Tuesday, December 11, 2007

News of the Day, Monday, December 11, 2007

  • This can't be good news for our friends in CA, already trying to master fiscal necessities including corrections sentencing spending in the face of ideological purity--the housing slump will likely hit that state (and its various treasuries) hardest. Of course, when CA catches cold, the states around also sneeze, as OR can attest right now apparently, too. Good thing they don't have any problems at all with their budgets or prison populations.
  • In Science News today, here you'll find researchers pinpointing the neurons, or lack thereof, determining the ability, or lack thereof, to think rationally, which would seem relevant to what we do. Here, you'll find a report on how violent media suppress the areas of your brain that suppress your own ability to be violent, and here, you'll find how teen dating violence leads victims to other risky behaviors with negative effects on the rest of us as well.
  • Lots of good state news. In GA, they're not letting things like sense and judicial reasoning prevent them from sticking with self-defeating, counterproductive sex offender residency restrictions. It's just one of those bad ideas that has found its time. And as if to prove the point, HA is applying a new law letting juries give punishments beyond the legal max for particular defendants even though the US Supreme Court has found these things unconstitutional, unsmonstitutional. Sense may be breaking out, though, in places like IL where polls are finding extremely high majorities in favor of more money for juvie rehab and less for incarcerating them and turning them into really, really good adult offenders. We'll have to wait and see if dealing with things rationally even takes hold there in that state, much less anywhere else (see neurons, lack thereof, above).
  • Finally, catch the Boston Globe today if you can. Derrick Jackson has a nice op-ed on the Sup Crt sentencing rulings yesterday and the issue of disparity, and they're finishing up that excellent series on prison suicides and what we do about them (mainly bad, especially in lack of training for correctional officers).

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