Tuesday, October 02, 2007

News of the Day, Tuesday, October 2, 2007

  • In CT, prisons not at capacity yet after the rush to incarceration there following that recent mass murder, but somehow the article gets finished without ever mentioning what "capacity" would be, the DOC director's diversionary rhetoric to the contrary. There are established professional definitions and they would have been discoverable. (h/t Real Cost of Prisons) As in NE, where their prison pops are down this year, even if they remain at 137% of capacity. I know some of the hard-working and talented folks there pushing for more community options for judges, and it looks like their efforts are paying off: It's partly because of declining crime rates, Houston said, but the Corrections Department, the State Probation System and the Community Corrections Council have been working together to establish prison alternatives that judges feel comfortable using. They include new substance abuse treatment programs and day reporting centers that can be used as alternatives to prison.The prison system is in the process of expanding its in-patient drug treatment program from 232 beds to 416 beds within two years. About 28 percent of inmates admitted to the prison system in fiscal 2006 were there on drug charges.Work-release, where inmates work at private jobs outside the institution, also is being expanded. At the Omaha work-release center, for example, the number of people on work-release has been increased from 50 to 150. Slots are reserved for those who might be paroled in the near future.Houston said the Parole Board is more willing to release prisoners who already have jobs and have obtained treatment for their addictions.
  • Nice overview of MT's formal investigation into the juv and adult mentally ill in their crim just sys and the problems associated with them, if you're unfamiliar or if you want to commiserate.
  • Drugs in IA. Its meth law didn't stop "smurfing" from store to store to get around purchasing limits so now cops there are pressing to get that loophole closed. Other states have done it. And while meth is the drug du jour, IA officials don't want pot forgotten. They're calling on whole communities to become narcs. Makes a good story anyway.
  • Via Real Cost of Prisons, we get this hot stock tip. Times lookin' reeeallll good for CCA and Geo, our major private prison corporations. Of course, you have to hope that crime and victimization continue to grow long-term, but think of those dividends.
  • How about some more smokes? Smoking switches on genes that don’t all switch back off when the smoker quits, making damage last and meaning that genetic research will be directed toward how to manipulate those turned-on genes. Clear implications for other substance abuse and possible TECHNOCORRECTIONS remedies. As does this research that shows that how an adolescent’s brain responds to the first cigarette strongly impacts future addiction, again indicating that genetic predisposition affects substance abuse and that genetic remedies are likely the best ones for long-term and wide-ranging success. [More evidence is provided by this study that genes are connected to suicidal thoughts among that selected group of takers of antidepressants.] Finally, nicotine apparently activates a body stress system among chronic users that positive feedbacks into more need for nicotine. Stress has also been implicated in other substance addiction. This would appear to be an area for either bioengineering or pharmaceuticals, with possible applications far beyond nicotine and its delivery system. Again, TECHNO!!!
  • For those who have been touched by Alzheimer's, any indicators are always news. But that news may have relevance beyond the families. This research indicates higher levels of Alzheimer’s among those with lower levels of education, especially those who haven’t finished high school. Good thing our society hasn’t figured out some way to concentrate a whole lot of people without high school in some of its institutions and then keep them there until they get old. That could be really costly. No one could be that silly.

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