The Date Rape Drug Is An Urban Myth. Let’s Put It to Rest. – The Sexist – Washington City Paper

By , October 31, 2009 9:09 pm

This week, a study in the British Journal of Criminology announced that “date rape drugs” are “largely an urban myth,” as “there is a stark contrast between heightened perceptions of risk associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault and a lack of evidence that this is a wide-spread threat.” Several sites for women met the news with skepticism. Feministing suggested that the study may have engaged in victim-blaming. The Frisky warned that the study “needs to be viewed with caution. I don’t think we want women to start leaving their drinks unattended, just because the chances of getting roofied are slimmer than they may have thought.” TresSugar hailed the report as “depressing.”

I, for one, am celebrating. First: the research suggests that women aren’t regularly being drugged on their night out—wonderful news! But it also means that we may finally retire all the media scare-tactics, the girls-night-out drink protection strategies, and mercifully, every single absurd product that has arisen out of society’s inflated concern of drink spiking—and has dangerously distracted the rape conversation from addressing the real experiences of victims.

via The Date Rape Drug Is An Urban Myth. Let’s Put It to Rest. – The Sexist – Washington City Paper.

Gang rape raises questions about bystanders’ role – CNN.com

By , October 31, 2009 9:04 pm

(CNN) — For more than two hours on a dark Saturday night, as many as 20 people watched or took part as a 15-year-old California girl was allegedly gang raped and beaten outside a high school homecoming dance, authorities said.

As hundreds of students gathered in the school gym, outside in a dimly lit alley where the victim was allegedly raped, police say witnesses took photos. Others laughed.

“As people announced over time that this was going on, more people came to see, and some actually participated,” Lt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond Police Department told CNN.

The witnesses failed to report the crime to law enforcement, Gagan said. The victim remained hospitalized in stable condition. Police arrested five suspects and more arrests were expected.

So why didn’t anyone come forward?

Criminology and psychology experts say there could be a variety of reasons why the crime wasn’t reported. Several pointed to a problematic social phenomenon known as the bystander effect. It’s a theory that has played out in lynchings, college riots and white-collar crimes.

Under the bystander effect, experts say that the larger the number of people involved in a situation, the less will get done.

via Gang rape raises questions about bystanders’ role – CNN.com.

The Latest File-Sharing Piracy: Academic Journals

By , October 30, 2009 7:37 pm
Ethical Dilemma: File Sharing or Illegal Downl...
Image by Pesky Library via Flickr

Illicit file sharing isn’t just for kids these days. Once mainly used for downloading pirated music, sites have sprung up on the Internet that allow free swapping of academic journals (think Napster’s younger dweeby brother).

A new study, published in the Internet Journal of Medical Informatics, looks at a site aimed specifically at medical professionals and students and finds that thousands of people were obtaining non-open-access materials free of charge. The article says that in a six-month period of watching the unnamed site, nearly 5,500 articles were exchanged, costing journals about $700,000 in that time, or about $1.4-million a year.

The site had 127,626 registered users, who during the study period put in requests for 6,587 journals. There was an 83 percent success rate in finding the article.

via The Wired Campus – The Latest File-Sharing Piracy: Academic Journals – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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CRITICAL CRIMINOLOGY

By , October 28, 2009 8:20 pm

Check out the following from Jock Young. Good stuff! Link is below:

Critical criminology is the criminology of late modernity. Its inception was in the late sixties and early seventies at the cusp of change, its inspiration a world where oppressive relationships of class, age, gender and ethnicity became highlighted and evident (in that historical order)and where the pluralism, ambiguity and shift of values heralded a society where migration and human creativity created a diversity of cultures in close propinquity and interaction. In Britain the key academic organisation which provided a theatre for such debates was the National Deviancy Conference (NDC). Here, as Stan Cohen astutely noted, “well before Foucault and a long way from the Left Bank – our little corner of the human sciences was seized by a deconstructionist impulse” (1998, p.101). Indeed the NDC was pivoted around deconstruction and anti-essentialism. It dwelt on the social construction of gender, sexual proclivity, crime, suicide, drugs and mental states whilst fiercely criticising the major discourses of modernity, positivism and classicism, and its institutions, whether it was the prison or the clinic. The NDC was anarchistic and antinomian, set deep in the counterculture of the time. My own involvement in it was initially reluctant to say the least. It was a time when we regarded people with 9 to 5 jobs as complete failures, lived in communes and regarded the “straight” world with complete disdain. I was living in Notting Hill where Pink Floyd played weekly at the local parish hall, Jimi Hendrix was at Middle Earth and there was poetry in the streets. Academic conferences were not exactly where it was at. I was persuaded to go to the first NDC in York in 1968. I remember Mike Brake – later to be well known for his books on youth culture (1980, 1985) saying to me the evening we arrived, “What are we doing here, man? Let’s get out quick and get to Leeds where there’s much better clubs.” We stayed all the same and next day I gave my first academic paper, ‘The Role of Police as Amplifiers of Deviancy, Negotiators of Reality and Translators of Fantasy’ (1971a). A pretentious title but it still captures for me a constant theme of the way in which powerful forces in society create demons out of illusions which then, through stigma and oppression, take on a reality of their own.

via CRITICAL CRIMINOLOGY IN EUROPE:.

Children of Incarcerated Parents: An Action Plan for Federal Policymakers

By , October 27, 2009 6:45 pm

This action plan reviews both federal and state barriers to identifying and serving children of incarcerated parents, and offers policy recommendations for the U.S. Congress and the Administration. The action plan is designed to help federal leaders improve policies for children of incarcerated parents, but also includes recommendations of value to states and local governments that can facilitate and complement federal initiatives and result in better responses to this population.

via Children of Incarcerated Parents: An Action Plan for Federal Policymakers.

Intetgrating pro bono and legal aid

By , October 26, 2009 11:14 pm

Participation in pro bono programming is rising sharply across Canada as lawyers mobilize to mitigate the endemic problems of cost, delay and complexity in our justice system. Province-wide pro bono organizations now exist in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. New pro bono organizations will soon emerge in the Maritimes and the Territories. Each pro bono organization — young or old — pursues the same basic mission: to increase access to justice through the provision of pro bono services to individuals of limited means. Each pro bono organization also operates according to the core principle that pro bono services should complement rather than substitute for a properly funded legal aid system.

The increasing vitality of Canada’s pro bono organizations should, on the one hand, inspire considerable pride among Canadian lawyers, since it reflects a pervasive spirit of benevolence and a healthy respect for the rule of law. On the other hand, it should raise considerable concern over the inability or unwillingness of governments and the profession to make our justice system more accessible, more equitable and more efficient. The growing complexity of our judicial processes calls for substantial reform, but it is no coincidence that the current decline in access to justice parallels the gradual dismantling of legal aid in most provinces.

via Intetgrating pro bono and legal aid.

Advocates push for free legal aid services

By , October 26, 2009 11:11 pm

CHEYENNE — Without free legal aid services, “poor people don’t get justice,” says Jennifer Winters of Cheyenne.

Winters, a former client of Legal Aid of Wyoming, is a new member of the organization’s board.

Winters, 39, is a single mother with a 12-year-old daughter. She underwent a double lung transplant 10 years ago because of a genetic condition and cannot work due to a weakened immune system.

“It’s sad that for financial reasons you don’t get access to quality representation,” she said. “It should be there for everybody, not just for people who can afford it.”

Legal Aid of Wyoming is headquartered in Cheyenne. Winters said she was fortunate to receive help with her divorce from Ray Macchia, the director of Legal Aid of Wyoming, who handled her drawn-out case to the end.

Winters strongly favors the Access to Justice Commission’s attempt to set up a statewide legal service program.

Headed by Wyoming Supreme Court Justice James Burke, the commission plans to ask the Legislature this winter for a one-time appropriation of $500,000 to set up a statewide system and for a $10 to $15 increase in filing fees in the district and circuit courts to run it.

via Advocates push for free legal aid services.

The Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture

By , October 25, 2009 9:59 pm

The Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture.

Volume 16 Issue 1

Sex and Violence in the Slasher Horror Film: A Content Analysis of Gender Differences in the Depiction of Violence and the Evolution of the Comics Code
Andrew Welsh

The Absence of Gay and Lesbian Police Officer Depictions in the First Three Decades of the Core Cop Film Genre: Moving Towards a Cultivation Theory Perspective
Franklin T. Wilson
Dennis R. Longmire
Warren Swymeler

Theoretical and Cultural Dimensions of the Warehouse Philosophy of Punishment
Barbara A. Rockell

Nihilism and Mistaken Identity: (Self)Hate Crime in The Believer
Paul J. Kaplan

Content Analysis of the 18-Year Evolution of Violence in Video Game Magazines
Monica K. Miller

The Seductions of Arson: Ritualized Political Violence and the Revelry of Arson
Matt Hinds-Aldrich

Ex-governor’s death penalty skepticism a welcome step

By , October 25, 2009 9:55 pm
Use of the death penalty around the world (as ...
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Former Texas Gov. Mark White did last week what he could never have done during his two campaigns for state attorney general and three bids for the governor’s office.

He said it is time for Texas to rethink the use of capital punishment and replace the death penalty with life in prison.

You see, no one can run a successful statewide campaign in Texas — the death penalty capital of the country — without being for capital punishment. Just ask any of the candidates already running for governor in next year’s election. They wouldn’t dare come out against the ultimate legal penalty.

via Ex-governor’s death penalty skepticism a welcome step | Editorials & Opinions | Star-Tele….

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Poll of Police Chiefs Shows Death Penalty Ranked Least Among Crime-Fighting Priorities

By , October 25, 2009 9:49 pm
WASHINGTON - JULY 01:  Buttons and stickers ar...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

California spends $137 million per year on the death penalty and has not had an execution in almost four years, even as the state pays its employees in IOUs and releases inmates early to address overcrowding and budget shortfalls.

A report was released earlier this week by the Death Penalty Information Center. It concludes that states are wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the death penalty, draining state budgets during times of economic crisis when money could be used more effectively on other programs.

According to the report, a nationwide poll of police chiefs found that they ranked the death penalty last among their priorities for crime-fighting, do not believe the death penalty deters murder, and rate it as the least efficient use of limited taxpayer dollars.

via Poll of Police Chiefs Shows Death Penalty Ranked Least Among Crime-Fighting Priorities.

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