Wednesday, March 14, 2007

News of the Day, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

  • USA Today picks up on Philip Zimbardo's new book, The Lucifer Effect, which he's been talking about (and we've been linking you to) over at The Situationist. The article gives you the critics of his views, who made me think pretty much, "well, yeah, . . . so???" Good overview of what sounds like it will be a must-read book.
  • Why private prisons and shipping inmates will win. The AZ prisoners being moved to IN? 230 new jobs in a small town. Where's the economic benefit of not moving them?
  • TX continues its intensive efforts to get more of its kids sexually abused and murdered here. I love where the legislator says criminals don't read law books before committing crimes. So, uh, how exactly are stiffer punishments generally supposed to deter them, sir? Even DAs are against this bill. Sorry, Grits, I know you love the place, but its only useful purpose to me is to keep the hurricanes off OK.
  • Tales of second thoughts, all well covered by the old "let's reinterpret what was originally said" gambit. Here, early release is back on the table in NV after a legislator claims stupidity (not in those words exactly), and here, well, early release is back on the table in WA as the gov and her people claim it's okay to do it as long as no one says out loud that it's to reduce prison overcrowding.
  • Meanwhile, a Detriot Free Press editorial calls out the gov and legis in MI for proclaiming the need to reduce prison bed use and then supporting a bunch of new laws and mandatories that will fill up whatever beds were freed by the (sounds like) hocus pocus they originally used to empty them (h/t Real Cost of Prisons).
  • Finally, ME is looking at a number of bills to reduce its version of DUI and all its repeaters. A very thorough overview of a problem common in too many states and one of the big drivers of prison and jail population increases. But here's the deal. Since they do the whole story without mentioning the potential of "technocorrections" beyond ignition devices, read the article and think as you do how excited and willing those policymakers will be when the pharm and gentech folks start knocking on their doors with their "solutions." And tell me that we'll be prepared for the aftermath. Seriously. Tell me. Please.

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