Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Roundup: Things I'd blog about if I had time

Here are a few brief items that deserve more bloggerly attention than I have time to give them:

Digging drug courts on the right.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Austin, says in a well-argued policy brief that drug courts are the "right prescription for Texas" (pdf). The document was authored by Marc Levin, whose recent op ed on overcriminalization I highlighted here.

Finding what works.
The Consensus Project has posted what looks to be an interesting report from the Washington State Insititute for Public Policy on "Evidence Based Adult Corrections Programs: What Works and What Does Not?" (pdf). Among the findings: Drug courts demonstrate statistically significant reductions in recidivism. The 20-page document makes recommendations to the Washington State Legislature.

Out in the west Texas town of El Paso ...
From Immigration Law Prof, check out Bill Hing's account of his recent visit with a delegation to El Paso to discuss immigration topics with the locals. Good stuff.

Okay, so there's like one guy, and they shot him. Molly Ivins and Clay Robison both say Harry Whittington, the Texas lawyer who Dick Cheney shot in the face last week, is considered a liberal among Republicans on criminal justice matters and an advocate for prisoners' rights. A couple of other long-timers have told me that, too.

Fronting the privateers.
Thanks to Catonya for pointing out that the City of Wichita Falls has agreed to finance the $550,000 annual budget of the North Texas Drug Task Force for the next 2-4 years, subsidizing 23 other area jurisdictions. The money will supposedly be paid back, as discussed earlier, with cash from prospective asset forfeiture cases. Reports the Times Record News, "The task force's funding will be run through the City of Wichita Falls. Because of a two to four year lag in seized fund availability, Wichita Falls will front the task force's operational expenses and wait to be paid back."

Reveal secret snitch agreements.
The 9th Circuit wants snitch agreements revealed to defendants before trial, says CrimProf blog. That's similar to some Texas legislation that cleared the House Criminal Juriprudence Committee last year but failed to finally pass.

CA tries deincarceration.
While on the subject of California, that state will shift 40% of incarcerated women from prisons to group homes to let them be near their families and have better access to education/job training, but OSAPian doesn't like it. Doc Berman wrote about it, too.

Congrats to Alaskablawg
on the big win. Apparently the occasion gave him the opportunity to use the phrase "lying sack of snitch" in a public setting.

Fallen Heroes: Texas Monthly's entire March issue is devoted to the Iraq war, including bios of all fallen Texas soldiers so far and excerpts from a Texan soldier/blogger. Thanks to Evan Smith for the media preview link.


Anonymous said...

There's at least two guys -- I was watching News 8 Austin last night and nearly fell out of my chair hearing the pitch of the Republican candidate for Hays County District Attorney.


isabelita said...

Whittington has thrown in with this crew, so to hell with him, too.

OP said...

For the record, I have no objection to placing non-violent offenders into community-based programs. None. I do object to ignoring prior convictions for violent acts and then lying about that to the public.

I also have grave concerns about starting any new programs that involve contracting services given my department's abject failure to police malfeasance involved in substance abuse program contracts. I'm not against doing it. Just not until the current mess is cleaned up. I testifying before a State Senate select committee on this subject on Monday.

Finally, any such programs should be open to male and female prisoners.

Anonymous said...


Local Crack Organization Shattered

Pay attention to this is the Byrne Grant Substitute. It's an DEA 18 monther with 22 arrested and they are looking for another 11. The U.S. Attorney says these are "not small time narcotics traffickers".

You've changed the landscape of drug enforcement in Texas.

The new one will be federal charges not state; DEA ran with OCDETF, HIDTA, Or MET; maybe RET and you won't be able to indiscriminately do open records requests.

The elephant you thought you shrunk just got a little bigger.