Swine Flu / H1N1 Vaccine and Inmates

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Google “H1N1 Vaccine” and “inmates” and you’ll discover the public policy debate-de-jour: To vaccine or not to vaccinate the prison population?

Over 300,000 hits tells you that this is a social justice problem that is growing.  At issue is that in certain areas inmates are receiving the vaccine faster than the general public that most need the remedy (children and the elderly). In general I believe any appearance at preference for prisoners is really just a matter of bad timing: the distribution of the vaccine has been a cluster-fuck of disorganization – it’s a miracle they can even roll this out with any semblance of order.  Also, if we’re going to rehabilitate these folk back into society don’t we want them healthy? And yes, that involves the lifers and death-row inmates too as they are in close confinement with the rest of the lot.

On the other hand, if some don’t get the cure? What a convenient method for thinning the herd!

In Valleyfield, Quebec this is already causing a ruckus as some inmates were given the vaccine prior to prison guards, and now the prison guard union is in an uproar.

This is one headache where I wouldn’t want to be the decision-maker… Oy-yoy! You’re screwed no matter what you do. Soft on criminals, or inflicting prison genocide: choose your poison. I can see the headlines for the 2011 elections now.

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Agency finds fault with Phillip Garrido parole – Jaycee Dugard should have been found sooner

California watchdog blasts officials in Dugard case

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California parole officials failed to properly supervise the rapist accused of kidnapping Jaycee Dugard and missed “numerous” clues during her 18 years of captivity, a prison watchdog said in a report released on Wednesday.

The report by California’s inspector general found that 58-year-old Phillip Garrido, who is charged with abducting Dugard, committed a series of parole violations that should have led to his earlier capture.

“Despite numerous clues and opportunities, the department, as well as federal and local law enforcement, failed to detect Garrido’s criminal conduct, resulting in the continued confinement and victimization of Jaycee and her two daughters,” Inspector General David Shaw wrote in the report.

Garrido and his wife Nancy, 54, are accused of snatching Dugard from a street near her South Lake Tahoe home in 1991, when she was 11 years old, and holding her for 18 years in a squalid warren of tents and sheds in their back yard.

Authorities say Garrido, who was on parole at the time after serving 10 years in prison for a 1976 rape, fathered Dugard’s two daughters during that time.

Dugard, now 29, surfaced in late August after Garrido aroused police suspicion while seeking to proselytize at a college campus. Garrido brought Dugard and her two daughters to a subsequent appointment with his parole officer, who discovered their identity.

Among the “missed opportunities” Shaw cites in his report are the failure of parole officers to investigate “clearly visible” utility wires running from Garrido’s home into the concealed back yard compound where Dugard was held.

Shaw says agents also neglected to follow up after finding a 12-year-old girl, possibly one of Dugard’s daughters, at the registered sex offender’s home and didn’t interview his neighbors or act on information showing he violated parole.

The Garridos have pleaded not guilty to 29 criminal counts that include kidnapping for sexual purposes, forcible lewd acts and rape.

Phillip Garrido served 10 years in prison for the 1976 rape of another South Lake Tahoe woman. He was arrested in 1972 for drugging and raping a 14-year-old girl but was never prosecuted because she refused to testify in court.

(Editing by Paul Simao)

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