Seven Quick Takes… Almost Friday

Yo. Let's see if this is actually seven or not!"Bullying Prevention Programs May Have Negative Impact." To me the key thing here is the recommendation to focus on "systemic change within the schools," rather than turning bullying into a Thing which you've set aside and spotlit. If you're instilling students with respect for one another and for the teachers, and if teachers and other authority figures aren't tacitly approving of bullying, you are a lot less likely to get to the point where … [Read more...]

“Drawing Down: How to Roll Back Police Militarization in America”: Radley Balko

writes: ...Today in America, SWAT teams are deployed about 100 to 150 times per day, or about 50,000 times per year -- a dramatic increase from the 3,000 or so annual deployments in the early 1980s, or the few hundred in the 1970s. The vast majority of today's deployments are to serve search warrants for drug crimes. But the use of SWAT tactics to enforce regulatory law also appears to be rising. This month, for example, a SWAT team raided the Garden of Eden, a sustainable growth farm in … [Read more...]

“Will the Great US Penal Reform Tip the Balance for Addicts?”: The Fix

feature: ...Now, after decades of runaway incarceration fueled greatly by the War on Drugs, California is in the midst of what one expert calls “the biggest penal experiment in modern history,” diverting tens of thousands of inmates from state prisons to local supervision. California’s so-called realignment leads a growing pack of sentencing and legal reforms nationwide, all designed to change how the US treats low-level offenders—most of them facing drug charges, and many suffering from addicti … [Read more...]

UPDATE to Mexican Drug-War Journalism Story: Plagiarism, Self-Promotion?

At least some part of this story may be false. See here and here. THANKS to GJP on Facebook. (If you try to click the Blog del Narco links here they're broken, but you can see the stories on BDN's front page and they do pretty clearly seem to be plagiarized.) … [Read more...]

“Mexico Relies on Social Media for Drug War News”: The Fix–UPDATED

reports: With most mainstream media sources silenced by fear of the drug cartels, social media has become a safer way for Mexicans to stay informed about the drug war-related violence continuing to rage throughout the country. more [UPDATE: At least some part of this story may be false. See here and here. THANKS to GJP on Facebook. (If you try to click the Blog del Narco links here they're broken, but you can see the stories on BDN's front page and they do pretty clearly seem to be … [Read more...]

“Mothers Who Lost Children to Overdose Find Hope”: Tessie Castillo

at The Fix: BJ Sanders of Lumberton, North Carolina, also felt the sting of judgment after her 19-year-old daughter, Shelly, overdosed in her college dorm room in 2005. BJ recalls visiting a grief group for parents and hearing, “Well, my child didn’t deserve to die—she didn’t do drugs.” The experience was so humiliating for BJ that for a long time she would not openly speak of her daughter’s death. more … [Read more...]

How much of the prison population explosion in the USA is due to the war on drugs?

PrawfsBlawg (a law blog) looks at some numbers: ...Consider the following thought experiment. What would US prison populations in 2009 look like if in 1980 we released all 23,900 prisoners serving time for drug offenses (the 19,000 state prisoners plus 4,900 federal drug inmates) and proceeded to admit no prisoners for drug crimes in the subsequent years? Instead of rising 3.8-fold, it would have risen 3-fold. A difference, but not an enormous one. (I’ll show my work for these numbers shortly i … [Read more...]


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