The Christian Science Monitor has the story.
Here are some clips:
The US Supreme Court declined on Monday to examine a federal appeals court ruling that the strip search of a male detainee by a female guard in an Arizona jail was an unreasonable search in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
At issue was a 2004 search of Charles Byrd, a pretrial detainee, at a minimum security jail in Phoenix.
Mr. Byrd was one of 90 detainees ordered to submit to a unit-wide search for contraband and weapons. Byrd was told to remove his clothing except his boxer shorts, which were described as pink and comprised of very thin, revealing material. The searches took place four to six at a time. Some were conducted by cadets from the detention officer training academy. Present during the searches were an estimated 25 cadets, a number of training supervisors, and 10 to 15 uniformed guards. The procedure was also videotaped.
Byrd said in his lawsuit that he should not be subject to such an intrusive search by a female guard. He also charged that the female guard – later identified as Cadet Kathleen O’Connell – squeezed his genitals and kneaded his buttocks during the search.
CNN further reports that, in January, the 9th Circuit used “tough language” to describe the actions of Maricopa correctional officers.
“The indignity of the non-emergency strip search conducted by an unidentified female cadet was compounded by the fact that there were onlookers, at least one of whom videotaped the humiliating event,” wrote the en banc panel of 11 judges. “For these reasons, we conclude that the cross-gender strip search, as conducted in this case, was unreasonable.”
On Monday the Supreme took a pass on the issue of whether California could offer tuition discounts to in state students, regardless of their immigration status. They let stand the lower court’s ruling (favoring the discounts).
GATES FOUNDATION REPORT SAYS LA SCHOOL PRINCIPALS SHOULD HAVE MORE AUTHORITY IN HIRING TEACHERS. UNION SHRIEKS IN HORROR
Howard Blume at the LA Times has the story:
School principals should be able to hire any teacher of their choosing, and displaced tenured teachers who aren’t rehired elsewhere within the system should be permanently dismissed, according to a controversial new report on the Los Angeles Unified School District. The report will be presented Tuesday to the Board of Education.
The research, paid for largely by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, offers a roadmap for improving the quality of teaching in the nation’s second-largest school system, with recommendations strongly backed by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Read the rest.
MORE COGITATING AND OPINING ON THE QUESTION OF WHY CRIME HAS GONE DOWN—NATIONALLY AND IN CALIFORNIA
After last week’s musings by James Q. Wilson (among others), now we have James Alan Fox of the Boston Globe explores the popular claims among certain academics that that legalized abortion may be one of the biggest causes. However, Fox looks more deeply into the numbers of the abortion claim and, in doing so, pretty much demolishes the argument. To wit:
A spirited debate among economists was ignited a decade ago when John Donohue of Yale and Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago concluded that legalized abortion had produced a drop in crime. These prominent scholars argued that following the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, thousands of unwanted fetuses were aborted instead of being born into less-than-ideal environments, thereby producing two decades later a reduction in the pool of at-risk, violence-prone individuals.
In a 2001 paper published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Donohue and Levitt developed a complex set of statistical models to reach this bold claim.
Despite persuasive logic regarding a reduction in the number of children born to circumstances that would place them at-risk for growing into criminality, the significance of this effect appears to have been grossly overstated. For example, nearly 60% of the decline in murder since 1990 involved perpetrators ages 25 and older—individuals who would have been born prior to the landmark abortion decision. As shown in the figure below, there were substantial reductions during the 1990s in homicides committed by older age groups, especially those in the 25-34 year-old age range.
SO DID THREE-STRIKES LOWER CRIME IN CALIFORNIA? ANOTHER RESEARCHER SAYS NO
At least not to any measurable degree says Robert Parker of UC Riverside, who calls Three Strikes “a failure.”
Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee has the story:
Citing “logic, data and research,” Parker contends that “all these uniformly show little or no impact of three strikes policy on violent crime rates in California and elsewhere.”
He compared historic crime patterns in California and other states with similar laws to those without such laws and found they “show little difference in … pattern of violent crime.”
Parker cites other studies that attribute crime rate declines to economic and social factors, such as alcohol consumption, rather than policing and sentencing policies and suggests it’s “better to use alcohol policy to control violence than three strikes.”
Were California to change its approach to crime and comply with the federal court order to reduce the prison population, he notes, it could save $2.3 billion a year in prison costs.
“California needs to stop gorging itself at the all-you-can-eat buffet of imprisonment,” says Parker.