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Coroner compares drug prohibition laws to racism

Coroner compares drug prohibition laws to racism | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
A NSW coroner says future generations would be "incredulous" at Australia's current drug laws.
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After a deadly month for domestic violence, the message doesn't appear to be getting through

In order to change public opinion, campaigns need to move beyond awareness raising and start addressing the perpetrators and causes of domestic violence.
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If we're to have another inquiry into mental health, it should look at why the others have been ignored

The key challenge in mental health is finding the political will and the financial and community resources to do what has already been described in thousands of pages and hundreds of recommendations.
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Facebook secret software reveals 8.7m child abuse images on its platform | Technology | The Guardian

Facebook secret software reveals 8.7m child abuse images on its platform | Technology | The Guardian | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
Company says millions of images removed in a few months with help of machine learning tool
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Securus and prison tech push devices to replace visits and books

Securus and prison tech push devices to replace visits and books | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
As prison tech vendors Securus and GTL roll out tablets and video conferencing, controversy is erupting over plans to use the devices to replace postal mail, physical books, and even in-person visits.
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Canada has legalised cannabis. This is why Australia should follow suit 

Canada has legalised cannabis. This is why Australia should follow suit  | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
We're late learners when it comes to drug laws. But whether it's next year or a decade from now, legalising cannabis is no longer a question of if, but when, writes Matt Noffs.

Via ReGenUC
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ReGenUC's curator insight, October 21, 8:52 PM

Matt Noffs argues that Australia leads the world in tobacco policy, but needs to catch up on cannabis. See today's related coverage of initial implementation challenges for Canada's legalisation policy: http://sco.lt/6VGcTJ

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Women Imprisoned: When Substance Use and Treatment Become Means of Control (USA)

Women Imprisoned: When Substance Use and Treatment Become Means of Control (USA) | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
Are you sure he’s not cheating on you?” I asked the woman next to me in rehab. She was silent

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ReGenUC's curator insight, October 16, 6:38 PM

 HAMS' April Wilson Smith considers some of the intersections between family violence and AOD use.

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Victorian ombudsman releases scathing report on incarcerated woman with disability - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Victorian ombudsman releases scathing report on incarcerated woman with disability - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
A woman with a development disorder was locked in her cell for up to 23 hours a day, for 18 months, in a case the ombudsman describes as the saddest she has ever investigated.
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'Needless deaths': Calls for heroin antidote to be widely available (ACT)

'Needless deaths': Calls for heroin antidote to be widely available (ACT) | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
The ACT is experiencing an opioid overdose epidemic as great or greater than the previous epidemic of the 1990s, according to ATODA.

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ReGenUC's curator insight, October 14, 5:45 PM

Following three overdose deaths last week in Canberra, ATODA's Carrie Fowlie & CAHMA's Chris Gough highlight the need for increased community awareness (and distribution) of naloxone. Important to note here that higher purity heroin (not fentanyl) is suspected of being responsible for the recent deaths.

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Can You Be Found Through DNA, Like the Alleged Golden State Killer?

Can You Be Found Through DNA, Like the Alleged Golden State Killer? | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
Even people who have never taken a genetic test can be tracked down like the Golden State Killer suspect.

Via Rob Duke
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Christa Lynch's comment, October 14, 6:21 PM
I just watched a case from the 90’s of the rape and murder of this young lady on 20/20 and it was about this same thing as this article. This young lady’s murder went unsolved until genealogical DNA was used. It is amazing and alarming all at the same time. I feel like certain things are private which is why we have warrants. I am interested to see how this changes things, including the law.
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Drugs, death and redemption: Murderer’s life inside a New York prison

Drugs, death and redemption: Murderer’s life inside a New York prison | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
THE walls were closing in on John J. Lennon — a drug deal gone bad, his own habit spiralling out of control and untrustworthy people everywhere he looked.
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Is this Australia's worst criminal you've never heard of? - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Is this Australia's worst criminal you've never heard of? - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
Inside the disturbing life and vicious crimes of the evil old man suspected of killing 18-year-old Trudie Adams.
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Another haunting example of how the law fails victims of rape

Another haunting example of how the law fails victims of rape | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
The man who raped Holly and Marissa as teenagers will never stand trial for his crime in another example of the justice system failing victims of rape.
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Australia's changing relationship with alcohol

Australia's changing relationship with alcohol | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
New research from La Trobe University has revealed that 30 per cent of Australians recently reduced the quantity of their alcohol consumption and a further 29 per cent reduced the frequency of their drinking, while six per cent kicked the habit for good.

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ReGenUC's curator insight, October 30, 6:49 PM

Citing CAPR's Amy Pennay on NDSHS data showing changing attitudes towards alcohol and broad reductions in consumption across all age groups.

dylaneales's comment, October 31, 8:46 AM
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Here's Fresh Evidence the Drug War Is a 'Horrific Failure'

Here's Fresh Evidence the Drug War Is a 'Horrific Failure' | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
"The international drug control system promised a world free of drugs, but has delivered the exact opposite."

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ReGenUC's curator insight, October 24, 6:30 PM

Max Daly reports on the new IDPC report that documents the failure of 'war on drugs' policy frameworks to achieve their stated objectives & the high price global communities have paid. You can see the report here: http://sco.lt/7O0wzJ

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Indigenous deaths in custody: key recommendations still not fully implemented | Australia news | The Guardian

Indigenous deaths in custody: key recommendations still not fully implemented | Australia news | The Guardian | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
Deloitte review of deaths in custody reveals that only two-thirds of landmark royal commission’s recommendations have been fully implemented
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'Nightmare': jurors say 'No thanks!' to sentencing powers

'Nightmare': jurors say 'No thanks!' to sentencing powers | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
'I felt like I was in a version of 12 Angry Men,' said one juror who took part in a unique survey of 124 Victorian County Court trials.
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There is nothing inevitable about America’s over-use of prisons - Against pessimism

There is nothing inevitable about America’s over-use of prisons - Against pessimism | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it

So many of America’s troubles are intractable. Hyper-partisanship and the culture wars can make reducing gun violence or obesity seem hopeless. But mass incarceration is different. There is ample evidence that America’s states can lock fewer people up and still preserve public safety. Just look at Minnesota, which bangs up people at half the rate of neighbouring Wisconsin, though the crime rate in both places is about the same (see article). In a few weeks’ time voters in Wisconsin and in other states will be asked to choose whether they wish to keep putting so many people inside or try something else. They should vote for change.

America is violent, so it naturally makes more use of prison than many other countries do. But that cannot explain how it manages to be the world leader in locking up its own citizens, both in absolute terms and as a share of the population. China is a one-party state with a billion more citizens than America, yet it incarcerates half a million fewer people (though this does not include perhaps 1m Uighurs interned in camps in Xinjiang). You might think America’s legal system and culture are to blame. But the incarceration rate—defined as the number of prisoners divided by the total population—is four-and-a-half times greater than in Britain, which has a similar system and culture.

The best explanation for most of this prison binge is four decades of panic, starting with the declaration of a war on drugs in the 1970s. Voters elected prosecutors who promised to lock more people up than their rivals. They chose legislators who promised the harshest possible mandatory-sentencing laws, which took discretion away from judges. In some states prison-officers’ unions lobbied for new, bigger jails to be built, so as to provide their members with jobs. The use of pre-trial detention shot up. In places where public defenders are scarce, that resulted in long waits behind bars before a case was even heard.

This is unworthy of the land of the free. It is also a waste of public money. Depending on what is included, estimates of American spending on imprisonment range from $80bn a year up to $180bn. There is abundant evidence that you can cut prison numbers and crime rates at the same time. Since the mid-1990s, New York City has seen its prison population fall by almost two-thirds even as violent crime has more than halved.

The states have the power to do something about this, because they do most of the locking up. The federal government imprisons people at a lower rate than the governments of France and Italy. It is the state and local authorities that lift America above El Salvador, a fragile state beset by drug wars, which takes second place in the incarceration league table, and above Turkmenistan, one of the world’s most repressive countries, in third. In fact, if American states were countries they would take up every single place in the table’s top 20.

Some states are grappling with their part in this. Reducing prison populations is not just a matter of passing a decree, then sitting back and waiting. States need to make a lot of small changes that, compounded over a decade or more, will eventually amount to something bigger. A list would include alternatives to prison for non-violent offenders, problem-solving courts that use incarceration as a last resort, reserving the longest sentences for those who pose a danger to the public, bail reform and treatment programmes for mentally ill defendants.

Thanks to such measures, America’s incarceration rate has fallen a little since 2010, after 40 years of increases. Crucially, the states responsible for this improvement do not fall predictably on either side of the usual Republican or Democratic division. Deeply Republican Texas has long been a pioneer in criminal-justice reform. Deeply Democratic California has reduced its incarceration rate by more than most other states. South Carolina, no American liberal’s idea of a model, has pursued a notably enlightened reform to the sentencing of non-violent offenders.

Saving money by saving time

That is not to say reform is always easy. It takes courage and skill to explain to voters that sending more people to prison is not always a sensible way to punish criminals and reduce crime. Even well-designed improvements can fail when they are implemented poorly. Louisiana, which has taken steps to reduce its prison population, is already seeing signs of a backlash.

Yet despite the difficulties, plenty of states have made a start. Mass imprisonment is a bad choice touted by politicians looking for easy votes. Their constituents assumed this would keep them safer. In fact, it only makes them poorer.

This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline "Against pessimism"


Via Rob Duke
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Treatment Facility For Serious Offenders Opens In Ararat

Treatment Facility For Serious Offenders Opens In Ararat | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
Serious offenders requiring intensive treatment and supervision will be accommodated at a new facility in Ararat, delivered as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s overhaul of Victoria’s post-sentence scheme.Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney today officially opene
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The crisis in Britain’s prisons is perpetuating a cycle of offending

The crisis in Britain’s prisons is perpetuating a cycle of offending | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
The strangling of a prison officer until he fell unconscious is just the latest in a long line of violent incidents plaguing Britain’s prisons; and the crisis shows no sign of ending. Staff at HMP Lindholme, in South Yorkshire, refused to unlock inmates today, fearing for their own safety. They accused their governor of “wanting to carry on as if nothing had happened”.
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Why police and prosecutors don't always disclose evidence in criminal trials

Why police and prosecutors don't always disclose evidence in criminal trials | Library@CSNSW | Scoop.it
An investigation by RMIT researchers shows that police failed to disclose 2,000 recordings of Keli Lane to defence attorneys. Failure to disclose evidence is a common issue in criminal cases.
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