“At Least Two States Let Prisons Charge the Families of Dead Ex-Prisoners for Their Food and Health Care”: Dara Lind

at Vox:Nearly every state lets prisons and jails charge inmates for their own incarceration — room, board, clothing, and doctor's visits — in a phenomenon called "pay-to-stay."We don't know exactly how many prisons and jails take advantage of "pay to stay." The latest survey, done in 2005, found that 90 percent of jails surveyed charged inmates fees of one kind of another. In an era of tight budgets, the practice is probably even more widespread today. ...In many of the statutes the B … [Read more...]

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Standing in Front of Your Own House (While Black): Washington City Paper Investigates “Incommoding” Arrests

The chitlins were making Alex Dennis sick. Dennis, a 20-year-old with dreadlocks that graze his shoulders, found himself getting nauseous in his apartment while his uncle and aunt cooked soul food for Thanksgiving.Dennis walked outside to get some air, but ended up right in the grasp of the Metropolitan Police Department.Stepping outside an apartment for fresh air doesn’t draw police attention in, say, Georgetown. But Dennis doesn’t live there. Instead, he lives on Buena Vista Terrace SE, … [Read more...]

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Deep Morbid Strawberries: A Summertime Kitchen Adventure

We're supposed to hit 90 for Memorial Day (which I'm thrilled about, though I will now shut up about it since I know you guys don't want to hear how much I love DC's most tropical months) so here's another report on summer drinks.This time I got a quart of strawberries from the farmer's market. They were, let's say, rich in ripeness. A little ways over the peak of their lusciousness and skidding into that blowsy, makeup-smeared stage, the 2 AM of la vida loca fresa. I cut off the tops and … [Read more...]

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“‘Force is the Best Medicine’: How America Overdosed on Drug Courts”

by Maia Szalavitz:...If doctors were to deviate this far from the standard of care in treating patients, they would face malpractice judgments and, in extreme cases, criminal prosecution. But drug court judges face no such accountability, even though they generally acknowledge that addiction is a disease and make final decisions on which treatments are permitted. “A judge’s decisions cannot be mucked about with unless they’re illegal or a total abuse of discretion,” says Peggy Hora, a retired … [Read more...]

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“Think Twice Before Calling the Cops on the Mentally Ill”

yeah: A social worker who cares for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled has now contacted me to explain why he prefers that people avoid calling the police if at all possible when it comes to the sorts of disabled people for whom he cares. In fact, the danger of dialing 911 is something he emphasizes in all orientation sessions for new employees at the organization where he works. And when one of his organization’s charges becomes loud or disruptive in a public place, as inevitably h … [Read more...]

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Important Ice-Cream Update

Uh, putting a whole chocolate bar in your ice-cream soda is a bad idea, don't do that. Libresco noted that she'd always just eaten ice cream + soda (as indicated by the name of the drink) and I tried that and it was great! I grew up on ice-cream sodas made by this amazing Jamaican ice cream parlor near home, where they would replace the chocolate syrup with hot fudge if you asked, and their ice-cream sodas always had this exotic tang, not quite cinnamon but cinnamon-adjacent... but you know, … [Read more...]

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Ye Canna Change the Laws of Physics!: A Chocolaty Kitchen Adventure

So I tried to make an ice-cream soda today. I made... something!First attempt: Maybe two scoops of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy ice cream (I KNOW, you don't have to say anything) went into a big glass. Then I melted a Lindt chili chocolate bar in the microwave and poured that in. Then started to fill the glass with club soda but realized that the melted chocolate bar would make things fairly warm, so I added some ice cubes, then filled to the brim w/soda water.At which point the … [Read more...]

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