Tuesday, March 06, 2007

News and Blogs Together, Tuesday, March 6, 2007

  • The NY Times finishes its 3-part series on sex offender policy with an analysis of the lack of definitive research on recidivism and treatment. Another good overview of the situation, although how you could do this kind of story and not talk to Kim English in CO is a tad puzzling. The thing I got from it was an even better understanding of why the genetic and pharmceutical aspects of technocorrections will become very, very attractive as they develop because the alternatives we're looking at right now just won't be competitive or easier to sell.
  • This is another good example. MI is drowning in inmates and lack of dollars right now so what is it doing? It's guaranteeing the need for more bedspace, changing how it goes after its DUI guys. Policymakers just can't help themselves, and findings like this on neurotransmitters and addiction breakthroughs that could lead to new genetic and pharm treatments will keep popping up and up.
  • Corey Yung at Sex Crimes Blog has the permanent abstract for his new book on the impact of sex offender residency restrictions up here. He's quickly become the go-to guy on this stuff and we're looking forward to the work.
  • And speaking of go-to people, Pam Clifton at Think Outside the Cage has this interesting post on CO's sudden resistance to a private prison firm that might should count as a cautionary tale and tactics to deal with them for more than just CO.
  • Is WY the next state to start looking at a sentencing commission? A joint legis committee there says the state's high rate of incarceration and recent law changes makes it vital to study what's going on and what should be. Here's the key quote: "[The Joint Judicial Interim Committee] also said that several recent studies and the experience in Colorado and other states suggest that ever-increasing rates of incarceration and the costs do not result in diminishing returns on the crime rates. In contrast, states that have restructured their systems to reduce sentencing have not experienced an increase in the crime level,and in some cases the crime rate has gone down." And the committee chair said this: “The object would be to look and see where are we going, what is our policy, should there be more treatment than incarceration and what is effective and what isn't.” What's your bet of how many days it takes the Vera folks to get there?
  • Finally, we let Grits for Breakfast sign us off the other day. We'll do it again with his frustration with the TX House taking a bad version of Jessica's Law and passing worse. Here's his close: "This bill invites worse prison overcrowding, spiraling geriatric health costs at TDCJ, and more innocent people in prison because of the change in the statute of limitations. It makes things worse for kids, not better. The only people who benefit from this bill are the politicians who plan to use it in their campaigns marketing themselves to a gullible public who trusted them to act in their interest to keep their children safe. Yesterday's vote betrayed that trust." Think hard. Techno will look better and better compared to stuff like this, won't it.

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