Possession Accounts for 90 Percent of Drug Arrests, New Report Says

A new report from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition finds that statewide drug possession arrests have increased by more than 30 percent from 1999 to 2011, with nine-out-of-10 drug arrests in the state stemming from possession charges. The statistics from the Texas Department of Public Safety include an aggregation of adult and juvenile drug-related arrests. According to the study, the price of housing individuals with drug possession offenses costs Texas tax payers more than $700,000 a day, with researchers estimating that the state will exceed its prison and jail capacities as early as the 2014 fiscal year. The authors of the report suggest that community supervision programs could serve as less costly alternatives to drug possession-related incarceration. Researchers estimate the cost of housing one inmate in Texas would cost the state about $18,500 a year, whereas placing offenders in community-based facilities, with treatment services, would only cost the state about $3,500 annually.

police-car-siren-stock-photo-2 Clay Duda/JJIE.org

Study: Curfew Laws Reduce Juvenile Arrests

A recently published study found youth curfews reduce juvenile arrests. The study, published in The American Law and Economics Review by the University of California, Berkeley, showed arrests of youths were directly impacted by curfews, dropping almost 15 percent in the curfew’s first year and 10 percent in the following years. The report analyzed data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Unified Criminal Reporting files from 1980 to 2004 for 54 large U.S. cities (with populations more than 180,000) that enacted youth curfews between 1985 and 2002. Arrests of young adults outside the curfew restriction also dropped suggesting fewer cross-age interactions, according to the study. A survey in 1996, found 146 of the largest 200 U.S. cities had curfew laws on the books.

Occupy Movement Camps in New York and Oakland Emptied by Police

Encampments of protestors in New York and Oakland, both part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, were raided by police Monday and cleared of demonstrators, tents and garbage. Officials in both cities said the camps posed health and safety concerns for the protestors and nearby residents. Police cleared the Occupy Wall Street camp in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, birthplace of the Occupy movement, Monday. About 180 to 190 demonstrators in the park were arrested, according to The New York Times. At a news conference Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the park needed to be cleared because “health and safety concerns had become intolerable.” Protestors have been camped out in the park for two months.

Occupy Atlanta Protestors Clash with Police, 20 Arrested

Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta was once again the scene of protests and arrests Saturday night as Occupy Atlanta demonstrators clashed with police. Nineteen protestors were arrested, many for refusing to stay on sidewalks and blocking city streets, after demonstrators began an impromptu march down Peachtree Street. Occupy Atlanta demonstrators vowed to once again camp out in Woodruff Park despite a warning from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed that anyone remaining in the park after it closed at 11 p.m. would be arrested. However, protestors began exiting the park shortly after the deadline as dozens of police officers on motorcycles and horses—some in riot gear, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution—encircled the park preparing to make arrests. A handful of protestors remained in the park and were arrested, a symbolic move by the protestors one Occupy Atlanta spokesperson told Atlanta’s WSB-TV.

Occupy Atlanta protest tent. Oct. 13, 2011

Occupy Atlanta Ousted from Woodruff Park

Despite an executive order extending Occupy Atlanta’s stay at Woodruff Park until November 7th, Mayor Kasim Reed sent police in to clear the protestors from the park early this morning, citing security and other concerns. More than 50 people were arrested around 1 a.m. when the police began to move in on the park, including Georgia state Sen. Vincent Ford (D-Atlanta). All of the protesters were released today on signature bonds, although the volume of arrests created some delays in court proceedings. The eviction comes after a weekend of rising tensions between the city and demonstrators. On Saturday protestors promoted an unpermitted hip-hop festival, which brought roughly 600 patrons and, according to the mayor, cost the city an estimated $100,000 for increased police presence.

States closing youth prisons

Juvenile arrest rates dropped 33% over ten years, according to latest stats from the U. S. Department of Justice.  The Associated Press also reports that more states are pushing for treatment rather than prison for troubled children.  Add all have serious budget problems.   All this means reformatories, or juvenile detention centers are getting shut down across the country.  Even Georgia closed down the Bill Ireland Youth Development Center in Milledgeville last year.