Monday, October 30, 2006
News of the Day 10-30-06
OR Health & Science University researchers have shown the role of stress in triggering relapses in meth abusers. (Of course, as usual, it's just meth-abusing mice.) It gives hope that counteracting drugs could be developed (TECHNOCORRECTIONS!!!), but it also points to the difficulty in overcoming addictions and in counting on prisons and jails to be long-term solutions. When a substance actually re-wires brain nerve cells (aka "neuroadaptation," but you already knew that), expecting "hey, knock it off or we'll keep incarcerating you" to be universally effective might be a little off-base. . . . Forensic psychiatrists at a Chicago conference have raised questions about FBI serial killer profiles, based on recent cases, and call for more defined protocols. . . . Crime in IL down, prison pop up. Not news much of anywhere, really, but the interesting thing about this report is that it comes from a Chicago business group. The business community has been far too lacking in sentencing policy (for good and bad), but this shows at least some of them see a point in greater involvement. . . . USA Today runs a story on the "resurgence" of cattle rustling. Maybe on the coasts, it's a resurgence, but here "in the heartland" it's never really ceased being important. I remember how some of the opposition to OK's sentencing reform effort in the late '90s came from folks opposed to reduced sentences for non-violent types in the proposed guidelines. One reason? Ranchers protesting the idea of seeing guys who've just been caught rustling ten head back out on the street (or at the pasture gate) just a little while later. You're talking people's livelihoods here. Never underestimate attachment to a steer when sentencing. (Get me drunk some time and I'll tell you how I bought ten calves at a Dodge City cattle auction once.) . . . Remember a few posts back when I quoted JRSA's Stan Orchowsky saying the gap between what we know about sex offenders and what we do is probably the greatest of all our gaps? More evidence here. Despite all the fury and legislation and "moral panic," there still is just no solid evidence that simple possession of child porn leads to anything, other than "eewwwww." Sadism and bestiality in the depictions "may," but only "may." And pedophiles who do get caught with porn may not even start with it until after they've started offending. I know there's always "don't bother me with facts, I know what I believe," but this study just shows again the need for a high level body to admit the uncertainty, call out the nonsense, and get us focused on finding out the truth. Not in my lifetime? Well, then, I guess I picked the wrong day to give up rustling.