The men inside Haley House have done bad things, some terrible. Forty-three years ago, current resident Cliff Strong was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled, but after sexually assaulting two girls, he was thrown back in jail. Today, at age 75, Strong has Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, swollen legs and a bad hip. He uses a motorized wheelchair.
Strong is part of the growing cohort of aging offenders. In 2011, Canada’s Correctional Investigator reported that over the past decade, the number of older federal offenders has increased by more than 50 percent. Today, 1 in 4 federal inmates are aged 50 or older. Some have committed heinous crimes, including our most serious offence, murder.
“Grace is something that we often don’t deserve, but which lends itself to us,” Strong told Out in the Open host Piya Chattopadhyay.
But such grace isn’t easy to find. Finding appropriate housing for those who have committed unforgiveable crimes is hard, especially when they have complex health conditions. Partly in response to this challenge, the Dementia Justice Society of Canada is researching the housing vulnerability of a specific group of criminal defendants: those with dementia. Our project, which is funded by The Law Foundation of British Columbia, aims to offer housing solutions that balance humanity with public safety.
Although rare, for some dementia patients, violence is an unfortunate by-product of the disease. These behaviours, combined with a criminal history, can leave elderly offenders with dementia with nowhere to live. Some nursing homes have shown a reluctance to house seniors who’ve been involved with the criminal justice system—no matter the severity of their crime. Many shelters don’t have the capacity to care for an old, sick and mentally impaired man. And while the CSC is making improvements in dementia and end-of-life care for older persons in custody, prison remains an unsuitable and potentially dangerous environment for offenders with dementia.
Homes such as Haley House are part of the solution. But there are few places like it. “[Haley House] is basically one of only two that I'm aware of [across Canada] that caters to this inmate population. And, to me, it represents the future of corrections,” said Ivan Zinger, Canada’s Correctional Investigator.
When another halfway house can no longer manage an elderly offender’s declining health, places like Haley House may be able to take him in. But when there’s no vacancies, the person may be sent back to prison, or end up on the street.
“There is no plan B,” said Jeff Morgan, a veteran police officer who works at Haley House. “They’ve earned the right to come out [of prison], yet society just wants to put them away somewhere.”
We must resist that impulse. It makes the world worse. In a free and liberal society like Canada, no human should be left in a ditch to eat dog food. Justice must be tempered with mercy.
Solutions like Haley House transcend the understandable outrage toward criminals who are released into the community. They do not mistake sentimentality for humanity.
Heather Pope is director of the Dementia Justice Society of Canada.
In a recent 50-minute episode, CBC Radio's Out in the Open highlighted Haley House, a unique halfway house in Peterborough, Ontario, that serves the needs of aging parolees. The home is run by Peterborough Reintegration Services and is funded mainly by Correctional Service Canada.
"[Haley House] is basically one of only two that I'm aware of [across Canada] that caters to this inmate population. And, to me, it represents the future of corrections," said Ivan Zinger, Canada's Correctional Investigator.
To listen to the full episode and to read the accompanying CBC News article, please click here.
Nowhere to Live: Housing Vulnerability of Criminal Defendants with Dementia
The Dementia Justice Society of Canada is conducting a one-year research project that focuses on the housing vulnerability of criminal defendants with dementia. Specifically, it examines the existing legal and policy framework in British Columbia that can make it difficult for this population to maintain or secure appropriate living arrangements following a criminal charge. The project is funded by The Law Foundation of B.C.'s Legal Research Fund.
The Elder Law Review is seeking submissions for its upcoming Special Issue on “Relational Autonomy, Vulnerability Theory, Older Adults and the Law: Making it Real.” The anticipated publication date is mid-2019.
The Call for Submissions is available here. Submissions are due March 1, 2019.
About the Elder Law Review
The Elder Law Review is an independent refereed e-journal produced by Elder Law at Western Sydney University. It is the only Australian journal concerned with Elder Law. The Review publishes articles about legal issues relating to seniors in all areas of law, including wills, powers of attorney, substitute decision-making, guardianship, discrimination, accommodation, contracts, financial management, retirement income, taxation and property.
The Review is multi-disciplinary, bringing together professionals working, researching and writing in the aged care area. It is designed to be of interest to academics, practitioners and those involved in the provision of aged care.
This article was originally published on The Conversation.
By Stephanie Wong, Research Officer, University of Sydney; Fiona Kumfo, Senior Research Fellow, University of Sydney; and Rosalind Hutchings, PhD Candidate, University of Sydney.
When most people hear about dementia, they picture older people with memory loss. But not all types of dementia start with memory loss.
In the same way cancer can be classified as melanoma, prostate cancer or bowel cancer, dementia can also be classified into many different types. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease, which affects the parts of the brain responsible for memory.
In other types of dementia, the first symptoms may include changes in personality and behaviour. These types of symptoms are prominent in frontotemporal dementia.
Frontotemporal dementia is a common cause of dementia in people under the age of 65. New research from our clinic has helped us to understand the common symptoms.
Individuals with frontotemporal dementia have atrophy (or shrinkage) of the frontal lobes of the brain. The frontal lobes are important for controlling voluntary behaviour, emotions and complex thought.
One carer described how her husband would inappropriately approach young women, often interrupt conversations and make offensive remarks about other people’s appearances. This was completely out of character for him.
The symptoms are diverse and can differ from person to person.
Currently there is no diagnostic test for frontotemporal dementia. So, to diagnose frontotemporal dementia we rely on careful assessment of a person’s symptoms. Six key symptoms are recognised, and individuals must show a combination of these symptoms to be diagnosed.
Family members of patients with frontotemporal dementia often find these behavioural changes more distressing and difficult to deal with than memory loss. Because these changes seem so diverse and unrelated, current research and clinical practice tend to treat each symptom separately. And the available treatments are limited in their effectiveness.
In our recent review article, we identified a common thread that links these seemingly unrelated behavioural symptoms. It appears that disinhibition, apathy, reduced empathy, overeating and repetitive actions can all be traced back to shrinking of brain areas that control goal-directed behaviour.
Goal-directed behaviour allows us to modify our actions to achieve certain goals or desires. For example, if you feel thirsty you will go to the fridge and get a drink. If you want a job promotion you will work hard and make sure you don’t offend your co-workers. If you enjoy skiing you might go on a trip to the snow.
When the brain’s goal-directed behaviour system goes awry, an individual may have difficulty choosing whether to continue eating despite feeling full, respond to another person’s distress, approach strangers or engage in their hobbies.
As a result of losing goal-directed control, behaviour can become restricted and repetitive.
Where to from here?
Limited awareness of frontotemporal dementia and the diversity of its symptoms often lead to misdiagnosis or delays in diagnosis. Behavioural changes tend to be mistaken for symptoms of depression or psychiatric disorders.
Educating the general public and health professionals about the different types of dementia and the variety of symptoms is an important step in reducing the time it takes to reach a diagnosis.
In the absence of a cure, a major challenge is to develop appropriate and effective management strategies for those living with dementia. We hope this new research can help us find interventions for these often misunderstood symptoms.
If you know someone with frontotemporal dementia or would like to get involved in our research, you can find more information here or contact email@example.com.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Disclosure information is available on the original site. To read the original article, please click here.