Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mid-week roundup

Here are a few disparate items I don't have time to turn into blog posts on their own, but which I thought might interest Grits readers:
  • If you had to live on a CO's wages, you'd consider it, too. A Texan prison guard and his brother have been charged in Arkansas with breaking into ATM macines.
  • Programming for juvie defendants reduces TYC incarceration. Travis County just received a federal grant to provide mental health services to juvenile defendants, reports News 8 Austin. Officials say it will reduce the number of mentally ill children who are incarcerated in TYC facilities, or at least reduce the size of the waiting list to receive services:

"Let's say a child gets on probation or goes through the deferred prosecution unit today, and you've identified them through the risk assessment that they have mental health needs, they're going to go on a waiting list. If they go on a waiting list, the likelihood of them having success through that probation term is low," 98th District Court Judge Jeanne Meurer said.

So, Travis County requested and received a $246,662 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for mental health services for juvenile defendants. The grant will get all the county mental health services on the same page.

"We can put this family in touch with these entities in a very rapid fashion. There's not a waiting list," Meurer said.

  • More Big Screen Snitching: After the sucess of The Departed, "New Line Cinema has picked up Justin Haythe's screenplay Snitch,which Guy East and Nigel Sinclair will produce via their Spitfire Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter."
  • MySpace Page Gets Cop Fired. This has been covered everywhere, but it's pretty odd. Though it's quite possible this fellow should never have become a police officer given his proclivities, you have to feel a little bit sorry for him. He created a MySpace page in a horror-movie genre for fun, went overboard, and lost his job. I understand prosecutors' concerns over his credibility as a witness, and they're likely right. Nonetheless, I feel sorry for him, still:
WICHITA FALLS, Texas A Texas police officer whose Web page on MySpace.com included images of dismembered women has been indefinitely suspended, authorities said.

Jeremiah Love's page on the social-networking site contained images and statements that could undermine public confidence in the police department, according to an internal affairs report. Love, 26, was suspended Tuesday.

Julia Vasquez, an assistant city attorney, said Love espoused a fondness for violence on the Web page that would hurt his testimony in criminal cases."These are comments that would make it difficult if he was trying to defend himself against a complaint regarding excessive force as an officer," Vasquez said.

"There may be no evidence of excessive force, but when someone looks at his site, the comments could be used against him in court."
  • Tent City Jails An Option? Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter and some of his county commissioners support the establishment of "tent city" jails to house prisoners in lieu of paying to incarcerate them according to criteria set by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. They're asking House Speaker Tom Craddick, whose district is in Midland, to spearhead the change.
  • Has neoliberalism failed Mexico? I respond to a column by economist Brad DeLong on Huevos Rancheros.

2 comments:

Catonya said...

Just ran across this on Newsvine.



Michael Dewayne Johnson slit his own throat with a makeshift knife early Thursday, committing suicide about 15 hours before he was scheduled to be executed.
"I never even saw the dude," Johnson said. "(Vest) jumped back into the car and we took off. He hollered: 'Go! Go! Go!'"
Vest blamed the shooting on Johnson, who took an eight-year prison term in a plea deal and testified against his friend. Vest is now free. Johnson's attorney Greg White argued in his client's Supreme Court appeal that Vest had admitted to the shooting but that the confession was improperly suppressed, depriving Johnson of a fair trial.

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