Monday, January 16, 2012

A Drug Called Pornography

Release: 2000 (56 minutes)
Director: Jonathan Schneider
Starring: Martin Kove, Craig Counard, Ray Wadsworth

This educational video has an important message: pornography is an addiction. Its effects on users and their loved ones are just as habit-forming and destructive as heroin, tobacco, or any other addictive agent. The film shows how pornography promotes contempt towards the women and children it exploits. The program features disturbing interviews with pornography addicts, many of whom are convicted sex offenders. They talk frankly about how pornography affects their psyches and systems, coloring all their activities and relationships. ~ Rose of Sharon Winter, All Movie Guide

CA - Parole bill, inspired by Dugard case, abandoned

Original Article


By Marisa Lagos

Proponents are abandoning a proposed state law inspired by the horrific, 18-year kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard that critics said would have made it nearly impossible for California inmates sentenced to life in prison to be released.

SB391 - written by Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville (Placer County), and supported by several Democrats - was introduced in August. It would have allowed the state parole board to consider only an offender's original crime, not recent behavior, when deciding whether to let someone with a sentence of life with the possibility of parole out of prison. The measure sought to reverse a 2008 state Supreme Court ruling that directed the parole board to consider, in addition to the original crime, whether an offender currently poses a risk to public safety.

But opponents flooded lawmakers' offices with calls and letters, arguing that the bill was a political stunt that would have exacerbated prison crowding, driven up costs and condemned the approximately 24,000 inmates currently serving life sentences to die behind bars.

Last week, Gaines said he is dropping the bill because it was "evident that we weren't going to get the support needed to make the important public safety changes outlined in Senate Bill 391."

Advocates for prisoners expressed relief. Vanessa Nelson, co-director of the Life Support Alliance, which lobbies on behalf of life-term prisoners, said parole board members already have the ability to consider an inmate's original offense and routinely do so when they deny parole.

She and others argued that the law would have made it almost impossible for life-term prisoners, who recidivate at a fraction of the rate of the general prison population, to win release, because under SB391, parole officials could disregard any rehabilitation or other progress made by the offender in the decades since their crime.

"This potentially could have cost the state quite a lot of money to keep people in prison indefinitely," Nelson said. "I really felt from the beginning that Gaines did this as a political stunt to get into the paper."

When he introduced the bill, Gaines cited the 1991 kidnapping of Dugard, who was held captive for 18 years by a convicted rapist and kidnapper, Phillip Garrido. He had previously been convicted of rape and kidnapping in Nevada, and received both a 50-year federal prison sentence as well as a state sentence from Nevada authorities of five years to life. But he was set free in 1988 for unclear reasons.

Gaines argued that while Garrido was never a California inmate, the case illustrated potential shortfalls in this state's system. But critics accused him and others of capitalizing on the high-profile case to push an unfair law that would not have prevented Dugard's kidnapping.