News: ND’s top correction officer looks to Norway for new solutions to old problems   source: Mother Jones  

In our country and more and more in our state, we put people in jail. For a long time, we’ve viewed incarceration as the only solution to the problem of criminal activity and recidivism. But is it? More importantly, is there a better solution? A recent trip to Norway by our state’s top correction officers has them rethinking the questions and the answers. This article is worth your […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Judge Rules Ward County State’s Attorney’s Demand ‘Not in Good Faith’   source: Dickinson Press  

Minot area criminal defense attornies and the Ward County State’s Attorney’s office have been squabbling in court recently. The incidents have brought considerable media coverage, and now a ruling against the State’s Attorney’s office. Andrea Johnson with The Minot Daily News has the coverage, but it’s not available online so you’ll have to find it via the Dickinson Press.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Criminal justice reforms have sheriffs worried about shifting costs   source: Bismarck Tribune  

The battle over who pays what is an eternal one in government, and when it comes to housing inmates serving sentences the payor is often a matter of where the inmate is staying. Is it in a state correctional facility or a county one? And shifting policy as well as a lot of new beds in county facilities have sheriffs around the state on alert to cost burdens […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Self-Driving Cars Mean Cops Won’t Have Excuses to Pull People Over   source: Motherboard  

Self-driving cars are coming; there’s nothing to be done about it. Automation, in general, is going to radically remake the way we live our lives and our society, and if we look at self-driving cars as one of the early dominoes, the challenge then becomes what are the second, third, and fourth cultural dominoes that tip after the transition to self-driving cars starts dropping? Law enforcement will certainly […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary: Opioid epidemic forces us into new territory   source: Minot Daily News  

In today’s Minot Daily editorial, Mike Sasses, editor of the Minot Daily provides some perspective on the new challenges created by opioid and drug abuse that’s more and more prevalent. When a judge has to consider whether granting someone bond may endanger their own life, we know we have a difficult problem to solve. Read the full editorial by following the source link.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Opioid epidemic is swamping U.S. hospitals with 1.3M ER trips, hospitalizations   source: The Washington Post  

The opioid drug crisis is one of those issues that might not hit home unless you have a personal experience with a family member or friend, but the trickle-down impacts of the problem are effecting all of us in less obvious ways. And one area where the crisis is putting pressure on our systems is in our hospitals and emergency rooms. In 2014, opioid-related cases resulted in 1.27 million […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: New Sniff Tech Could Protect Cops From Synthetic Opioids   source: WIRED  

A less-considered consequence of stronger drugs like fentanyl on the streets is increased likelihood of accidental ingestion by law enforcement officers. And there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest this is a problem. Eric Niiler with WIRED has the story on new technology that’s helping police identify drugs and protecting officers at the same time.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Good Talk Minot #4: Fleshing out the Water Balloon Debacle

Commentary: Good Talk Minot #4: Fleshing out the Water Balloon Debacle

In episode #4 of The Good Talk Minot, Jonah Lantto of The Good Talk Network and I discuss the now-in-the-past water balloon debacle of 2017. If you’re unfamiliar with the incident, you can get a refresher from this Minot Daily article. The conversation helped me flesh out my thinking on the topic. Here’s where I landed: We need policies in place to act as a guide for people and […]

News: Ward County Commissioners vote to accept Sheriff’s resignation   source: KMOT News  

The saga of Sheriff Steve Kukowski’s tenure as Sheriff is drawing to a close. Ward County Commissioners voted to accept Mr. Kukowski’s resignation following a two-hour executive session on Tuesday. It all stems from the death of Dustin Irwin, an inmate at the Ward County Jail, who died in October of 2014 while in the care of the County. Mr. Kukowski will still face misdemeanor charges related to […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Top Devils Lake cops placed on leave after disparaging internal report   source: Grand Forks Herald  

All is not well inside the Devils Lake Police Department and responsibility for the situation is landing at the top of the food chain. The department’s chief and second in command have been placed on paid administrative leave by the City Commission. April Baumgarten with the Grand Forks Herald has the story.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary: A Prosecutors Perspective on Confidential Informant Legislation   source: Say Anything Blog.com  

The discussion around “Andrew’s Law” this legislative session has been emotional charged. When a law is named after a person who’s no longer with us and born from a tragic situation, it’s easy to get caught in the idea that we must act and accept the first pitch. Ladd Erickson argues that Senate’s decision to slow this law down will result in better policy.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky