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ALEA III — The Younger and the Youngest, Monday, December 9, 8 p.m., Tsai Performance Center
Week of 6 December 2002 · Vol. VI, No. 14

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Boston Globe: Shelters experiencing increased number of former inmates

Massachusetts homeless shelters report an increase in recently released inmates using their facilities, based on shelter interviews with former prisoners. This suggests that the state Department of Correction’s reduction in prerelease programs and the elimination by counties of many of their halfway houses are leaving those who complete their prison sentences with nowhere to go, according to the December 2 Boston Globe. Criminologists say that former prisoners who enter society without the option of a prerelease program or halfway house are 50 percent more likely to end up back in prison and that many who are deemed unfit to enter such programs are still released without a period of adjustment. “If they aren’t suitable for any of those programs, they shouldn’t be put on the streets,” says Dan LeClair, a MET professor of criminal justice and department chairman. “But that’s not happening. Basically, state officials are saying it’s OK for people to recidivate, as long as it’s not on their watch.”

Boston Globe: Proving DUI blocks federal money to state

Because Massachusetts is the only state where prosecutors, and not blood alcohol levels, must prove whether drivers operated a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, about $29 million in federal funds slated for infrastructure projects has been lost to the state, says the December 1 Boston Globe. In addition, the state’s open container and repeat offender laws have also cost Massachusetts, a state that has spent huge sums on the Big Dig project and that has 554 structurally deficient bridges, millions in federal funding. While the last three state governors have filed bills to make a .08 blood alcohol level “illegal per se,” the bills haven’t made it past the legislature’s criminal justice committee. “We’ve got these hedges against getting convicted,” says Ralph Hingson, an SPH professor of social and behavioral sciences. “We need to get these tougher laws passed.”

Wired News: The Apple of Mac users’ eye

They’re known as Appleholics, Macheads, Maccies, Macolytes, and Mac addicts. Mac enthusiasts, reports the December 2 Wired News, are not just keen on the company and make up what may be the largest subculture in computing, but also are loyal to Apple -- despite a summer announcement that Mac online services, formerly free, would cost $100 annually and a normally no-cost upgrade, to OS X, would be $130. Mac users are not, as predicted, upsetting the Apple cart and leaving in droves for Windows. Apple’s monopoly in the Mac business allows it to get away with things companies in a competitive market can’t, says Andrew Leckey, a COM visiting professor of business and economics journalism. “With Apple you’re a captive, and to some extent they abuse that privilege,” he says. “I would have thought Apple would be all folksy, like a Ben & Jerry’s kind of company. But in my experience, PC companies are much more responsive.”


6 December 2002
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