U.S. War on Drugs has been a Horrible Failure

46 years ago, President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse to be “America’s public enemy number one,” and ignited decades of racist, harmful, and misguided policies– locking up millions of people in prison for decades for small drug offenses. The failed War on Drugs is our country’s most shameful attack on families and Black communities. The ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice is working across the country to combat racial disparities in the criminal justice system and reduce the U.S. jail and prison population. Simply put: the United States incarcerates too many people for too long and for the wrong reasons.

 

Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes – combined

On any given day in the United States, at least 137,000 people sit behind bars on simple drug-possession charges, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch. Nearly two-thirds of them are in local jails.

Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes — combined.

 

FINANCIAL INCENTIVE FOR PUTTING MORE PEOPLE IN PRISON

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Private prison stocks up 100% since Trump’s win

The stocks of the two biggest private prison operators — CoreCivic (formerly know as Corrections Corp. of America) and Geo Group — have doubled since election day. CoreCivic is up 140% since Trump won in November; Geo Group has risen 98%.

One of the reasons more people are in prison in the United States than another other country is because of the corporate profits it generates.  Who’s responsible? Mostly Republicans due to their hard line attitudes about crime & punishment, and their being beholden to Corporate and Special Interests which profits from mass incarceration.

This is capitalism gone amuck.

 

After 30 years of being Tough on Crime in the U.S., no other nation incarcerates more of its citizens than we do. The War on Drugs has been a horrible failure.

We have five percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of its prisoners. The cost of housing all those inmates: $80 billion a year.

60 Minutes visited several German prisons and were amazed how laid back everybody seemed at each of them — prisoners and guards. Heidering Prison outside Berlin is as clean and bright as a Google campus. The prison is surrounded by fences, not walls, so inmates can see the outside world.

There is no death penalty.

Life inside prison mirrors life outside as much as possible. Germans call it “normalization.” It starts with small prison populations. Low-level offenders get fines or probation. Prison is reserved for the worst of the worst — murderers, rapists, career criminals.  Cells have doors, not bars. It’s for privacy. Inmates can decorate as they please.

In Germany, 75 percent of lifers are paroled after 20 years or less.

The United States Justice System should be Humane like Germany’s