Monday, March 26, 2007

Around the Blogs, Monday, March 26, 2007

  • Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy does nothing on the weekend but read all possible newspapers and post the best stories for us so we won't have to. Among the many good things he discovered were this story on the CA prison guard union and its sudden realization that it might be better to get into the sentencing guidelines game that's now being played than sitting on the sidelines trying to slow it down (and note the name of Barb Tombs when mentioned, a former union type herself who's headed two successful commissions, now mediating on behalf of the Vera folks), this story on the different justice found in MI depending on whether you're convicted in a rural or urban county (this holds in every state I've ever done sentencing data on--the pro and con: the sentences reflect community values in those counties v. the unequal application of laws that are supposed to be the same across a state), and this op-ed on the impact of The War on (Some) Drugs on minorities and the disturbing but unfortunately predictable lack of courage among Dem pres candidates to address it ("I'm sorry, madame, but we have no guts today").
  • The folks at Think Outside the Cage alert us to a bunch of good stuff, too, including (speaking of prison guards) this post on how hard it is to be a correctional officer and to retain the good ones you have these days and this post on the possible "net widening" effects of drug courts as law enforcers see the improved processing as an opportunity to scoop up more offenders. Virtually every "reform" I've ever seen has this potential, this "if you build it, they will fill it up" possibility, something that policymakers eager to divert offenders from prison never seem to take completely seriously until after the chickens come home. We'll see if it happens again in Denver with its second iteration of drug court.
  • From Real Cost of Prisons, yet another story of law enforcement getting hammered with the expense of enforcing these sex offender notification laws, this time in AL (Alabama, not Alaska).
  • The folks at Prevention Works fear they're becoming johnny-one-notes on id theft and how to prevent it. We're think they're doing just fine. Keep them coming, Matthew.

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