criminal justice

Auther to discuss the duty of the bystander

From JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER TOLEDO What is the duty of a bystander? Should bystanders to crimes be required by law to intervene? Author Amos N. Guiora will discuss these concepts at the 2018 David S. Stone Law Lecture on Monday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at the University of Toledo College of Law, 1825 W. Rocket Dr. Guiora’s experience as the child of Holocaust survivors and career as a professor of law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah have informed his involvement in bystander legislation efforts in Utah and across the country. In his House testimony to address Representative Brian S. King’s proposed bill “The Duty to Assist in an Emergency,” Guiora said the injustices his parents suffered were “exacerbated by bystander inaction.” His recent book “The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust” addresses the consequences of the bystander during the Holocaust and that of today, with a focus on sexual assault. “I have come to the conclusion that the law can no longer remain a bystander to victim suffering,” Guiora said in his testimony.  A retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Israel Defense Forces, Guiora has an A.B. in history from Kenyon College, a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and a Ph.D from Leiden University. He has published extensively in the United States and Europe on issues related to national security, limits of interrogation, religion and terrorism, the limits of power, multiculturalism, and human rights. Prior to “The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust” he wrote several books including “Freedom from Religion: Rights and National Security,” “Tolerating Intolerance: The Price of Protecting Extremism,” and most recently “Earl Warren, Ernesto Miranda and Terrorism.”

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Wood County jail to enter deal to take Toledo inmates

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County jail is once again opening its doors to inmates from Toledo – but only misdemeanor offenders. The county commissioners will review the contract between the Wood County Justice Center and City of Toledo on Thursday morning. The agreement allows Toledo to “rent” 10 beds on an ongoing basis at the Wood County jail, on East Gypsy Lane Road in Bowling Green. The beds will be used for misdemeanor offenders sentenced under the Toledo municipal code. “They are the lowest level offenders,” Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said Wednesday. That’s good for many reasons, the sheriff said. “We’re tight when it comes to secure housing, but we have plenty of beds in minimum security,” he said. The misdemeanor offenders also pose the least risk. “They aren’t all altar boys, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts,” Wasylyshyn said. But it’s nothing the jail staff isn’t accustomed to dealing with, he added. This is not the first time Wood County entered an agreement with Toledo to house inmates. In the summer of 2016, Toledo officials turned to Wood County for a solution to its inmate issues during an ongoing feud over charges to the city from the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio near Stryker. That arrangement lasted about six months, until Toledo and CCNO renegotiated prices for prisoner housing. This contract is similar to the last one between Toledo and Wood County, except Wasylyshyn said he made sure to clean up a transportation issue – with the new contract requiring Toledo to pay for the inmates’ taxi transports back to Toledo once they are released from jail. Toledo will pay the county jail for 10 inmate beds, regardless of whether or not all 10 are needed. If Toledo needs more than 10, the city will pay $65 per bed per day, plus the booking cost of $40. “We’re talking roughly $240,000 a year,” Wasylyshyn said. That money will be put toward the proposed expanded booking area and renovated medical area of the Wood County Justice Center, the sheriff said. “It’s great for Wood County. It’s great for Toledo,” he said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.” Toledo will also pay for medical costs or other expenses that arise with its inmates, according to the agreement. The jail housing agreement has been in place since Dec. 31, with Toledo paying for each month’s beds in advance,…


Vivitrol helps jump start recovery for opiate addicts

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Travis Williams knows that without Vivitrol, opiate addicts who just went through detox are likely to start using again as soon as their buddies pick them up at jail. “They overdose before they ever leave the parking lot,” Williams said. But he also knows that using Vivitrol can take away the cravings and the highs that cause many opiate addicts to relapse an average of seven times. “You might as well take a tic-tac,” since it will provide the same high as opiates do while on Vivitrol, Williams said during a meeting last week in Wood County about recovering from opiates. Attending the meeting were those who deal with the local addicts in the courts, law enforcement, public health and social services. In June of 2016, Vivitrol shots were started in Wood County Justice Center for opiate addicts who want to quit. Since then, 34 inmates have received their first shots in jail, which were then followed up with monthly shots and counseling on the outside. Northwest Community Corrections Center has a similar program. “We are working on a definition of success, but as of June of 2017 we have 21 people who we feel are still compliant with the program,” said Doug Cubberley, chief probation officer and court administrator at Bowling Green Municipal Court. “Only two people have gone out and reoffended by committing new crimes.” Cubberley remembers the day a man came to his court probation office begging to go to jail. “We had one young man come to our office who said, ‘If I don’t go to jail, I’m going to die.’” The man was addicted to opiates and knew it was only a matter of time till he overdosed, Cubberley said last year. Probation workers in Wood County began noticing in 2014 that something was killing their clients. “They were dying at alarming rates,” Cubberley said. So the conversation started about opiates and their growing grasp on people of all ages and backgrounds. “We all wanted to think it was only in Cleveland or Toledo,” he said. But it was clearly here, too. So leaders in the police, court and drug treatment professions started looking for a solution. Community meetings on the opiate epidemic were held in Bowling Green, Perrysburg and North Baltimore. Statistics show the highest rate of accidental overdose occurs when an addict leaves jail or…


County prosecutor sets up opiate response team

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County has its first employees assigned specifically to battle the opiate crisis. Sixteen people died of opiate overdoses in the county last year, according to the Wood County Coroner’s Office. In response to a survey of local first responders, 16 departments said they responded to 83 opiate overdoses last year, and administered the life-saving drug Naloxone 60 times. And in an 18-month period, the county prosecutor’s office saw about 130 drug cases. Getting addicts in treatment, and getting them back after relapses are important, Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson said during a meeting with the county commissioners. The average person experiences seven relapses during their three to five years of trying to get free of opiates. On Tuesday, Dobson and Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn announced the implementation of a new program in the prosecutor’s office to battle the opiate and drug epidemic. The program has been named the Addiction Response Collaborative, or ARC. Earlier this year, Dobson – who lost a stepson to opiate addiction – introduced his four-tiered plan for dealing with the opiate epidemic in Wood County. The plan called for the creation of a quick response team, a pre-trial diversion program in the prosecutor’s office, an intervention in lieu of sentencing program in the courts, and the establishment of a drug docket in the courts. The program team includes a Drug Addiction and Abuse Response Coordinator hired by the prosecutor’s office through funding from the Wood County Commissioners, the Wood County ADAMHS Board, and the Wood County Health District. Filling the position is Luckey resident Belinda Brooks, who knows from experience the horrors of opiate addictions and the hopes for recovery. Brooks, whose daughter battled opiates for several years, formed SOLACE of Northwest Ohio, a group that provides services for family members of addicts. Her daughter, now 25, was first prescribed percocets after a serious ATV accident seven years ago. It wasn’t long till she was addicted. Brooks, who knew nothing about opiates, believed it couldn’t be that bad since it was a prescribed medication. She soon saw how horrible it could be. Brooks learned that by hiding the addiction and helping her daughter clean up money problems, she was fueling her daughter’s addiction. “It was three years of complete hell,” Brooks said. “Your lives change forever. You have to change your parenting.” Her daughter’s rock…


BGSU prof launches database that tracks cases of police being arrested

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Phil Stinson, the go-to scholar for police shootings, has launched a new database that tracks instances of police going bad. Stinson, who teaches criminal justice at Bowling Green State University, has created The Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database. The site went live Tuesday and can be reached at: https://policecrime.bgsu.edu/. The database was funded the Wallace Action Fund of the Tides foundation. Using media reports and court records, Stinson and a team of student assistants has compiled information on 8,006 instances of sworn nonfederal police officers being arrested between 2005 and 2012. That includes four cases in Wood County.* The database uses 159 different variables to describe each individual case, providing data about the arrested officer, the officer, and the disposition. What it doesn’t provide, Stinson said, is the name of the officer. “We’re not publishing names because we don’t see any benefit from a research perspective.” However, using the details that are provided, someone could fairly easily discover those names, he said. “We’re not trying to hide so many facts that you couldn’t find them.” Stinson said: “It’s important that there be knowledge of it so that law enforcement agencies can start to address it. These are not just one-offs and not just outliers. Some are huge problems.” One part of addressing it is providing help for officers who are having problems. “You look at domestic violence, it just seems to be too many cases.” “We envision people will use this database to learn about the incidence and prevalence of police misconduct in their own communities,” he said. They may start looking up reports from their hometowns then “get lost in it and understand the phenomenon in a broader sense.” Assault is the most commonly charged offense with simple assault at number one, and aggravated assault at number four.  Drunk driving is the second most commonly charged offense, followed by various types of official misconduct. Drug offenses are next. Drugs of choice in order are cocaine, marijuana, crack, steroids, and oxycodone. Rounding out the most frequent offenses are: forcible fondling, false reports-false statements, intimidation, weapons law violation, and forcible rape. Of those sexually assaulted, Stinson said, just over half are under 18. And school resource officers are more likely to be commit sex crimes. He has uncovered a pattern of officers sexually abusing youths enrolled in Explorer programs. This is the first time…


BGSU’s Albert Dzur to receive medal for promoting democracy

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dr. Albert Dzur, professor of political science and philosophy at Bowling Green State University, is the winner of the 2017 Laurence and Lynne Brown Democracy Medal from the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State University. The McCourtney Institute promotes rigorous scholarship and practical innovations to advance the democratic process in the United States and abroad. The institute awards the Brown Democracy Medal annually to honor the best work being done to advance democracy in the United States and internationally. “Albert Dzur’s work represents an important new frontier in democratic theory,” noted Dr. Michael Berkman, professor of political science and director of the McCourtney Institute, in announcing the 2017 Brown Democracy Medal recipient. “When partisan rancor is at an all-time high and confidence in democratic processes is at an all-time low, Dzur shows that democracy is still an effective and empowering way for citizens to address their common problems.” Dzur argues that some of the most innovative and important work in democracy is taking place face-to-face and is encouraged by power-sharing professionals who bring citizens into their decision-making processes. These “democratic professionals” co-create institutional cultures that lead to better decisions, increased trust and less “civic lethargy.” His most recent work focuses on how democratic professionalism can better manifest itself in the operation of our criminal justice system — from juries to prisons. He rejects the conventional wisdom that more expertise and less democracy are needed in criminal justice because of the links between a fearful public, demagogic politicians and mass incarceration. Instead, Dzur focuses on the more foundational problem of “repellent” criminal justice institutions that hinder public awareness of the moral complexity, harmful effects and deeply biased implementation of punishment. He advocates, as remedies, more widespread citizen action and reflection within a revitalized jury system, restorative justice programs and community policing. Dzur’s research in democratic theory has sparked long-term collaborations and has found many practical applications. It has captured the attention of organizations in the United States and around the world. Oxford University and Leeds University in the U.K., for example, are holding a three-year series of seminars based on his concept of democratic professionalism to introduce new approaches to mental health care. Dzur is also a research fellow at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Edinburgh and an associate at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance…


Mazey addresses sexual assault concerns in State of the University

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In her State of the University address Friday, President Mary Ellen Mazey spoke about the changes in how Bowling Green State University handles sexual assaults. Last spring a student went public with her story of being raped and her futile efforts to have the perpetrator stop harassing her. That prompted a protest and a call for a change in the way BGSU’s approaches the problem. A number of faculty members in Women’s and Gender Studies sent the administration a letter spelling out what they believed should be done. (Story here.) Mazey convened a task force that met over the summer. That task force has issued its recommendations, and the administration has accepted them all. (Story here.) In an interview after the State of the University address, Mazey said that she was impressed with the work the task force accomplished. It was headed by Alex Solis, a former undergraduate student body president who now works in the president’s office, Meg Burrell, the undergraduate student representative to the Board of Trustees, and Dr. Maureen Wilson, of the College of Education. In her address, Mazey promised to work to implement the task force’s recommendations. “As a community, we must all come together to prevent sexual assaults from occurring, make sure survivors are properly supported, and continue to ensure that our investigative processes are thorough, fair, equitable and respectful.” Sarah Anne Rainey, an associate professor in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, was one of the professors who helped draft the letter last spring to Mazey and served on the task force. “We did a lot of data gathering on best practices, and I can honestly say that I am impressed with the administration’s willingness to take our recommendations,” she wrote in an email this week.  This led her to believe the administration is addressing their concerns. “I’m especially happy that they are hiring a new Women’s Center Director, and I’m impressed with the creation of a new Center with increased resources, staffing, and training to deal more effectively with sexual assaults and to help the University’s prevention efforts.” The university’s response earned praised from the producers of “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary film about rape on college campuses. “More campuses need to follow @bgsu‘s lead in creating new, focused sexual assault conduct policies and task forces,” they tweeted this week. Mazey also announced that Jennifer McCary,…