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June 2011
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Open Thread

The Justice Policy Institute has released a new report: Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies

It’s clear that the prison industry sees the drug war as something important to their bottom line.

“The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the […]

Bill to be introduced in Congress ending federal marijuana prohibition

Via press release from the Drug Policy Alliance

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) will introduce bi-partisan legislation tomorrow, June 23, ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states legalize, regulate, tax, and control marijuana without federal interference. Other co-sponsors include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Jared […]

Tortured Analogies

The tortured analogy is a device used by the ignorant (or those preaching to the ignorant) usually in an attempt to make something sound bad by fabricating a non-existent comparability to something horrific.

Example:

“Serving on that committee is like watching the extermination of the Jews in concentration camps.”

No, it’s not.

In political terms, […]

Forfeiture Reform

If you don’t already follow/support Americans for Forfeiture Reform, you should. Our asset forfeiture systems in this country are a total disgrace, full of corruption, and essentially a “legalized” system of highway robbery, allowing government entities to take cash and property and use it themselves, often with no evidence of criminal activity.

Grasping at Straws […]

Police not getting the notion of serve and protect.

Gilbert Police Storm Home, Seize Two Ounces of Marijuana From Card-Holding Medical Pot Patient. Really.

Twenty Gilbert police officers, some in masks and riot gear, stormed a home last week after receiving a tip that the owner was in possession of an ounce of marijuana.

The homeowner, Ross Taylor, is a card-carrying patient under Arizona’s […]

Another small step

Indian Court overturns mandatory death penalty for drug offences

16 June 2011, Mumbai: In an unprecedented decision, the Bombay High Court struck down the mandatory death penalty for drug offences, becoming the first Court in the world to do so. Announcing the order via video conferencing, a division bench of Justices A.M Khanwilkar and A.P […]

The value of anniversaries

I just finished spending a year organizing events related to the 40th Anniversary of an organization that’s important to me. The fact that it was the 40th was really a random milestone, but it was an excuse to celebrate, to remember, to connect with people, and to bring attention to the wonderful work that is […]

Incarceration facts

The ACLU has a good series of graphics on our incarceration nation.

Here are a couple of them:

As someone who works in higher education and has seen the reductions in tax support while prisons keep opening, this graphic has a huge impact (our particular university used to get around 70% of it’s budget […]

Lindy: No Knock Raid

A powerful song and video via Reason TV:

What does it take to reverse our incarceration nation?

The excellent Peter Moskos points out the absurdity of our criminal justice system by suggesting we bring back the whip.

Suggest adding the whipping post to America’s system of criminal justice and most people recoil in horror. But offer a choice between five years in prison or 10 lashes and almost everybody picks the lash. […]