Dementia Justice is pleased to report that at this year's upcoming Law and Society Association conference in Toronto, there will be a session on criminal justice and dementia. The panel will be part of the Aging, Law & Society Collaborative Research Network stream.
Presenters will include Dementia Justice advisory board members Professor Adelina Iftene (Dalhousie University) and Helene Love (University of Toronto), Dementia Justice director Heather Campbell (Queen's University), as well as Dr. Brad Booth (University of Ottawa) and Andria Bianchi (University of Waterloo). The discussant will be Colleen Berryessa (University of Pennsylvania).
The session particulars* are as follows:
Dementia: A New Frontier in Criminal Justice
Thursday, June 7, 2018
2:45 PM - 4:30 PM
Dementia is one of the greatest societal challenges of the 21st century. An estimated 131.5 million people worldwide will have the condition by 2050. Given this number, it is expected that more people with dementia will be present at all stages of the criminal justice system. This multidisciplinary panel will explore several emerging concerns that dementia poses to courts, corrections, and care providers. A forensic psychiatrist will discuss older sexual offenders and risk factors such as dementia. An applied philosophy scholar will explore the ethical considerations of sex between persons with dementia. Legal scholars will discuss homicidal behaviour by persons with dementia; the impact of advanced age on judicial assessments of witnesses; and the consequences of prolonged incarceration on persons with dementia.
Colleen Berryessa, University of Pennsylvania
Access to Early Release for Individuals with Dementia Incarcerated in Canada: Challenges and Consequences
Professor Adelina Iftene, Dalhousie University
Are older witnesses more credible? Exploring the impact of advanced age on the judicial assessment of witnesses
Helene Love, University of Toronto
Black and White? The Ethics of Sex and Dementia
Andria Bianchi, University of Waterloo
Elderly Sexual Offenders
Dr. Brad Booth, University of Ottawa
The Vulnerable Killer: Homicidal Behaviour by Persons with Dementia
Heather Campbell, Queen's University
Dementia Justice is also pleased to share that advisory board member Professor Margaret Hall (Thompson Rivers University) will be on the panel, Critical Approaches to Mental and Legal Capacity. Professor Hall's presentation is entitled, "'Vulnerability is being incapable in a context you can’t handle': rethinking guardianship as a re-calibration of the relationship between context and self (Relational Autonomy and Vulnerability Theory (Making it Real)."
The conference runs from June 7 to 10, 2018. The keynote speaker will be The Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada. For further details, please visit the conference website.
*Subject to change.
The Dementia Justice Society of Canada applauds the Government of Canada's proposed $20 million investment over five years, and $4 million per year ongoing, to the Public Health Agency of Canada for dementia programs and initiatives, as announced today in the federal budget.
Budget 2018 proposes the following:
A Community-Based Approach to Dementia
More than 400,000 Canadian seniors live with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Women are disproportionately affected, making up two-thirds of this population. Many women also take on the caregiving responsibilities for family members living with dementia. Budget 2018 proposes to provide $20 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $4 million per year ongoing, to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support community-based projects that address the challenges of dementia. Projects could include programs that provide mental health supports and information about self-care for family caregivers, or initiatives that help Canadians locate resources in their communities quickly, including information about best practices for providing care for people living with dementia. This new funding will help to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and ensure that caregivers—who are predominantly women—have access to the resources they need,including mental health supports.
The full budget is available here.
On February 23, 2018, the Government of Canada announced the appointment of a new chairperson and four new members to the National Seniors Council. The Council provides advice to the federal government on matters related to the health, well-being and quality of life of older adults. The appointments are for a three year term.
The new chairperson is Dr. Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard, who is the Research Chair in Aging for the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS)-Université de Moncton.
The four new members are:
The Dementia Justice Society of Canada congratulates Dr. Dupuis-Blanchard and the new members on their appointment. Their expertise will bring valuable insight to the important work done by the National Seniors Council to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for older adults in Canada.
The government press release is available here.
Canadian Human Rights Commission and Correctional Investigator launching investigation into the systemic discrimination of aging and elderly offenders
On February 14, 2018, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Correctional Investigator announced that they are launching a joint months-long investigation into the systemic discrimination of aging and elderly offenders (those aged 50 and older) in federal prisons and community corrections.
The investigation will inform a report to Correctional Services Canada, outlining recommendations on how best to balance public safety while respecting the special needs and protecting the human rights of this vulnerable group.
The joint news release is available here.
Earlier this month, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences opened a new 20-bed inpatient unit for older adults with dementia who are presenting with complex behaviours, are in an acute care hospital, and require specialized mental health care treatment to support their return to the community.
The full press release is available here.