Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dribs and Drabs: Taking Out the Trash

Let me just wipe the slate of a number of items that would merit more bloggerly attention if I had time to focus on them. First, there are good, recent posts up at a number of Texas legal blogs on topics I haven't been covering:
Also, Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice had a recent review of our pal Rev. Alan Bean's book, Taking out the Trash in Tulia, Texas, which the blogger highly recommends.

A halfway house run by the Geo Group in Houston has had two escapes in a month. Ouch! Another escapee from a South Texas prison was captured, an episode which is causing TDCJ to reevaluate outside trusty assignments. How much worse will the escape problem become if proposed staffing cuts are enacted without reducing the inmate population? And how much more difficult will it be to operate with reduced staff under proposed budget cut scenarios with fewer trusties?

A Nigerian prison guard has sued TDCJ complaining that racial discrimination was behind his firing over a false allegation of sexual misconduct.

The Texas Tribune has a story about thousands of rape kits sitting around untested at Texas police crime labs.

I failed last week to link to an interview in the Houston Chronicle with Alex Bunin, the new Harris County public defender.

The Los Angeles Times has a feature on the nascent phenomenon of movement conservatives promoting criminal justice reform, which quotes our pal Marc Levin from the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Justice Department convened the first meeting of its Science Advisory Board, and there are two Texans on the list: Dr. Jocelyn Pollock from the Texas State department of criminal justice (see more here), and Dr. Tony Fabelo, who I think of more as a policy and budget guru than a science guy. And speaking of high-level forensics discussions, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences is having a conference in February in Chicago; I can't attend but I wish I could be a fly on the wall to hear them discuss the National Academy of Sciences report on forensics and its implications for crime lab professions.

Finally, for Grits readers who recall this blog's coverage of the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup, frequent (and vociferous) commenter TXBluesman, who turned out to be a college cop in Denton, has been outed and fired for his online writings, which were apparently traced to his work computer. I found his commentary kind of sleazy and sometimes outright mendacious, but I wouldn't have wished this on him. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you government employees reading Grits: Don't comment on blogs from your work computer. Even if you're writing anonymously, it can be traced. If Texas Congressman Lamar Smith gets his way, in fact, your Internet Service Provider will be required to keep the tracking data for at least two years. Be forewarned.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Pollock may have been the best teacher I ever had while going to school at Texas State University while working toward a Masters Degree. I learned as much if not more about what I do for a living from her than anyone.

Anonymous said...

Rev Charles:

Thanks for the plug for Taking out the Trash.

Anonymous said...

You know, someone like Murray Newman shouldn't have been fired for blogging, although he took a political turn thtat had associated political risks.

But TXBluesman's writings are indicative of a person with serious authority issues who doesn't deserve a job where he carries a gun. And I think it's hilarious that he was also editing global warming articles on Wikipedia. It's like the right-wing nut jobs have this trifecta of topics in criminal justice, religion and the environment that makes them froth at the mouth. He was especially vicious, and what goes around comes around. Good riddance to him.


Anonymous said...


Wonderful turn of a phrase, "this trifecta of topics". Hope you don't mind if I borrow it. :~)

Dumpster Dude said...

Very effective topics and covers the topics which are required attention immediately.

Anonymous said...

GJP had McBryde banned from editing the Wikipedia but got caught when his other account was caught in another flame war involving the global warming issue and linked to the FLDS flame war that got McBryde banned, which of course had to be re-evaluated in light of the global warming war; thence leading to McBride learning his true ID and outing him and filing a complaint about his blogging practices with GJP's employer. Hugh felt justified because TBM had previously written that Hugh was perverted pedophile and hiring Hugh would lead to great liability. McBryde is a truck driver now and GJP has been trying to sue him in TX state courts. I'd suggest he sue in the USDC for Northern California which can probably establish jurisdiction over all the parties (they all have Google accounts).