Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The week's News - Prison closing, Judge declares the war on drugs futile and organised crime offloads dollars


The Scottish Prison Service has announced they will be closing Noranside prison over the Christmas period. Unfortunately the closure is only for a week but it is a start. Hopefully in the not to distant future we will be closing prisons for good and finding more civilised ways for resolving conflicts and avoiding harm.

Boy George has had his attempt to appear in Celebrity Big Brother blocked by his Probation Officer on the basis that his appearance would undermine confidence in the judicial service if he wins. This rather silly decision is in line with emerging culture in probation that is so risk averse that the standard answer to all requests from those subject to probation supervision is ‘the computer says no’. The increasingly reactionary Harry Fletcher of NAPO has told the Sun that the problem is that if George was in the BB house he couldn’t report to his local probation office regularly. The poor Probation staff would then clearly have no idea where he is! Good luck to George on getting this overturned.

Pablo the Drug Mule Dog now has his own page on facebook. From reading the comments not a great success.

The Daily Telegraph had a good article looking at how police fiddle crime figures.

Eric Allison has written an interesting article on the benefits of bank accounts for ex-prisoners. It is based on this research from Liverpool John Moores University.

Whilst the Home Office continue to celebrate their failed drug strategy with a party to celebrate the one millionth piss test (it was negative) a Judge in Canada has let slip that the Emperor has no clothes. Justice Elliot Allen was asked by a federal prosecutor to jail a man for growing weed. He responded "What's your basis for saying that?” before he pointed out: " People have been going to jail for drug offences for – for a couple of generations now and the drug – the drug plague is worse than it ever was." Why should he continue doing something that clearly did not work? "Isn't that a form of insanity?" he asked. The Appeal Court have given Justice Allen a slap and reminded him that his duty is to enforce the law even if it is insane, doesn’t work, increases drug use and helps funds organised crime.

Meanwhile the Daily Mail warns that 'Heroin and crack dealers are enrolling at British universities to secure thousands of pounds of cheap loans and low priced accommodation’. The evidence for this is underwhelming. They point out that students are entitled to up to £4,950 a year and 72 per cent take up their entitlement to loans. Police operations, the Daily Mail inform us, have revealed three cases where suspected drug dealers were students. Sounds like a good reason to put up university fees, jail Sociology Lecturers and abolish student financial support. Well we must protect our young.

Lastly bad news for the United States economy. After decades of drug dealers helping fund the American Government’s deficit by holding their billions of dollars of drug war profits in $100 notes organised crime is modernising and in an attempt to cut down on storage they are converting their assets into E500 notes. Any bets on the Americans responding by issuing a $1,000 dollar note?


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