“The Criminalization of Parenthood”: Radley Balko

again some more: A couple of themes we explore here at The Watch are the increasing criminalization of just about everything and the use of the criminal justice system to address problems that were once (and better) handled by families, friends, communities and other institutions. A few examples from recent headlines show those themes intersecting with parenthood.The first story comes from South Carolina, where a mother was jailed and charged with “unlawful conduct toward a child” for . . . … [Read more...]

The Era of Personal Redemption: Sens Booker and Paul Take Very Small Step Forward on Criminal Justice Reform

this is simultaneously heartening, and depressing--every increment paid for with so much suffering. … [Read more...]

Tenn. Mother Charged with Assault for Drug Use While Pregnant: ThinkProgress

uses an unnecessarily tendentious headline, but these laws really are a bad idea, as I discussed here: At the beginning of July, 26-year-old Mallory Loyola gave birth to a baby girl. Two days later, the state of Tennessee charged her with assault. Loyola is the first woman to be arrested under a new law in Tennessee that allows the state to criminally charge mothers for potentially causing harm to their fetuses by using drugs.The legislation, which officially took effect about a week ago, … [Read more...]

“Daniel Chong Is the Entirely Predictable Result of Dehumanizing Drug Offenders”: Radley Balko

writes: The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General  has just released part of its report on the awful case of Daniel Chong. Here’s some background from the San Diego Union-Tribune:Chong was a 24-year-old engineering student when he was caught up in the drug sweep by a DEA task force two years ago.On the morning of April 21, 2012, Chong was detained with six other suspects and transported to the DEA field office, where agents determined that he was not involved in the ecsta … [Read more...]

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 they are … [Read more...]

“Ten Ways Addiction Is Different in America”: The Invaluable Maia Szalavitz

at Substance: We Americans like to think of ourselves as exceptional, the land of the free and the home of the brave, the City on the Hill and all that. When it comes to the politics and culture of drugs, we are indeed special—or at least dramatically different from the rest of the Western world. Too often, however, we are special for the wrong reasons. more … [Read more...]

“California Female Inmates Sterilized Illegally”

through at least 2010: ..."The audit shows systemic failures by the federal receiver in the sterilization of female inmates," Lieu said. "I'm also surprised that the receiver makes the argument that they had no legal duty to make sure the prison employees comply with the consent procedures. That is a ludicrous argument."The CIR investigation, published in July, found that 132 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules from 2006 to 2010 — and perhaps 100 more dating back to t … [Read more...]


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