Monday, April 09, 2007

News of the Day, Monday 9, 2007

  • Proof that you get your news here first!! Teri Carns in AK (Alaska, not Arkansas) sent us word a couple of weeks back on this impressive recidivism study, but at least it's getting reported, even if belatedly. Two-thirds of the state's offenders were back behind bars within the customary 36 months if you missed the post before. Actually a pretty good description of the research design and report. Says one participant: the study "suggests at the very least that there's room to examine what we are doing and see if we can't protect public safety in a way that's more effective and more cost effective than what we are doing now." Or, as another participant said, "if deterrence is the goal of corrections in Alaska, the system is failing." No, he was just saying it about AK (Alaska, not Arkansas).
  • A twins study in the Journal of Personality finds a genetic basis for predispositions for selfless and social behavior. Another brick in the Wall of Temptation to try Technocorrections.
  • We mentioned the other day the use of plays to encourage greater willingness to volunteer to help substance abuse treatment. This seems pretty dramatic, too--holding DUI trials in high schools in front of impressionable students. In one of the few evaluations, "ninth graders who participated in [a Tulsa program of this type] showed a greater understanding of the severity of DUI crashes and said they wore seat belts more often, but did not change their attitudes about riding in a car with an impaired driver." We've also mentioned before studies showing how teenagers don't have brains.
  • The future? CA is proposing taxing med marijuana. The fear? That it will drive off growers afraid of "confessing" to feds who aren't as sympathetic as the state.
  • This sound familiar? "Drug and alcohol treatment services are sprinkled throughout state organizations, but there is little coordination among them . . . ." Want to guess the state? Did you guess yours? Well, you're probably right in principle, but this was from a CT report that also recommended creating "a clear authority for developing and funding substance-abuse programs--a role currently absent." Yeah, you're right. It's your state.
  • Finally, just a small item in a much larger (and scarier) study by the British Ministry of Defence forecasting the world the country's armed forces will be facing in 2035, but it fits in with much of our technocorrections discussion here. What do they expect for special individuals (or maybe just for all of us): By 2035, an implantable "information chip" could be wired directly to the brain. Fortunately, that "death age" calculator thing says I'm checking out around 2031. Burn, you suckers!!

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