- Share links: Drug War, Drug war, DrugWar, drugwar, war, and majority. This article was written by Timeshifter.
- See drug war charts. See categories: Charts and graphs and maps. See also: Private prisons and private power. See The U.S. Drug War. Republicans lead. Democrats follow. Everybody pays. See Race, ethnicity, and the drug war. See Cannabis is safer. See Brutality and the 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. The USA has the highest incarceration rate of any nation b c (except for the tiny country of the Seychelles). Compare incarceration rates worldwide. The cost of the U.S. drug war is at least 1.5 trillion dollars. Cannabis is safer! Share link.|
Chart to the right is a state and federal prison incarceration rate timeline with highlights. Jail inmates are not included. Source: The Score: Why Prisons Thrive Even When Budgets Shrink. In The Nation. By Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert, September 24, 2014.
"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."
Human cost of U.S. drug war Edit
|Correctional population: Prisons, jails, probation, parole. To the chart percentages below add in the percentages for crimes to get money for drugs, drug-related parole violations, etc..|
True cost of drugs: More than half of inmates currently in U.S. federal prisons were convicted of narcotics offences. June 12, 2011. Daily Mail. The article discusses state prisons, too. Also, it discusses many aspects of drug-related crimes. For example; "The second main area is economic-related crimes where an individual commits a crime to fund a drug habit. These include theft and prostitution."
Drugs and Crime Facts: Drug Use and Crime. 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."
16.1% is the percentage 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 of this report: Trends in State Parole, 1990-2000. NCJ 184735. October 2001. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Jimmie Carter: Call Off the Global Drug War. In New York Times: "Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pointed out that, in 1980, 10 percent of his state’s budget went to higher education and 3 percent to prisons; in 2010, almost 11 percent went to prisons and only 7.5 percent to higher education. Maybe the increased tax burden on wealthy citizens necessary to pay for the war on drugs will help to bring about a reform of America’s drug policies." -- June 16, 2011 article.
|See list of incarceration rates by country (b c). Compare the rates. Due to the Drug War the USA has the highest incarceration rate in the world (except for the tiny country of the Seychelles). See cost of U.S. drug war: 1.5 trillion dollars!|
Welcome to America Edit
|Most inmates are incarcerated due to the drug war. The drug war and prisons are big business, and a big part of how the 1% controls the 99%. Republicans lead the racist drug war. Democrats follow since many are bought-and-paid-for middle management for K Street lobbyists. See sources, stats, and charts for the banner below.||
|Chart below is from a July 2000 report:|
Length of sentences causes huge U.S. incarceration rate Edit
|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):
Still, it is the length of sentences that truly distinguishes American prison policy. Indeed, the mere number of sentences imposed here would not place the United States at the top of the incarceration lists. If lists were compiled based on annual admissions to prison per capita, several European countries would outpace the United States. But American prison stays are much longer, so the total incarceration rate is higher. ... "Rises and falls in Canada's crime rate have closely paralleled America's for 40 years," Mr. Tonry wrote last year. "But its imprisonment rate has remained stable."
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.
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 or truth in sentencing Edit
|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. For more info see National Rifle Association and mandatory minimum sentencing. See template.|
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 Edit
www.lifeforpot.com - a website about federal, non-violent, marijuana-only inmates serving sentences of life without parole. Share this link in email, on Facebook, on Twitter, etc..
War on Drugs Edit
Republican evil, Democrat complicity, corporatist control: The Drug-War Industrial Complex.
|Nancy and Ronald 6 Wilson 6 Reagan 6 riding the drug war Beast. Note Nancy's "Just Say NO" sign. Larger image.|
|Tricky Dick Nixon (above) has won his drug war! The Prison-Industrial Complex. Corporatist Dictatorship. A Nixonian "enemies list" that almost everyone is on at some time.|
"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)." -- From this July 2000 report: Poor Prescription: The Costs of Imprisoning Drug Offenders in the United States. See also: .
Number and percentage of prisoners whose primary and/or most serious crime was a drug offense: 8% in 1980. 23% in 1998. Based on federal estimates of state and federal drug prisoners. Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Crimes concerning money for drugs Edit
Emphasis added to the quotes.
"The FBI has reported that almost one-third of people convicted of robbery and burglary, and more than one-quarter of people convicted of larceny, committed their crimes to get money for drugs. Moreover, 6.5 percent of the murders in the United States in 1990 occurred in narcotics-related circumstances" -- Rethinking America's wasteful war on illicit drugs. By Jerry V. Wilson (former chief of police for the District of Columbia). Jan. 18, 1994. Washington Post.
The Nov. 2, 1995 Chicago Tribune reported: "The latest Bureau of Justice Statistics [BJS] survey of U.S. prison inmates in 1991 found that 27 percent of robbers admitted they committed crimes to buy drugs; 30 percent of burglars said so, and 5 percent of convicted murderers did." -- See Table 3 in the BJS report Fact Sheet: Drug-Related Crime. September 1994, NCJ–149286.
"According to the 1991 joint survey of Federal and State prison inmates, an estimated 17 percent of State prisoners and 10 percent of Federal prisoners reported committing their offense to get money to buy drugs; of those incarcerated for robbery, 27 percent of State prisoners and 27 percent of Federal prisoners admitted committing their offense to get money to buy drugs (see table 3). In 1997, 19 percent of State prisoners and 16 percent of Federal inmates said that they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs. These numbers represent a slight increase from the 1991 figures."
"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)." -- OPED: War Won't Solve the Drug Problem. July 15, 1999. Washington Post. By Rob Stewart, of the Drug Policy Foundation.
"The percentage of homicides thought to be drug-related reflects both the frequency of such crimes as well as how the relationship is specified. 'What proportion of homicides is drug-related?' This simple question is difficult to answer. The FBI's definition is specific but limited. Cities or police departments may have broader but inconsistent definitions. For offenses not as reliably reported or as thoroughly investigated as homicides, the question is even more difficult because complete information is not systematically available at the national level for any definition of 'drug-related.' "
See the chart below.
http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/factsht/crime/index.html#whystatistics (this chart is no longer on that specific page).
|Drug-related homicide rates as defined using differing criteria in four cities, 1990|
|City 1||City 2||City 3||City 4|
|Committed during commission of a narcotics felony||x||x||x|
|Dispute between dealers||x||x|
|Offender under the influence of drugs||x|
|Victim under the influence of drugs||x||x|
|Source: Data were obtained by the ONDCP Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse.|
Parole violations and drugs Edit
'*Parole violations and drugs. 16.1% is the percentage 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 of this report:
- Trends in State Parole, 1990-2000. NCJ 184735. October 2001. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. See Table 21.
See chart source with links.
See also Edit
Propaganda of incarceration nations Edit
|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."|
Cannabis is safer Edit
- Obama correctly said that cannabis is safer than alcohol. See: Cannabis is safer.
- He also said marijuana should be treated more as a public health issue than a criminal one.
- USA. 1 in 10 deaths of working-age adults are alcohol-related (disease, overdose, car crashes, falls, violence, etc). 87,798 per year, 2006 to 2010. .
See longer article: Cannabis is safer.
- Imagine if Mitt Romney had been elected President of the USA.
- Obama on marijuana legalization. . "My suspicion is that you’re gonna see other states start looking at this". The Washington Post. Jan. 22, 2015. Obama also said: "Last year you had the first time in 40 years where the crime rate and the incarceration rate went down at the same time."
- Holder's Legacy: Steering Away From the Drug War and Mass Incarceration. .
- U.S.: Attorney General Eric Holder Ends Incentive For Law Enforcement To Seize Property.