Monday, July 09, 2007

News of the Day, Monday, July 9, 2007

  • Encouraging news out of Finland on a new drug, nalmefene, that lessens cravings for alcohol among problem drinkers by 40%-46%. Even bigger news to me, much more in the Cult of Pharmacology line that we’ve been discussing lately, the control group of problem drinkers who only received a placebo saw their cravings cut from 26%-35%. A drug impact, obviously, but not nearly as great as one would think if the mind didn’t have anything to do with how drugs were received. Big TECHNOCORRECTIONS stuff, though, and one more thing for more judges and other sentencers to be considering as they mete out their justice (I love saying “mete”).
  • Attention, K-Mart Shoppers!!! Sense breaks out on sex offenses in IN in aisle 3 and ME in aisle 4!!! IN is curbing the “Romeo and Juliet” offenses with some impressive provisions while ME decides to stay on the fed money train by considering better tiering of its sex offender categories in their registry. Then, of course, sense scurries back into its hidey-hole in NV where they tried to be “tough” and ended up writing an offender restriction near schools law so ineptly that it only affects a very small proportion of the offenders intended. This sort of thing is always a good reminder in these days when we’re tempted to think Big Brother could actually happen.
  • Lest you think (I also love saying “lest”) that NV is alone in doing things future generations will crook an eyebrow at, here’s ID deciding to send more of its inmates to a private TX facility “despite Idaho prisoners at two of that company's other facilities having to be moved twice because of abuse by guards, a suicide, filthy conditions and lack of treatment.” Maybe they’ll get lucky and have a big riot like AZ did sending its inmates in IN.
  • Finally, from the “would we act the same way if pot were a sport performance enhancing drug?” department, this story that, despite all the schools that have gotten into testing for illegal substances no matter the cost, states are not ponying up the cash to do steroid testing in schools despite strong recommendations. They’ve probably heard about all those wrestlers who got toked up and killed their wives and children . . . oh, wait. At least America isn’t all popped up on anti-depressants. Using drugs to make you feel better is eeevviilllll and what gets you years in prison. Doesn’t it?


Gritsforbreakfast said...

I had a little more on the case with Idaho prisoners in TX, especially background on the particular contractor, fyi, see:

AG should investigate possible Geo Group fraud

Meet the Geo Group: Texas' largest private prison contractor

Suicide aftermath reveals squalor at private rural Texas prison

Ilah said...

The sort of registry discussed in the Maine article will not, if I recall correctly, comply with Federal law. Federal law makes no allowance for risk of re-offending. It is solely based upon conviction, and nearly all convictions will fall into the Second and Third tier.

So in order to comply with the federal law, a rapist released from prison thirty years ago, and who hasn't committed another crime in those decades, would have to be in the same tier--the highest--as a rapist released yesterday. There is no possibility of risk assessment--and no means for states to tailor the public access to the registry--under federal law.