Tuesday, October 24, 2006

News of the Day 10-24-06

Want to see somewhere else that has it bass-ackward in addressing crime problems? The "youth justice system" in England and Wales will be at "meltdown" unless they do something fast, this story says. Which of these two old morals describes the Anglo approach to crime prevention best--"Closing the barn door" or "The only lesson of history is that we don't learn the lessons of history"? You pick. (You might prefer this quote from the chair of the Youth Justice Board--"Locking up more children is the equivalent for penal policy of building more coal fired power stations for global warming.") . . . Another story on the increase in imported meth (and accompanying problems) as we shut down Mom and Pop, this time in IN. . . . Remember one of our examples of the impact of sex offender laws restricting residence, the one about the 75-year-old man who was ordered to give up his house of almost 30 years? Well, an OH appeals court has rescued him. For now. . . . And a couple of interesting drug and science stories (although no drunk fruit flies or hamsters this time, sorry). This one describes a provocative anti-pot ad in Britain. And this one alerts us to a scary increase in cocaine use among students and rich and famous types. Coroners' offices are seeing upsurges in deaths, particularly among those groups, and are calling it "the early stages of a new cocaine epidemic." Two thoughts--(1) this reinforces my belief that crime waves cycle because people do stupid things that are not just criminal but destructive to those around them, who then swear off that nitwit, psychotic behavior, until a new generation comes along which didn't see the crap put down and starts messing in similar ways again (IOW, crim just efforts, including all of corrections sentencing, are less effective than cultural and kinship reaction and shouldn't get blame or credit nearly to the extent they do), and (2) if this epidemic is real and coming at the same time as the heralded violent crime increase (are they related?), then Katy-bar-the-door again on corrections sentencing policy? Even if (1) is true?

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