Monday, October 09, 2006

News of the Day 10-09-06

The senior judge of England and Wales (Lord Phillips of Worth Maltravers, god, the British are . . . interesting) went undercover (!) in a community corrections program and came away convinced overcrowded prisons could not rehab offenders. "The ideal that alternatives to custody is being soft is wrong," he says. Meanwhile, an "open prison governor" warned that moving more inmates down in security would lead to more escapes there, and the conservatives think alternatives are "a licence to cause mayhem." Just thought you might like to see how others are doing. When they learn to spell "license," we may pay attention. . . . Story here on reentry, jobs, bee-keeping and honey. Hadn't really thought about this before but shouldn't cause the usual complaints of competition for jobs. Sweeeet. (Sorry.) . . . And a couple of alcoholism treatment stories from Science Daily. Cell reports on mice that can really hold their liquor ("PETA, you have a call on Line 3") and lack a gene that regulates cell tolerance to alcohol exposure. While this sounds cool on its own (imagine the SNL skit), the importance for humans is that those of us who tolerate alcohol well tend to become alcoholics, meaning, if there's a genetic key, we can possibly develop drugs to bolster cell tolerance, making alcoholism less likely. And a story to blow drug warriors' heads off. Turns out a single dose of LSD, appropriately supervised, may be effective anti-alcohol treatment. There have been replication problems with the results, but, if it's true, then what do we do???

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