Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Texas task forces on the way out

Scott at Grits for Breakfast reports that yet another useless Texas task force has been disbanded. This is good news. None of these task forces have done anything except saddle the taxpayer with huge costs for incarcerating, at best the lowest level users and dealers, and at worst innocent people who were illegally set up by informants, such as in Tulia.

Scott however also offers this information, which I wasn't aware of:
Midland County did the right thing by getting rid of its drug task force, but local officials have a fiduciary responsibility not to stop there: counties without task forces have an opportunity to apply for the same federal grant money to pay for other things, for example, drug courts and probation services that would let them draw down new state funds. They can choose not to, but their county's taxpayers no longer would benefit from that particular pot of their federal tax dollars.
Sounds like a good model for harm reduction strategies to me. One wonders why you don't hear more about this option.


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