Wednesday, July 11, 2007

News of the Day, Wednesday, July 11, 2007

  • The fed receiver looking at health care in CA’s prisons says the recent “solution” there by adding 53,000 new beds is a “political charade” that will add years to resolving the prison health care crisis. Not the sort of thing you want to hear from a guy who may help decide whether the state’s prison pop should be capped. In response, one of the pro-prison legislators accused the receiver of not having “any respect for the legislative process.” As Mama Gump might say, “Respect is as respect does.”
  • Britain’s “surveillance society” setting foot here, starting in NYC. TECHNOCORRECTIONS coming soon to a light pole near you. Tell me again how all those cameras prevented the geniuses, like this guy, who tried the last bombs there?
  • Inmate farm labor in CO here bailing out farmers who used to use migrant labor. (Pam Clifton’s take on it here at Think Outside the Cage.)
  • More on the prison pop prob in ME, which has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the country. If they can’t hold it together, who can?
  • Man, oh, man, how low can the prosecutors in the Genarlow Wilson case go? They’ve released the video of the party at which Wilson engaged in the sex act with the 15-year-old that got him in prison for 20 years. What conceivable point could this have except as an attempt to rile public opinion and fear of “those sexed-up black boys” (although it apparently makes clear that the rape they charged him with and he was acquitted for really wasn’t a rape, which might make people ponder about the other offense again)? Is it simply payback to the girl in the case whose mother embarrassed the DA’s office by admitting publicly that there was no reason for Wilson to be in jail, something she took back after a DA went to her house and forced her to call the newspaper to take it back while he taped her reneging? If the act itself warranted 20 years in prison, shouldn’t the people who released the tape be charged with distribution of child pornography? This case once again shows how unbalanced (in many ways) prosecution can be so abusive as to throw the entire profession into disrepute. That the profession doesn’t care is indicated by its conspicuous silence. More likely, it’s a sign of endorsement, so God help us all.
  • If that doesn’t rile you, try yet another story like this. Guy convicted of child molestation 20 years ago in IN. Nothing since. Forced to move by offender restriction law and to sell house within 45 days, despite invalid wife. Been living with acquaintances but that was too close to a school admin building. Not clear where he is now, but he’s suing to force government there to put two synapses together in sequence. It will surely be “late breaking news” if/when anything like that ever happens.


JSN said...

Security system tapes have already been used as evidence in criminal case investigation and I think in some cases the court has admitted them as evidence.

It is hard for me to understand why it matters who owns and operates the system.

Some but not all crime types may move if a surveillance system is installed. That will also happen if you increase the frequency of police patrols.

It is true that "If you give them data they will mine it" but is the data worth mining? I think the garbage/gold ratio is too high.

Michael Connelly said...

Yeah, I've worked with criminal justice data enough to know that the fears of some all-knowing, all-watching system are still a long way off. It's the all-stupid-but-trying-to-watch-anyway folks who scare the hell out of me.