Friday, October 05, 2007

News of the Day, Friday, October 5, 2007

  • Well, here's one way states can get back some of the funds going into their crim just systems: sue the Oxycontin makers. Think it won't work? VA just succeeded, and KY is hot behind them. Anybody know of other states that have pulled this off?
  • Ben Barlyn won't want to take credit for a lot of the sensible things that the NJ gov has packed into his new crime plan there, but I'm betting he feels a tad better about what might be possible when he goes to sleep at night now.
  • Those of you promoting online accessibility and transparency for state data and especially corr sent info, pay attention to this cautionary tale from WI, which has one of the best state court data systems I've been fortunate to work with. Turns out that letting the public find things out about neighbors isn't always good. Turns out letting partners of crime find out what their accomplices got (and maybe ratted on them to get) isn't always a good idea either.
  • Speaking of WI, let's look briefly (to avoid illness) at its ongoing saga of silliness as it proves anti-Federalists correct that the average American isn't fit to govern him/herself. Over three months past their legislated budget deadline, now a most direct hit on corrections sentencing policy: the money won't be there to keep their inmate population behind bars. I've worked with that DOC head. He never struck me as a big kidder.
  • Blakely finally biting HA. How on earth has it taken this long?
  • Finally, I know this is technically a blog item since Doug Berman has the best coverage of it here and here, but, as we ponder our ability to effectively govern ourselves, the fact that Sen. Webb's hearings on incarceration and alternatives only got such meager coverage is, in that cliched term, an indictment of our policymaking and our citizenship. Whether you agree or disagree about its value, something that takes up such a large and increasing portion of our public resources at a time when they are scarce and will likely grow even scarcer should be front and center in our public discourse. Instead, we're the proverbial ostrich with our head in the sand until reality kicks us hard in the butt.

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