Friday, February 16, 2007

For Your Weekend Reading Pleasure

  • ANNA NICOLE SMITH!!!! Yes, a shameless attempt to boost our hits by pointing to this speculation that she died from a methodone overdose, which, if true, would make her the most prominent victim of an upsurge we've been noting for several weeks now. (Sorry we don't have pictures but my wife is watching.)
  • Speaking of senseless, irresponsible ingestion of chemicals, more on how our self-indulgence as a nation is skewing another nation dangerously, in this case Mexico (yes, I meant "skewing").
  • Yesterday we noted that Britain was at the bottom of 21 industrialized nations studied on child poverty and well-being. Well, today, we hear of how the society is coming apart as authority degenerates among the nation's young people. British officials are calling on fathers to get their hands back on the reins. Read to the end where the official bromides are at their worst and see which feeling takes precedence in your head--eye-rolling amazement or saddening sickness?
  • This article might at first give you back some confidence in British officials as they develop a sophisticated footwear pattern tracking system. Until you read this at the very end: But footwear may not always lead police to the perpetrator. Last year, it emerged that Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski used shoes with smaller soles attached to the bottom to make it look like a person with smaller footprints were behind the bombs. Crime is a complex adaptive system, as this shows. So why aren't we studying it like one yet?
  • A really good article on CO's efforts to deal with its corr sent problems, case studies, references to the new gov's goals (he used to be a prosecutor, one of the good ones we talk about here), inadequate treatment system, and plenty of stats. The kind of journalism the First Amendment was created for, the kind that can actually have an impact on bringing a bit of sense to policymaking.
  • One way to get to the CO article above is through this link from Pam Clifton at Think Outside the Cage, who adds her own commentary, including what should be the dominant framing of our corr sent problems--"catch and release, catch and release." While you're there, check out this post as well with another great frame--CO's prison crisis is its "very own Iraq war. It was sold to voters on flawed intelligence, distorted over the years to evoke irrational fear, exploited by politicians for their cynical self-interest and transformed into an industry that feeds on the whole unseemly, craven, warped public policy for the sole benefit of its own insatiable greed. Now it's a bona fide quagmire, and nobody in power has the guts to admit it." Heck, just check out all the posts there. The blog is en fuego lately.
  • At CrimProf Blog, they've found an article on MT and its sudden awareness that the nation knows it's going crazy with prison buildup. This was the real value of Pew's report on prison pop projections last Wednesday. It puts states on the defensive and in the spotlight nationally, forces them to react differently than if noted locally. Hopefully MT won't be the only state. (BTW, many thanks to the commenters who pointed to better coverage of the Pew report in their states than the national media did. Things do get rushed when Anna Nicole’s body might get moved any second. . . A second reference!!! Man, watch the hits explode now.)
  • A month from now HBO will run a 14-part documentary on addiction and how to treat it, so we're told by the good folks at Neuroethics & Law. Should be required viewing. Get cable now if you're still one of those 13 people who don't have it.
  • Speaking of intelligent blogs on cognitive science and its implications, check out this really nice post on the cog sci behind our perceptions of race at The Situationist. If I have to spell out the corr sent implications, go to your room until I tell you you can come out.
  • No surer sign that the CA prison union is only about their pay, not about what’s best for the state.
  • ME is always at the bottom (or top) of incarceration rates every year, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have overcrowding problems.
  • Talking urinal cakes? Not really what I've meant by "technocorrections," but whatever works. If it scares folks out of driving drunk, I'm for it. You not? Pay no attention to that little white disk down there.

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