War on Drugs and Prison Overcrowding Analysis

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War on Drugs and Prison Overcrowding Analysis CJA/454 November 5, 2012 War on Drugs and Prison Overcrowding Analysis The war on drugs is not just a catch phrase; it is a current way of life for our law enforcement, courts, and otherwise remainder of the criminal justice system. It does not, however, mean the elimination of drugs, nor is it about decreasing drug use or drug supply. There are millions of offenders who are being caught, arrested and thrown in prison based on mandatory minimum sentencing in certain states. This provides profits to privatized prison corporations. Everyone in society plays a particular role. Social justice advocates might be concerned about incarceration rates that show racial disproportions and a fiscally conservative taxpayer would also be worried about the cost of said “war on drugs.” State legislatures need new ideas and solutions to come out of the war on drugs, considering policy change is in their hands. The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. The inmate population grew considerably by 1,849 prisoners a week in 1996; that is 264 people a day. One out of every 155 U.S. residents has been behind bars, putting the United States only second to Russia and it’s per person rate of incarceration. Americans will spend close to $40 billion on prisons and jails in the year 2000; nearly $24 billion of that will go to incarcerate over a million nonviolent drug offenders. According to conflict theorists, the idea that the law is a social institution that operates neutrally and administers a code that is shared by all, is simply a myth promoted by the capitalist class; these truth-seekers see the law as an instrument of subjugation and a tool designed to maintain the privileged positions of individuals in power (Radosh, 2008). Because the working class has the potential to rebel and overthrow current

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