Thursday, July 26, 2012

'Gagged, sealed and delivered,' and other stories

Here are a few odds and ends that didn't make it into their own separate posts but merit Grits readers' attention:

'Gagged, Sealed, and Delivered'
Houston federal Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith has published an article titled "Gagged, Sealed, and Delivered," criticizing secrecy in issuance of federal search and arrest warrants under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. See New York Times coverage and commentary from Simple Justice

Location, location, location: Real estate and private prison stocks
Grits recently linked to a Motley Fool column arguing, as I've believed for some time, that private prison stocks were overvalued. This Fool blogger, however, argues that industry leader Corrections Corporation of America has hidden value thanks to its real estate holdings that could be spun off into a real estate investment trust. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, it should be pointed out, has similar latent value in its own vast real estate holdings.

Privatizing healthcare in prisons and jails: Uncertainty when providers sell
Twenty states have privatized some or all of their prison healthcare, reported Kaiser Health News. What happens, though, when the provider a prison or jail contracts with is bought up by another company. Three jails in the Panhandle are about to find out.

Conservatives and mass incarceration
Conservative columnist Michael Barone says that just as liberals have changed their tune on gun rights, as evidenced in the debates following the Aurora shootings, so have many conservatives begun to change their views on mass incarceration.

Probation news and other notes
The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition's newsletter has a number of items that may interest Grits readers including probation news and recommendations for the Department of Criminal Justice's Sunset process.

1 comment:

Prison Doc said...

I realize this is getting 'way out into the weeds, but reading the Criminal Justice Coalition's newsletter I was shocked to see a recommendation to use the TDCJ Peer Educator Program to replace the work of the Windham School District.

Perhaps some peer educators are good, but in my experience the program is a complete farce. My exposure is limited to medical information, of course, but it seems to me that all the peer educators try to do is act smarter than everyone else, attempt to scare inmates about bogus health issues, and generally disseminate faulty information about diseases and health care.

My recommendation to the state would be to completely eliminate this worthless "Peer Miseducation" effort entirely.