Massachusetts Sued for Imprisoning Addicted Women Who Haven’t Committed* Crimes

*should be "haven't been convicted of any crimes," sorry; also I fixed the link: “As Governor Deval Patrick has acknowledged, we are actually the only state that incarcerates people who are suffering from addiction to drugs and alcohol, who haven’t been convicted of a crime. And imprisoning people because they have a disease is wrong, and it’s also unconstitutional,” ACLU staff attorney Jessie Rossman told the News Service. She said the lawsuit is specifically focusing on women because … [Read more...]

“Stop Helicopter-Parenting Other People’s Kids”: Michael Brendan Dougherty

yeah: It's an odd way to "help" a child who is unsupervised for five minutes to potentially inflict years of stress, hours of court appearances, and potential legal fees and fines on their parents. Children who experience discreet instances of suboptimal parenting aren't always aided by threatening their parents with stiff, potentially family-jeopardizing legal penalties. The risk of five or even 10 minutes in a temperate, locked car while mom shops is still a lot better than years in group … [Read more...]

Increasing Empathy Is a Really Weird Reason for Public Humiliation

But drugs have a funny effect on the brain, I guess: ...It was the second such heroin sweep where authorities sought to publicize the names, hometowns, ages and photos of alleged buyers and distributors. Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes said that tactic would help further educate the public. “We are working toward eliminating the notion that a heroin addict is a person that is in an alley with a needle sticking in their arm,” Valdes said. “We are so removed from … [Read more...]

Our Initial Goal Is Voluntary Compliance

Middle school edition! After Michael and Melinda May's daughter was drug-tested five times in three years at Susquenita Middle School, they refused to sign a permission slip allowing it to happen again. Leila May was drug-tested once during her fifth grade year, once in sixth grade and three times as a seventh grader because Susquenita School District randomly tests students in grades five through 12 who participate in extracurricular activities and apply for parking permits. Without the … [Read more...]

Squid Video, Vaticanomics, Francis vs the Doctors, African Fiction: Four Friday Things

The things I've been reading. This week's theme is "Things I Know Little About." Inebriate Me: "The Real Problem with Vaticanomics." Our critique of Vaticanomics must start with its being unimaginative and—I will even say—boring. Say about it what you will, but when Jesus instructed the rich young man to give all his money to the poor and talked about camels and needles, it wasn’t boring. I am being provocative, but here’s why it actually matters. The first one is that … [Read more...]

“How Universities Fail Their Students in Crisis”: Leah Libresco

at AmCon: A student is raped by a classmate, goes to the campus center for help, and is grilled about whether she provoked the rape, told she has to confront her accuser personally in order to be taken seriously, and, ultimately, hounded off of campus, since her post-traumatic stress makes her “unstable.” You might recognize all the details from The New Republic‘s story about Patrick Henry College’s alleged mishandling of rape cases, but the above incident is drawn from Angie … [Read more...]

…And Charge Them for It

in action: ...First the agents strip-searched the plaintiff, examining her anus and vagina with a flashlight. Finding nothing, they took her to the University Medical Center of El Paso, where they forced her to take a laxative and produce a bowel movement in their presence. Again they found no evidence of contraband. At this point one of their accomplices, a physician named Christopher Cabanillas, ordered an X-ray, which likewise found nothing suspicious. Then the plaintiff "endured a forced … [Read more...]


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