| NEWS of the Day - January 23, 2012
|on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...
We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...
From Los Angeles Times
Tobacco Ban Might Be Igniting Ohio Prison Violence
January 23, 2012
by Sandy Fitzgerald
Ohio's prisons have become increasingly violent since March 2009, when the state enacted a tobacco ban, and the state's prison director thinks there may be a connection.
Director Gary Mohr of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction told the Dayton Daily News he is launching a study to determine whether the tobacco ban is stirring problems in the state's prisons, where violent disturbances have doubled.
People are becoming even bolder about smuggling contraband into the prisons, such as tobacco, illegal drugs, and cell phones — including throwing items over fences — and rival gangs are fighting to control the black market.
“Tobacco has become a currency that's used in our prisons,” Mohr said. Mohr is a former Ohio prison official who went to work in private-sector prisons for years but returned as director in January 2011. He said he was “made sick” by the increasing violence. Mohr ordered his research department to investigate disturbances involving four or more inmates, and expects results in three to four weeks.
The tobacco ban was imposed by Mohr's predecessor, Terry Collins, who hoped to cut inmate healthcare costs. Mohr, though, says he will “have to weigh whether the degree of violence” outweighs health benefits before he would decide whether to lift the ban.
Tobacco means big money behind bars. Just one hand-rolled cigarette sells for as much as $5 in Ohio's prisons, even though prisoners also aren't allowed to have cash. With the price so high for tobacco, there have been prison employees who haven't been immune to the lure of easy money.
However, because tobacco isn't an illegal substance, except for prisoners, employees can be fired for selling contraband, but not criminally charged.
Younger, tech-savvy inmates are also bringing along an increasing trade in cell phones. He said prisoners are using the cell phones to continue running outside criminal activity, even though they're behind bars, and to bring in even more contraband.
Cell phones are even more valuable than tobacco. A cheap phone that sells for $25 on the street can bring in $500 to $700 on the prison black market.
Some of the prisons now have dogs that are trained to sniff out tobacco and cell phones, as well as illegal drugs.
Detroit police say grants modified to save 108 jobs
by The Detroit News
Detroit — Detroit Police received approval to modify a federal community policing grant to save the jobs of 108 police officers slated for layoffs, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee announced late Friday.
The police chief said his office had been notified by the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing that the department's request to prevent the layoffs with the grant was approved.
The layoff notices would have been effective Feb. 20.
"I would like to thank the United States Department of Justices' COPS Office and Director Bernard Melekian for approving our amendment to the original awards, which will allow us to retain these fine officers," Godbee said in a statement. "We will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to retain our most valuable assets, our police officers."
The administration of Mayor Dave Bing, struggling to reduce a deficit of $200 million and head off the possible appointment of an emergency manager, previously announced plans to cut 1,000 jobs by April.
Earlier this month, the department announced its eight precincts and district offices would be closed at night. The move would allow the police to shift officers from the facilities to the street.
Keep pepper spray handy, say police to women
New Delhi, January 22 2012
In an awareness programme for women, Delhi police urged them to have a pepper spray handy and use it in cases of eve-teasing or misbehaviour.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The programme was organized by the staff of Vasant Kunj police station, south Delhi on Saturday. It aimed to sensitise women and make them aware of how to handle any unforeseen situation and to improve the community policing in the area.
“No women should tolerate any kind of misbehaviour, eve teasing and must complain immediately to the police. In case of eve teasing, women should not surrender but create a hue and cry so that the culprit can be apprehended and booked,” said Chhaya Sharma, deputy commissioner of police. Police also stressed on the need for safer environments for women to travel at night. Sharma said bus or auto rickshaws should not drop women at isolated places. ‘Be Artsy' organised a street play, as part of the programme, with the help of students from Kamla Nehru College.
“To organize a street play was an effort towards community policing. It aimed at sensitising women about misbehaviour, eve teasing, rape and dis-respect. We hope the play helps the public understand that women need to be treated respectfully,” a police official said. An interaction was held by the student volunteers as well as the police after the programme. Security tips for women were discussed in the session. The public shared their incidents of eve-teasing and how they reacted in the situations.
"Eve teasing" is a euphemism used in India and sometimes Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepalfor public sexual harassment or molestation of women by men, with use of the word "Eve" being a reference to the biblical Eve, the first woman. It infers the woman is in some way responsible for the behaviour of the perpetrators of this act.
Considered a problem related to delinquency in youth,it is a form of sexual aggression that ranges in severity from sexually suggestive remarks, brushing in public places and catcalls to outright groping. Sometimes it is referred to with a coy suggestion of innocent fun, making it appear innocuous with no resulting liability on the part of the perpetrator. Some voluntary organisations have suggested that the expression be replaced by a more appropriate term. According to them, considering the semantic roots of the term in Indian English, Eve teasing refers to the temptress nature of Eve, placing responsibility on the woman as a tease.