Wednesday, December 06, 2006

News of the Day 12-06-06

Japanese scientists have discovered a gene linked to nicotine addiction, which may lead to more tailored treatments and gene regulation. And, if they can do it for nicotine, you can bet there will be efforts and maybe successes for other addictions, as we've noted frequently. We call it "technocorrections." . . . In Norway, they've ruled that stripping is an art form and not subject to value-added taxes, which don't apply to art there apparently. I know I could try to tie this to sentencing and corrections somehow (zoning law violations, porn and nudity, whatever), but basically I just wanted to point it out. . . . NY corrections folks have gotten hammered in court for something they don't bother to deny. Here's the paragraph of importance: "Schwartz was denied a hearing because he hadn't completed a mandatory eight-month sex offender rehabilitation program. Schwartz uncovered a Corrections Department memo revealing a state philosophy that since sex offenders are unlikely to be paroled at their earliest possible release date, there's no harm scheduling sex offender services around the conditional release date, twice the minimum imposed by the court." The judge seems to think that sentencing decisions are the purview of legislatures and courts, not DOCs. . . bwahahahahaha. . . . Not really new news but, from Prevention Works blog, a U of MN study highlights the abuse of prescription drugs and non-prescription "supplements" for weight control by teen females. One in 5 has abused prescription stimulants, and that doesn't include the over-the-counter stuff (aka, "harmful and deadly"). These young women should be required to watch "Ugly Betty." . . . The current nightmare for state corrections directors . . . and their research directors. A fed report showing your state lost prison pop right after you tell the legislature you need more money because it's going up. Timing is one problem, as the article eventually makes clear, but the article itself is an example of the loose reporting of corrections sentencing policy, its "theme" not really fitting its facts. . . . Related to weak crim just reporting, this article from Governing's lead this month does a wonderful job discussing the decline of urban newspapers (for reasons outlined) and the impact of that on the discourse and wisdom of state and local policymaking. This is one of the reasons I'm skeptical about talk that "we need to get our message out better" among crim just policy leaders. It doesn't matter what our tree says as it fall if no one's around to hear because newspapers cover state and local policy so poorly or, maybe worse, not at all.

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