To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Record of the Drug War

Jacob Sullum on the Drug War and our nation's place as the world's top dog of incarceration.
For Americans tired of hearing how we lag behind other developed nations in teaching children math, science, and reading, a new report highlights an area where the United States is indisputably a world leader. According to the Pew Center on the States, the U.S. has a higher incarceration rate than any other country. In your face, Finland![...]

When the government incarcerates people who are guilty only of consensual "crimes," however, it wastes scarce prison space that could be used to incapacitate predatory criminals. That compromises public safety rather than enhancing it.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that drug offenders account for about 25 percent of local jail inmates, 21 percent of state prisoners, and 55 percent of federal prisoners. Since 1980 the number of drug offenders in state prisons has increased by 1,200 percent, more than four times the increase in violent offenders.
Read the whole piece here.