Monday, January 22, 2007
Around the Blogs, Monday, January 22, 2007
Sex Crimes Blog continues the great work it's been doing rooting out stories around the country on the wise and less so policies being proposed to deal with sex crimes. Here, you'll find that TN becomes the second "T" state to consider death sentences for child sex abusers and thereby driving more charges and testimony against family members and friends who do the abusing even further down. And here, we find that another "T" (Tampa Bay) is threatening to ban all sex offenders from the city limits altogether. I won't keep beating this short-sighted and ignorant horse, but I do want note again that, just as registries aren't being limited to sex offenders anymore, what logic requires that these banishments should only be forced upon sex offenders? Why should we privilege those who are violent or who abuse their spouses with plain old fists or even just can't be trusted not to rip us off? Why are sex offenders the only ones who should be banished? And once we've banished all the "bad" people, . . . who's going to be left around to turn off the lights and close the doors? . . . Real Cost of Prisons has this post on the prison pop probs in MI and the state's efforts to deal with them, including even revisiting guidelines already created (by a commission the state later dumped on). In my mind, they're getting it bass-ackward here. They need a commission that can collect and illuminate data on sentencing and its effectiveness and public safety impact, not tinkering around more with guidelines that clearly haven't had the impact they originally thought they would. But the state really doesn't seem to have its head on right and tight yet, the way that CO and CA (and even TX!) seem to be doing. Until they do, messing with their guidelines may make them feel better about themselves, but it won't have the impact they're seeking. . . . Prevention Works follows up the news of the recent study about the greater homicide rates in states with higher gun ownership rates. As I've noted before, the nicest thing about this blog is they don't just gripe and point (like some of us), but they also give you resources to deal with the problem, as they do here with some great stuff about kids and gun safety that you'll find very helpful. (And thanks for the kind words, Matthew.) . . . Think Outside the Cage has a couple of good posts for our purposes here. One links to an exemplary editorial in the Rocky Mountain News extolling drug courts but also outlining the research on them and what has to happen to make them work. And this one details (depressingly but not surprisingly) the fiscal restrictions facing CO in trying to just get a step or two off the costly and spiraling downward path they've been on for several years now. A cautionary and familiar tale of Gordian Knots. Good luck to them in dealing with it. . . . Made2Measure, the court performance measure blog, has a provocative post on "gainsharing" in government orgs and its possible application to courts. Application to corrections, too, clearly. Probably several years off for most of us, but the emphasis we see on "evidence-based practice" in our work right now might lay the framework. . . . Finally, the world is flashing by us and we're barely noticing. A Spanish firm and a French firm are putting together an electronic security system identifying folks by monitoring their unique pattern of electrical activity inside their brains (h/t CrimProf Blog). Electroencephalography (EEG) is the name, TECHNOCORRECTIONS is the game, and they're both part of an even grander program of development. And meanwhile our big news is that judges can't decide things that clearly must be decided by juries under our Constitution and amendments. Anyone know of any deserted islands anywhere? Or an island where they have plenty of Guinness on tap??