Thursday, December 07, 2006

News of the Day 12-07-06

The offense registry movement rolls on, as this story about meth registries indicates. It's hard to know which has more energy devoted to it right now--child sex offending or meth offending--so why not do registries for both? Critics make the usual points--not effective, poor use of scarce resources, symbol, not substance, inability of offenders ever to get their lives back on track, especially if they're running down the street from an angry mob, blah, blah, blah, like anyone cares. Here's the deal. Logically, there's no real reason why every offender ever shouldn't be registered if any of them are, and, at some point, someone will get around to proposing that, maybe just one offense at a time, but we could get there. Again, it would be nice if people would talk this through before it's a fait accompli. . . . KY county judges are planning to sue the state by the end of the month if its legislature doesn't appropriate $60 m. for local jails. A couple of OK judges have pulled the same thing here, with no result yet. Like I've said, one way to cut the Gordian Knot is judicial, at least temporarily, but it usually just delays the worst. We'll see what happens here. . . . Long, thorough story from NM on changes there in how the state deals with violent juveniles, more rehab this time. . . . Remember the recent posts on TX trying to figure out how to deal with its incarceration increases, this time through more parole? Well, no surprise--doesn't look like they're going to do it. Here's the surprise--they're considering doing more, bigger and better parole. . . . And remember the drug that will cure addicts? And the questions about it? Well, it's going strong, and so are the questions. More info here. Once again, "technocorrections" coming at us whether we're ready or not. . . . A study in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors reports that "Teens who drink, smoke cigarettes or use marijuana by themselves are more likely to have health and behavioral problems as young adults than those who do the same things with others." Problems like not graduating, using drugs, robbing, things like that. Not really news, but more support for the profiling and risk assessing we do. . . . Finally, U of Edinburgh research finds that MRIs can id changes in brain grey matter years prior to onset of mental disorders like schizophrenia. Again, not directly related to corrections sentencing, but every advance in these areas points to possibilities in mental conditions associated with indicators for possible criminal behavior, whether they evidence themselves later or not (as Kim gets at in the post below). This coincides with work that ids genes associated with certain configurations. It's just a matter of time before this area of "technocorrections" blossoms. Let's get ahead of the curve, huh?

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