Thursday, March 22, 2007

News and Blogs Together, Thursday, March 22, 2007

  • Technocorrections up front today. Multi-university research in Nature has id'ed an area in the frontal lobe that promotes empathy and moral calculation and conversely, when damaged, leaves the injured unable to deduce moral action and more susceptible to the opposite. More ammo for defense lawyers, clearly, but also an opening for research on how to max out the area for folks having problems.
  • Don't talk much about teens here, but a slew of stories today. Here we read of findings that teens whose moms smoke and now smoke themselves end up with very significant attention problems, which can lead to being singled out as troublesome in school, which can lead to labeling, which can lead to living up to labeling, which can lead to unsocial behavior. But let's keep those cigs legal. Here we find out that CT is one of the nation's leaders in locking up teens in adult facilities. The best part of the article, though, is its detail on teen incarceration around the country. And here we get the latest report on how teen lockup with adults is counterproductive in most cases and leads to the increasing crime rates we're now seeing again.
  • Nail on head. Think Outside the Cage discusses the new appearance of drug court in Denver and raises the question of whether it will be properly funded, which is the big problem for all alternative to prison programs but probation, and why they are inevitably the ones that get cut when budgets get tight. Go read and, while there, be sure to be impressed by how early in the morning Pam Clifton gets these nuggets to you.
  • No one does a better job keeping us up on identity theft and cybercrime than Prevention Works and here’s their latest update on what’s happening and what you can do to protect yourself. Remember—the best prison cost reduction plan is to do everything we can to prevent being victims.
  • We've talked about how the Maricopa DA's insistence on taking every possible death case to trial is threatening the fiscal viability of AZ's entire system. Well, here's a GA case that's sucking down enough dollars to drain the entire public defense system in the state. Defense is blaming the DA for not accepting a LWOP plea, DA is blaming the defense for thinking the money tap can stay open all the time. The point again is that there's no such thing as a free sentencing.
  • ID is putting $2.7 m. into an anti-meth campaign modeled on MT, media aimed at teens. Apparently some success in the latter state. If it works in ID, maybe national?
  • A couple of NM stories. This one talks about how the state is trying to follow a court order to pay county jails for keeping its inmates (and it's not easy, apparently). Insightful quote from the Corrections director: "When you get tough on crime and sentencing, one of the effects is that you have more people in the system," Williams said, adding that increased punishment for DWI was among the most significant policy changes in recent years.
    "When I was a corrections officer, you never saw someone in prison for DWI," he said. "Now we have close to 600."
    The DWI thing comes up in the other NM story, this one about parents dissatisfied with state progress on reforms to drunk-driving policy after their crusade to turn their family's tragedy into safer roads. Good summary of how the victim crusade works strategically.
  • Update your sentencing guidelines. Sex with a dead deer gets presumptive probation.

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