Tuesday, June 26, 2007

News of the Day, Tuesday, June 26, 2007

  • Another victory in that War on Drugs. Opium production at an all-time high, especially thanks to Afghanistan. (No comment.)
  • Turns out there’s a strong link between adolescent violence and later domestic violence (and alcohol doesn’t seem to play a big role in it). Here’s the basic finding of the relevant study: “The study also showed a number of personal characteristics, partner characteristics and neighborhood conditions that increased an individual's chances of being involved in domestic violence as a young adult. Being diagnosed with a major episode of depression or receiving welfare were significantly related to committing domestic violence, as were having a partner who used drugs heavily, sold drugs, had a history of violence toward others, had an arrest record or was unemployed. Disorganized neighborhoods where attitudes toward drug sales and violence were favorable also increased a person's likelihood of committing domestic violence.”
  • This probably won’t startle anyone, but cigarette smoking can interfere with the cognitive processes of alcoholics trying to quit.
  • And here’s another "duh" study that indicates that chronic meth use can screw up your heart. In case you were thinking about going chronic with your habit.
  • One more. 20% of young males were willing to buy alcohol for underage consumers compared with only 8% of the general pop in this study. Did they do it for free or did they require cash for their own purchase like we . . . some guys I heard about did in college?
  • More of the nationalization of our prison populations, making it unlikely that state reforms can offset the ever-available bedspace (and hence easier, more politically palatable deferral of tough decision on prison resources, i.e., CA) in the near future. A private prison has just opened up in AZ. To house exclusively HA prisoners. As AZ itself needs bedspace and sends its surplus pop to places like IN. Where they riot because they’re not in AZ. Privatization and increasing prison pops will make it possible (because the immediate costs of building facilities are forgone until the costs of actually paying for the beds gets too high several years later, i.e., CA again) to prolong the current approach to corr sent reforms.
  • This would be embarrassing to a state capable of embarrassment. NYC types have put together $1m. bond for Genarlow Wilson for his hearing on July 5. The unfortunate truth, though, is the more you point out to some people how stupid and obstinate they’re being, the more they take pride in it and hang on for dear life.
  • Interesting article on how Detroit plans to deal with (or not) its parolees to be early released soon. It’s not that these areas won’t have to deal with these guys at some point; it’s just that they’re getting more of them in one fell swoop when resources aren’t there for their normal load. This is likely not the last time we’re going to hear this kind of story, in MI again for sure but also in other states as well.
  • Although it’s not mentioned in this story on states with inadequate numbers of state patrol troopers because of resource scarcity, every one of those states is having budget problems in part because of their corrections spending. I’m sure those left behind when loved ones are killed by speeding autos this holiday will feel it was a worthwhile balancing of public safety funding.
  • Speaking of resource scarcity, nice article on how RI is actually going to plan how to spend the funds recently appropriated for treatment before it, you know, just throws the money out there.
  • Oops. Last year Jeb Bush attributed FL’s low crime rate to Floridians being able to take their guns with them everywhere. Well, this year, gun violence offenses in the state are up, 42% for gun murders and 28% for gun robberies. It must have been the thought of sure, long-term incarceration that kept the crime down earlier. Uh . . . not so much, according to a captain in the Orange Co. Sheriff’s Dept: "Criminals out there have an attitude that there is no tomorrow the way they commit crimes," Strobridge said. "We have had several offenders tell us they're going to be dead or in jail by the time they're 22 years old, so what do they have to lose?" So, since they know they’re going away one way or the other, why not do as much crime and as violently as you can for as long as you can get away with it? Too bad there aren’t a whole lot of other things we know about to prevent crime and victims better at lower costs available.
  • Finally, those crazy liberal cops who populate UT are hacked off at how guys coming out of prison there are violent extremists like the recent corrections officer killer there who apparently learned his hatred and trade behind bars. Crime College, we used to call it, before we forgot that putting a bunch of law-breakers together with little to do but teach other might not be a good idea.

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