A few items here related to past posts. A regular reader feeds us this Slate link after reading our reference to forensic psychiatrists not finding any solid evidence connecting possession of child porn and later child sex offenses. (Not stopping the US DOJ from pouring $$$ into it we need for proven connections and solutions, though. And using it as a rationale to kill Internet neutrality and privacy.) The article notes the same gap exists between Internet porn or movie violence and subsequent acts like rape or assault. In fact, the article argues that the availability of the two media actually reduces subsequent criminal behavior. Not buying all this, of course, but it might be fun to see some candidate run on the talking point. . . .
Grits for Breakfast has been prodding me for supporting restrictions on sales of meth ingredients and for wanting meth production and distribution managed from south of our border. Actually, since I live on Actifed in the summer, the restrictions annoy me. Here's reality. Meth is the drug du jour, running its course for a while until something new comes along or bad experience with old drugs fades in memory. We cycle drugs that way in our culture, and meth is going through all the stages of past ones, like crack or ecstasy in recent years. IOW, we have it and will have it, whether it's made by Mom and Pop or by foreign crime types. That part's a tossup to me. I'm looking at the secondary effects as it cycles and at when the cycle is complete. There are no good choices as it plays itself out so I'm not supporting anything. But do I want children here exposed to meth as it's made. No. I don't want them hurt, and I don't want to pay for their care. Do I want former meth houses, toxic and harmful, sold here as new? No, I don't. Am I pushing at least some of the costs off on other nations poorer than we are? Yes, I am. Do I like that? No, I don't, but I'd rather have the money to put into treatment, prevention, econ dev so people don't have to make meth to make money. Will the savings go there? No, not much, but more than if we have it made here. Is this all cynical and self-serving? Not all, but enough. But it's the best I can see. Is TX in the path of all this, hurt more than those not on the meth border? Yes. Still doesn't change the cost-benefit tilting (just slightly) to stopping meth from being made here. Grits lives in TX and clearly has a different C-B. Who's right? Neither of us since consequences aren't yet known and people would give (are giving) them different weights if they were. But that's my response. (Except I think I'd play up gangs' roles in distribution more if I were taking Grits' position.) . . .
Finally, we talk a lot here about future correctional health costs, mainly from aging inmates, but there are present concerns as well, AIDS obviously, and hepatitis C. This report from St. Louis U. Liver Center scientists shows significant progress at controlling the disease, in terms of drugs used and of therapy to reverse damage in chronic hepatitis C cases. No indication what the costs will be at this point, but they would have to be high to be worse than what the disease itself is doing to budgets.