In the News
"Not part of my sentence"
A 38-year-old Texas woman claims she was raped repeatedly
by two employees of a private prisoner transport company while
being moved between facilities, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The company, TransCor America, is owned by Corrections Corporation
of America, the nation's largest private prison firm, based in
Smoke a joint; lose your car
Forfeiture took another step toward legal theft in Orange County, Florida. Officials there have proposed that a single marijuana cigarette could result in the forfeiture of the owner's automobile to the state.
Virginia Governor will pay snitches
Declaring the federal war on drugs a failure, Virginia's Governor Jim Gilmore has paved the way for more low-level drug defendants to serve long prison sentences. The Substance Abuse Reduction Effort (SABRE) Project dramatically reduces the amount of drugs necessary to qualify as a drug "kingpin". Any person offering information that results in an arrest and conviction can receive as much as $10,000 cash.
Drug Squad guns downs grandfather
Mario Paz, a 63-year-old grandfather of fourteen, and his
wife were in their El Monte, California home when twenty armed
officers shot the locks off their doors during a no-knock drug
raid in August. Once inside, the officers used stun grenades
to create a distraction.
CASA study shows failure of prohibition
The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has released a recent survey that illustrates the failure of our current drug policy. Nearly nine times as many teens said that marijuana is easier to obtain than beer, a legal, regulated drug.
Giuliani targets the poor
New York City plans to scrutinize welfare recipients' medical records for evidence of drug use, mandating treatment for continued benefits. City officials said the record checks are needed because the city's current drug screening system is finding "unrealistically low substance abuse rates".
Prison guard's union still a force in California
The California Correctional Peace Officer Association (CCPOA) is continuing its efforts to control criminal justice policy in that state. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Union has contributed at least $2 million to Governor Gray Davis, has lobbied intensely to kill any legislative bills to reform prison policy, and hosted a $3000 dollar a head fundraising golf tournament for the governor. In the last 15 years, the California prison population has increased over 400%, due in no small part to the union efforts.
Build it, and they will come
Both Kern and Orange Counties in California are considering
shipping inmates from their overcrowded jails to a new 2300-bed
prison sitting empty in the Mojave Desert.
Delphia Toney of Hazel Green, Wisconsin, is facing criminal
charges of marijuana possession. Toney has recently undergone
a series of surgeries on her stomach and bowels. "The doctors
wouldn't give me any pain pills because of my stomach, and I
just couldn't stand the pain any longer," she told the Wisconsin
State Journal. "I just wanted it to help my pain."
An Ohio eighth-grader, Kimberly Martin, who turned her mother's
crack pipe into a school counselor, now wishes she hadn't. "I
feel like it's my fault," the 15-year-old was reported saying
after her mother, Linda Sue Martin, pleaded no contest to three
felonies, including manufacturing crack cocaine. Kimberly's mother
is going to prison.
Miami International Airport employees will be offered rewards
of up to $1000 for tips leading to the arrest of their colleagues.
A 53-year-old Houston man, whose name has not been released,
was shot dead by drug agents during a joint DEA/Houston Police
undercover marijuana operation.
A Madison, Wisconsin mother with a baby in her arms had to
plead with city officials to keep the apartment she had paid
to rent. The city's decision to evict six women and 11 children
from an alleged "drug house'' is the latest example of zero
tolerance. Although there is no evidence that these women or
their young children were involved in drug trafficking, they
are being forced from their apartments under a court order. Other
tenants in the building were allegedly selling drugs.
A camera-laden robot airplane dubbed the GNAT is keeping an
eye on the Southwest border, a favorite pathway for drug and
immigrant smugglers from Mexico.
Ex-cops admit to frame-ups
Two former Manatee County Florida sheriff's officers have
admitted that they and other members of the department's elite
narcotics unit planted evidence and framed suspects, allege federal
Protecting the People?
According to the FBI's report of crime statistics for 1998, the number of people arrested for marijuana offenses last year, 682,885, exceeded all those arrested for violent crimes nationwide, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault combined.