- Share links: drugwar, massincarceration, and majority. This article was written by Timeshifter. See charts and maps. See also: Drug War, mandatory minimum sentencing, handguns. And: Republican-led drug war.
|How the war on drugs affected incarceration rates. By Lauren Carroll, July 10th, 2016. Politifact.
The war on drugs led to "a 500 percent increase in incarceration in our country, disproportionately affecting poor and disproportionately affecting minorities." — Cory Booker on Sunday, July 10, 2016 in an interview on "Meet the Press".
Mass imprisonment of drug users driving global epidemics of HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis. 14 July 2016. The Lancet. "In parts of Europe, over a third of inmates inject drugs (38%), in Australia (55%) it is more than half. This is in stark contrast with injecting drug use in the general population (0.3% in EU and 0.2% in Australia)." Many users steal in order to get money for drugs. Thus they end up in jail in high numbers, contributing to mass incarceration.
|Drug war + Trickle-down Reaganomics, = mass incarceration and mass control.|
|See article: Trickle-down economics plus drug war.|
|The majority of people incarcerated in prisons and jails in the USA are in due to drug-related offenses, crimes to get money for drugs, or drug-related parole or probation violations. Wikipedia: Drug-related crime. The number of inmates in the USA has increased almost 5 times over since 1980. It peaked in 2008. Obama's Democrat landslide in 2008 turned the incarceration rate around. But the USA still has the highest incarceration rate of any nation (b c). The cost of the U.S. drug war is at least 1.5 trillion dollars. Cannabis is safer! Share link.|
Emphasis added to the quotes.
- Prisons & Drug Offenders | Drug War Facts.
- Drugs and Crime Facts. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics: "In 2004, 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates said they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs. In 2002 about a quarter of convicted property and drug offenders in local jails had committed their crimes to get money for drugs, compared to 5% of violent and public order offenders. Among state prisoners in 2004 the pattern was similar, with property (30%) and drug offenders (26%) more likely to commit their crimes for drug money than violent (10%) and public-order offenders (7%). In federal prisons property offenders (11%) were less than half as likely as drug offenders (25%) to report drug money as a motive in their offenses."
489,000 in 2013 (see chart below). For drug offenses alone.
In 2009 26.4% of those in federal and state prisons, or on probation or parole, were in due to drug offenses. Jail numbers are not included below.
How it happened
Chart source: The Score: Why Prisons Thrive Even When Budgets Shrink. In The Nation. By Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert, September 24, 2014. Quote below from article (emphasis added):
Explosion in incarcerations since the 1980s. Under the "war on drugs," aggressive policing drove up the percentage of those in state prisons for drug offenses from 6.4 percent in 1980 to 22 percent in 1990. More minor drug charges made it easier for prosecutors to push felony charges by citing a defendant’s prior record. These convictions triggered harsh sentences under new guidelines like California’s "three strikes" law, passed during the same period. The enforcement of these punitive new laws was, and remains, racist: according to the ACLU, black people are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, though they are equally likely to use. This, in turn, makes black people vulnerable to the rest of the criminal-justice system.
|The drug war is a big cause of the high US incarceration rate. Also, the rest of the developed world has much lower rates of handgun ownership, and much lower murder rates. They never reached the levels of violence the USA did due to handguns and drug war. So they never had the clamoring of the far-right National Rifle Association (NRA) demanding mandatory minimum sentencing. Canada and Europe have long had much lower incarceration rates, better healthcare, and far fewer and shorter sentences for marijuana offenses.|
U.S. statistics for drug-related homicides are very inadequate.
- Drug Related Crime . March, 2000 article. Office of National Drug Control Policy. Article quote (emphasis added):
Why Statistics on Drug-Related Crime are Difficult To Interpret: Homicide as an Example. ... The FBI does not include as drug-related a murder that occurs during a robbery or a burglary committed by someone under the influence of drugs or a murder that occurs during a robbery committed to obtain money to buy drugs. In these cases, the homicide is recorded by its relationship to the most serious offense only, and robbery and burglary are more serious than drug trafficking in the FBI offense classification and in most State laws. Thus, current FBI homicide information may not categorize a large number of drug-related murders as so related.
- Drugs and Crime Facts. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Has drug-related homicide chart from 1987-2007, with rates of 3.9% to 7.4% for drug-related homicides. "The Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that in 2007, 3.9% of the 14,831 homicides in which circumstances were known were narcotics related. Murders that occurred specifically during a narcotics felony, such as drug trafficking or manufacturing, are considered drug related."
- OPED: War Won't Solve the Drug Problem. July 15, 1999. Washington Post. By Rob Stewart, of the Drug Policy Foundation. "In 1988, just over half of the murders in the city [New York City] were 'drug-related.' But once the researchers examined the circumstances of the murders, they discovered that the clear majority, 74 percent, were results of the drug trade, not drug use (14 percent) or the need to get money for drugs (4 percent)."
- The 50 Most Violent Cities In The World. (On one page). Nov. 10, 2014. By Pamela Engel and Christina Sterbenz. Business Insider. "US cities also made the list, led by Detroit at No. 24 and New Orleans at No. 26." And Baltimore at 36, St. Louis at 45.
Minor parole and probation violations
Cash bail. Innocent people in jail
Drugs and probation violations
- Probation and Bail Violations :: Providence Probation Attorney Joseph Lamy. From the article:
|Another difficulty for defendants charged with a probation violation is that the condition “to keep the peace and be of good behavior” is ambiguous and open to interpretation. For example, you are arrested for marijuana possession and are also charged with a violation of probation. Even if the marijuana possession charges are dismissed, you may very likely be found to have violated probation. Why? Because a judge can be “reasonably satisfied” that you were not of good behavior if you were even near drugs or someone who had drugs or involved in any incident that caused the police to be called.|
Parole violations and drugs
16.1% of parole violators returned to state prisons in 1997 for drug related violations; for failing drug tests, possession of drugs, failing to report for drug testing, failing to report for alcohol or drug treatment. Info is from Table 21 (below) of the PDF for this report: Trends in State Parole, 1990-2000. NCJ 184735. October 2001. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
See image info.
Sentence length. Incarceration rate
|Federal mandatory minimum sentencing charts.|
First mandatory minimums chart below is from an older FAMM report, "Correcting Course: Lessons from the 1970s Repeal of Mandatory Minimum Sentences". FAMM is Families Against Mandatory Minimums. . See Wikipedia: Mandatory minimums. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 increased the amounts of crack cocaine required to trigger 5 and 10 year sentences. . See revised charts since then. Share link to this page.
For charts of all federal mandatory minimums (not just for drug offenses), go here.
Later chart with revisions, such as the amount of crack cocaine required for various sentences:
American Exception. Inmate Count in US Dwarfs Other Nations'. April 22, 2008. New York Times. Page 1, section A, front page. Archive. From the article (emphasis added):
November Coalition graph. Some Congressmen and police who prosecuted the War on Drugs now believe it caused a large increase in the United States incarceration rate. See Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and larger chart with sources. See template. Incarceration peaked in 2008.
- 2003. Federal Judge Quits, Calls Judicial System Unjust. Associated Press (AP) story, National Public Radio interview, and Judge John S. Martin's statement. "The result, he said, is a slew of lengthy prison sentences for low-level drug dealers 'who society failed at every step.' ... While many judges have criticized sentencing guidelines, it is unusual for a judge to publicly cite the frustrations of the job in stepping down." -June 25 2003 AP story. See also: Let Judges Do Their Jobs. By Hon. John S. Martin Jr..
- Dissenting Opinions of Judges, Federal Drug Sentencing, Mandatory Minimum Sentences. A list of many articles by judges. At November Coalition.
Mandatory minimum sentences
|Some people don't know that the National Rifle Association had a large part in causing the huge increase in the U.S. incarceration rate. The NRA strongly lobbied state-by-state for mandatory minimum sentences (also known as "Truth in Sentencing"), and "Two and Three Strikes" laws. Mandatory-minimum sentences are the root cause of the astronomical US incarceration rate according to a New York Times article. The majority of people incarcerated in the U.S. are in prison or jail due to drug-related offenses, crimes to get money for drugs, or drug-related parole or probation violations.|
See Wikipedia: Mandatory sentencing. See also this page. Mandatory Minimum sentencing is often used for non-violent crimes such as drug possession. It is a modern-day way to create concentration camps for drug-using "undesirables." Sentences that usually do not allow parole until at least around 80% of the sentence served. Federal laws, and most states, have mandatory minimums. The majority of U.S. prisoners are in due to the drug war in some way or another.
Life for pot
- Life in prison for selling marijuana: Meet the people new pot laws forgot. MSNBC. 8 Sep 2015. . "At least 67 people are in prison right now, sentenced to die there for selling marijuana". And: LifeForPot.com. And: POW420.com also lists some cannabis lifers. Facebook: Life for Pot. And: Life In Prison For Pot And Other Travesties Of Marijuana Prohibition. 4 Sept. 2014. Forbes.
- Jeff Mizanskey, life without parole: Missouri man freed after spending two decades in prison for marijuana charge. 1 Sep 2015. Guardian. . And: Grandpa Doing Life Without Parole. . Nazi Republican prosecutor.
- . Religious Right: Supported Life for Pot. . . .
- Life for Pot Prisoner Larry Duke Released! .
Sources for marijuana arrest numbers by year:
- Commons:File:US Cannabis Arrests.svg - see sources and data table below the timeline chart.
- Percent distribution of arrests for drug abuse violations. By type of drug, United States, 1982-2009. Sourcebook of criminal justice statistics Online.
- See also: Wikimedia Commons:Category:Cannabis arrest statistics.
Nixon and Reagan. War on Drugs
|Nancy and Ronald 6 Wilson 6 Reagan 6 riding the drug war Beast in 1986. Note Nancy's "Just Say NO" sign. Larger image.|
|Tricky Dick Nixon (above) has won his drug war! The Prison-Industrial Complex. A Nixonian "enemies list" that almost everyone is on at some time.|
Bush. Huge drug war escalation
- 2nd nationwide televised Bush speech on drugs on September 12, 1989: Quote from speech:
. We're almost doubling prison space. Some think there aren't enough prosecutors. We'll hire them, with the largest increase in Federal prosecutors in history.
- Papa Bush's War on Drugs escalation speech on September 5, 1989. The first prime time address of his presidency. Result: . 25th anniversary of
Propaganda of incarceration nations
- Reagan's war on cannabis is where the U.S. incarceration nation began. Number of marijuana prisoners in the USA: 40,000+ in 2011. All drug offenses: 489,000 in 2013.
Ronald Reagan, 1980 campaign speech: "Leading medical researchers are coming to the conclusion that marijuana, pot, grass whatever you want to call it, is probably the most dangerous drug in the United States, and we haven't begun to find out all of the ill effects, but they are permanent ill effects. The loss of memory for example."
|Drug war + Trickle-down Reaganomics, = mass incarceration and mass control.|
|See article: Trickle-down economics plus drug war.|
See Wikimedia Commons: Category:Government propaganda. Note the "glorious mission" or "glorious war" nature of much propaganda. Like the Republican-led Holy War, the "War on Drugs". See Wikipedia: War on Drugs. It is really a war on some drug users. This particular glorious war was reinvigorated by the cult leaders, Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The B-movie actor Ronald (6) Wilson (6) Reagan (6) is still worshiped like a God (or idol) by some segments of the Republican Party.
Welcome to America
|"Welcome to America, home to 5% of the world's people & 25% of the world's prisoners." NAACP, ACLU File Lawsuit Against City of Philadelphia for Rejecting Criminal Justice Reform Ad. Article by NAACP. Lawsuit filed October 19, 2011 during the period of the Occupy movement. Also see the ad banner article by Courthouse News Service. The drug war and prisons are big business, and a big part of how the 1% controls the 99%. See Facebook comments about the banner. The Republican Party leads the racist drug war.||
|Chart below is from a July 2000 report:|
From the report: "Nearly one in four persons (23.7%) imprisoned in the United States is currently imprisoned for a drug offense. The number of persons behind bars for drug offenses (458,131) is roughly the same as the entire prison and jail population in 1980 (474,368)."