Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Before a long drive, a news roundup

I'm leaving in just a bit to drive to New Orleans for the International Drug Policy Reform Conference, so it seems like a good time for a roundup of items for which I don't have time to generate individual blog posts:

Covering the drug cartels
Ace reporter Sam Logan now has a blog which I'd recommend to anyone interested in Latin America. He presently features a fascinating story on Blackwater Corp positioning itself to capture some of the proposed contracts to assist Mexico fighting drug runners.

Just Visitin'
The Mexia Daily News features a new book describing old Texas jails that have been transformed into modern uses. "Just Visitin’ tells the story of more than fifty jails which have survived to serve as museums, libraries, restaurants, hotels, and even a home or two. Dating back as far as 1850, each jail has its own style."

The Hidden Costs of Jury Duty
The Cameron Herald says that in Milam County someone perpetrated an identity theft scam by posing as the county jury coordinator.
Here's the scenario: The County Jury Coordinator, supposedly, calls you on the phone. The target is told that a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Why? Is the obvious question. The reason you are going to jail is because you failed to appear for jury duty.

Of course, the victim never received such a notice, but he is anxious to solve this problem and solve it quick. The caller is sympathetic with the victim's predicament assures him that the matter can be resolved. Some information is needed to prove they are residents. Give you social security number, bank account number and your mother's middle name. Verification of date of birth is required too.

Eager to get this problem fixed, the victim gives the con artist the requested data. The caller asks that you be placed on hold for a minute. He comes back on line with good news. All has been taken care of. You may get an apology for any inconvenience you were caused and hangs up the phone
Immigration Detention Boom Not Over
Here's another example why I don't think we're finished yet with the immigration detention boom, even though capacity in current facilities is already maxxed out.

New Dallas Repeat Offender Policy Due to Overcrowding
With new checks and balances, the Dallas DA has reinstated a program to move repeat offenders more quickly out of the county jail and into prison.

Look West for Advice on Needle Exchange
As Bexar County prepares to begin Texas' first pilot needle exchange program, officials should be sure to look at the successful New Mexico needle exchange operation which has now been in operation for ten years.

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