Monday, July 16, 2007

News of the Day, Monday, July 16, 2007

  • 8.2% of US workers reported using illegal drugs in the last month, mainly pot, mainly young people, overwhelmingly restaurant and construction workers, which is indeed a little unsettling even if your cook or riveter is just toking. Here’s the really interesting part of the story, right at the very bottom—8.8% reported heavy alcohol use. So, a long story on the fear of drug users in the workplace and the lack of substance abuse programs for their mainly pot smoking, and then slipped in at the end, in just one short paragraph, a mention that a legal drug is even more widely abused. America in the 21st century.
  • Somehow it just seems like all these stories are about the same thing: underfunded treatment programs in AL (Alabama, not Alaska) despite new sentencing laws, underfunded domestic abuse shelter programs in MO despite new reform laws, a half billion dollars in overtime costs in CA (no wonder the union there fights doing something serious about public safety), which helps to cause budget shortages and impasses in the state, a legis panel in MT doing special study about what to do about its prison population increases. Could just be me, though.
  • Look for prison pops to go up in SC even more. DAs there getting hammered for not prosecuting the larger coke cases, that coincidentally carry mandatories.
  • A couple of related stories that aren’t money-tied—here NV figures out that at least 7% of its prison pop is foreign-born but could be twice that, while here AR (Arkansas, not Arizona) recognizes that its rising Hispanic prison pop has special needs and requirements that the system hasn’t dealt with before.
  • Finally, here we hear of a program in CA to get women imprisoned for responses to domestic violence to get new help that might not have earlier been available to them, giving them the chance to be considered for release they never expected.

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