Thursday, November 30, 2006

News of the Day 11-30-06

Everyone else has beaten me posting on this story, even with me being snowed in today, but in case you missed it, "A record 7 million people — or one in every 32 American adults — were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, according to the Justice Department." Breakdowns given on gender, race/ethnicity, states, etc. . . . Another fed report today tells us, "Methamphetamine use is increasing along the East Coast after years of largely being confined to rural areas west of the Mississippi River." We were dealing with this in the 90s in OK and 3 years ago in WI, but we knew it would take meth getting closer to DC before the feds would get interested. We should start making these predictions for a living. . . . Want to know why the pressures for technocorrections in substance abuse are so intense and will get more so? Check out this article on alcohol-related traffic deaths and see if your state made the top 15. . . . Speaking of substance abuse and technocorrections, Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has an article on research using EEGs to identify areas of the frontal cortex associated with alcoholics and non-alcoholics, making identification easier, even before problems result, improving current methods using respondents' self-perceptions of traits now showing up on screen. . . . Looks like AZ's governor had the same reaction to the Phoenix DA's plan to overload the state's prisons more, right down to "I don't know why the other 14 counties have to subsidize one county's prosecution policies." The DA says he'll sue. I'm not sure he understands the various ways a Corrections Dept can pay back an uncooperative prosecutor. I look for a compromise. . . . I hope the post yesterday didn't mark me as a knee-jerk critic of prosecutors. I've had the privilege of working with some of the best ones in the country, including the one I think was the best of the last century. I've also worked with the stereotypical ones who give them all the reputation for brainless, excessively vengeful decision-making. This guy is one of the good ones, making it clear that reason can indeed find a home in a prosecutor's office. When enough of the good ones form a critical mass, we'll move forward in the way we direct our priorities, resources, and energies into corrections sentencing that minimizes recidivism and lets more people live their lives without being victimized. . . . The VT DA wouldn't need to be told "Traditional assumptions about crime prevention have been debunked by recent studies," as these MT officials learned from a consultant they brought in to discuss alternatives to filling their prisons. Maybe she can swing by Phoenix on her way home.

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