Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blogs and News Together, Thursday, May 16, 2007

  • First things first. Committed a breach of blogging etiquette in yesterday's post noting Jonathan Simon's new blog by forgetting to hat-tip Prawfsblawg, where I saw the notice. So I hereby send you to that always interesting and eclectic blog to catch all their recent great posts.
  • Bottom things next. From "the rich are different from you and me" files: Paris Hilton will only serve half her well-publicized 45-day jail sentence, staying in an isolated unit where they keep likely to be hassled types. Some blogs are trying to make this sound like horrible punishment, and maybe being stuck alone with whatever goes through her head 23 hours a day is Hell, but it can't compare with what she would have gotten in the general population. Which is why she's isolated, and, I note, has dropped her appeal and hasn't protested the isolation at all.
  • From the "maybe they're just as stupid as us after all" files: "If crime doesn't pay, then it shouldn't come as a big surprise that criminal stupidity has its limits as a moneymaking enterprise. Yet Wall Street appears to be awash in it. In the past three months, the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed more than half a dozen cases that charge professionals at top brokerage houses, hedge funds and even some top accounting firms with insider-trading plots. The schemes could have earned more than $35 million. Any gains weren't ill-gotten for long, though, mostly because of some outlandishly dumb moves." Then proceeds a list of truly remarkably dumb stories. Go read and feel superior.
  • This is something we need to be paying more attention to, bad news or not. A U of CA-Irvine study is finding that young females are becoming just as bad as young males in crashing autos due to alcohol and dying from no seatbelts. "The study, led by Virginia W. Tsai MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, showed that over a 10 year period (1995-2004) females began to "catch up" to males in risky behaviors and while seatbelt use increased for both males and females, the increase for women was smaller. When combined with other factors such as cell phone use while driving and distractions from other teenagers in the car, the trends for young women are not positive."
  • For you corrections types, here's a story from Prevention Works that's not just good, it's cool. Use of molecular engineering to produce items for inmate use that CAN'T be turned into weapons. Not sentencing technocorrections but deserves its own attention.
  • State news. The CA gov has made his case that building tons of new cells that will be rapidly filled up solves the problem the fed courts have been threatening the state about. Promises that rehab is on the way, it really, really is, with that check in the mail. Next month we should start finding out if the jurists are impressed. In DE, a sex offender's conviction for being within 500 feet of a school was illegal since the "school" was a dance school that had adults coming and going, too. I admit, I had not thought of this angle when considering the "within whatever feet of a school" prohibitions that are so common. And in NV, they're fearing the worst if a bill is passed forcing immediate release of 1600 inmates who have apparently finished their sentences (and will be completely without supervision). They evidently did not think the law through thoroughly. You know you're in trouble when your DOC director says: "I guess we can hope for the best, but that is not a real good corrections policy."
  • A UK (United Kingdom, not U of KY) study finds that male sex offenders have higher rates of serious mental illness than previously thought. "It found that offenders were six times more likely to have ever been hospitalized for a mental illness" than males in the general population. That's not all it found, so check the story out. Here's more relevancy for what we do here: "This raises the possibility that identifying and treating these disorders could lower the odds of offenders repeating their crimes, said lead study author Dr. Seena Fazel of Oxford University in the UK."
  • Our brains can make their own marijuana to relieve stress?? You know what that means. The feds will be coming after all of us sooner or later.

No comments: