No one can dispute the good work being done to focus on one of the biggest public health issues currently facing our society—prescription drug abuse. Just last year in Connecticut more than 700 people died from an overdose. That number is double what it was just a few years ago.But while we need to do everything we can to stop the abuse, we must also be cautious to not create other problems for patients in our state.
In the two years since I left York Correctional Institution, I’ve earned a reputation for having an opinion on anything related to prison. Shifting inmates to hospitals instead of prisons? Don’t bother – the treatment in both are the same. Ban the Box? Nice start – but doesn’t go far enough. Our Governor, Dannel Malloy, is the ultimate criminal justice reformer? Not really, at least not yet. On prison gerrymandering – the practice of counting prisoners in the town in which they are incarcerated instead of their hometowns for the U.S. census – I have an opinion, too; the phenomenon should be called something else.
There is great potential for the appropriate use of student data to bring positive outcomes for our children and students. However, the use of student data also brings with it immense responsibility and great risk to the safety and civil liberties of children and their families.
Five years ago it wasn’t against the law in Connecticut to get historical records. Now, after the mental health community’s end run around proper legislative practice, it is time to once again enable our historians and researchers and poets and biographers access to the information they need to explain who we are to each other.
Did you feel that shiver running up your spine? Then you’ve read about the Chicago Police Department’s use of sophisticated “Stingray” technology to spy on local citizens. Here in Connecticut, we’re no strangers to illegal police surveillance.
Putting children’s needs first means using the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Walter G. Cady School as part of the toolbox. It appears that some, including those in positions of advocacy and legislation, would carelessly ignore the programs that are in place while trying to create a new and unfunded system.
For too long the debate over the care of children and young adults in Connecticut with behavioral health needs, developmental disabilities or those in the juvenile justice system has been centered on the wrong issue. Important time, money, and other resources have been spent debating the future of specific programs, rather than focusing on how best to provide care and treatment that will meet individual needs.
UConn has become one of the great public universities in the country. Deservedly so. But it is not above the law, including the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Unfortunately, UConn seems to think otherwise.
The state Freedom of Information Commission will decide next month whether allegations of discrimination and racism among Norwalk school board members should be made public. Those who want to keep it all secret point to Norwalk Board of Education bylaw Section 9010: “The board of education does not exist between meetings. Board members have no authority except at a board meeting or when discharging an assignment made by the board.”
I was nervous. This was my first case before the United States Supreme Court. But here I was, ready to argue against Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association. In this case, a few public school teachers claim they shouldn’t have to pay union dues because it violates their First Amendment rights. A conservative ruling would be bad, extending to Connecticut teachers, many of whom went to jail in the 1970s to win improvements in collective bargaining….
Since Gov. Dannel Malloy announced his intention to issue an executive order barring people who appear on the federal government’s “no-fly” list from buying guns, a debate has ensued about whether such an order would violate a person’s right to “due process.” The purpose of this post is not to join that debate, but instead to help non-lawyer readers understand what the “due process” debate is really about.