Thursday, October 05, 2006
News of the Day 10-05-06
The big news of the day is that CA has decided to untie its Gordian Knot of prison policy with "a state of emergency" (aka, maintaining the current system until it collapses), allowing the gov to ship off thousands of inmates to other states whether they want to go or not. This, of course, flies in the face of what we know about rehab being dependent to some extent on maintaining family ties, but rehab isn't always what corrections is about, is it? The private prisons here in OK thank you very much. And when even the rest of the country doesn't have room for CA prisoners anymore, and other criminal justice needs and education needs and health needs in the state are on life support, we're sure a solution will pop up. . . . The big news of the day should be that Baltimore is starting a program to move heroin addicts out of drug treatment and into regular primary care facilities by training doctors to prescribe buprenorphine, an anti-addiction drug that doesn't get the user high and is hard to abuse, unlike methadone. Getting the addicts onto the drug successfully would allow doctors to empty treatment beds for other addicts faster, thus increasing treatment productivity without creating more beds. It may be hard for some readers to understand how heroin could still be this big a deal for MD, but, when I was directing the commission there, I was shocked at how eaten up Baltimore was with the drug and the impact downward departures from our guidelines in heroin cases (because of the caseload) had on the judiciary's overall compliance rates. If this works, it will have payoffs in ways you really can't imagine. Good luck to them. . . . And along the same line, Dutch researchers have reported that biological and genetic characteristics of alcoholics can predict which anti-addiction drugs are likely to work to suppress alcohol cravings. Matching the right drug to the right alcoholic should improve results significantly. No word on the genetic engineering potential of this finding but it's there. Once again, everybody--"TECHNOCORRECTIONS!!!"