Week in Review: Drug Amnesty Laws, Solitary Confinement and Violence

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Only 15 States Have Drug Amnesty Laws to Protect Overdosers, Friends

Tanya and Taylor Smith

Gabrielle Smith/Family

Tanya Smith and her daughter Taylor, who died in August, 2013, after an overdose.

Georgia is the 15th U.S. state to pass a law ensuring those who call 911 in case of an overdose will not face criminal charges. These so-called Good Sam laws, the first of which was passed in New Mexico in 2001, aim to save lives by getting medical help, not criminal charges, for someone who has overdosed. The laws also protect the friend who calls 911 and stays with the person.

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Local residentSouth Bronx Teens ‘Shell-Shocked’ by New Orleans ViolenceIt’s easier to get a gun than a textbook in New Orleans, America’s murder capital. ‘Shell-Shocked’ — a movie filled with violence, death and schoolroom chaos — stunned the young Bronx audience in New York. Federal Spending on KidsFederal Spending on Kids to Increase Only 2 Percent Over Next DecadeChildren’s programs are projected to receive only 2 cents on every dollar of a $1.4 trillion increase in federal spending over the next decade, says a new Urban Institute report.

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Got Grit? What Is It? Do Kids Need It?
In her research, Duckworth, who was awarded a MacArthur “genius grant,” found that the main characteristic that predicted academic success among the students she surveyed was grit, which she defines as passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.

The Solitary Confinement of Youth
Studies have found that subjecting prisoners to solitary confinement makes it more difficult for them to assimilate back into their communities, increasing the risk of recidivism.