US Drug Policy

In this study, as mentioned earlier, several numbers of journals and books from experts shall be examined and utilized for the completion of the required data for this study. Hence, the said journals and books shall be introduced and tackled with regards to their relation to the study in this chapter. According to the journal entitled “New Incarceration figures: Thirty three consecutive years of growth”, during the past thirty-three years of recording the reports of incarcerated inmates, the record have been continuously growing.

Although the past years have recorded falling crime rates, the incarcerated people still grew higher. According to the said report, the said growth much depended on the prolonged sentences of the inmates as well as the changed system of drug policies implemented in the inter-states justice systems. Aside form this, the degrading systems within the prison homes have prolonged the supposed short imprisonment sentences some of the inmates. Aside form this, reports also point out to the changing policies to be among the reasons why incarceration rates does not go down.

Actual reports show the following data: • In 1995 there were 615 people in prison for every 100,000 residents of the United States, says the U. S. Justice Department. This is double the incarceration rate of 1985, making it the world’s highest, reports The Wall Street Journal. (1994). (Gray) • “Violent crime, much of it drug-related, is on the rise in virtually every city in America,” says Newsweek magazine. “Guns, including paramilitary assault weapons, seem to be everywhere—even in the hands of children. ” Murders hit a new record last year.

An estimated 23,200 people were killed, 60 percent of them by use of firearms. “During every 100 hours on our streets we lose three times more young men than were killed in 100 hours of ground war in the Persian Gulf,” laments Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan. This is so despite the fact that the United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate at 426 inmates per 100,000 populations. Murder is now the leading cause of death for black males between the ages of 15 and 24. Why has crime escalated so?

According to experts, “crime rates rise when social controls—the family, the church, the neighborhood, and all the invisible bonds of a coherent community—break down,” states Newsweek. (Friesendorf) • Sentencing Project, a research group, said that United States ranks number one in imprisonments for lawbreakers. More than a million Americans are in prison, thus giving the United States top billing as the nation that has the largest share of its population incarcerated—426 out of every 100,000 residents. The annual cost for incarceration is $16 billion.

Hence, a U. S. government official commented that they have to stop jailing and start rehabilitating. The official also added that they can build all the jails they think they need and slam the doors down on thousands of people, but it won’t make a bit of difference until they address the fundamental causes of crime. (IBP) • “The link between drug use and crime rose sharply over a 12-year span ending in 1986,” says The New York Times, commenting on a report released by the U. S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.

“About 35 percent of the inmates held in state prisons around the nation in 1986 were under the influence of an illegal drug when they committed the crimes that led to their incarceration. ” Twelve years earlier, 25 percent had committed crimes while under drug influence. The survey also found that some 60 percent of those who regularly abused potent drugs did not do so until after the time of their first arrest. Additionally, 13 percent of the inmates committed crimes such as burglary, robbery, and theft primarily to support their drug addiction.

In all, about 50 percent of those in prison for such offenses used an illegal drug daily. (IBP) • How does the number of those in prison compare among the nations? U. N. Secretary-General Waldheim recently reported that “the rates of incarceration fluctuate from 20 persons per 100,000 in the Netherlands to 200 per 100,000 in the United States, to over 300 per 100,000 in four African countries. ”(Oleynik) These reports show how incarceration rate grew in time. Also, it is much noticeable how much drug addiction contributes to the growth rate of the said incarceration procedures.

In connection with this, there are also other experts on the said issue of policy making with regards to drug addiction that also commented on the matter. Take for example, David Boyum who wrote the book entitled “An Analytic assessment of US Drug Policy”. He mentioned about the major changes in the US Drug policy and how much the said policies changed the sentence of the incarcerated women and other women more who were incarcerated after the reformation of the policy. Along with this, the journal mentioned above adds up the information with regards to the sentencing system of the prison homes.

According to the reports, the prison population of women continues to grow. In 2003, the number of women in prison first surpassed 100,000. Currently, 106,174 female are reported to be in prison. The rapid growth of women’s incarceration is lopsidedly due to the war on drugs. It is even at almost twice the rate for men over the past two decades. Women in prison are more predisposed than men (32% vs. 21%) to be serving a sentence for a drug arraigns. (Sentencing Project Organization) According to Drug Policy Alliance, women are the most rapid growing sector of the population in US prison.

The compulsory sentencing was enacted in 1986. From that year to 1996, the number of women passed judgment to state prison for drug offenses exploded from around 2,370 to 23,700. This is mainly because women are noticeably more likely than men to be found guilty of non- cruel offenses since most drug related crimes are non-violent. The female prison population incarcerated for drug crimes as almost at 80%. It is even claimed that ‘war on drugs’ has already became a war on women. In a research done by Joan Moore and John Hagedorn, female gang members frequently commit offenses related to drug.

An examination of lifetime arrest records of female gang members in Los Angeles County divulged that drug crimes were the most common reason for apprehension. It is illustrated below in special tabulations from Chicago that between 1993 and 1996, either drug felony or violent crimes were the most usual cause for capture of female gang members. (Moore) As mentioned in the reports, it has been very obvious how direct the changing policies were able to contribute on the increasing rate of incarceration in US especially concerning women inmates.

Certainly, the fact that the policies are continuously altering, it could be expected that the rates of incarcerated in mates would also increase in the upcoming years. However, there are reports that explains how incarceration rates differ based from the races where the women belong too and the classes or status each woman come from as well. Records below from the organization Common Sense for Drug Policy (CSDP) show some figures that support these claims(“Drug War Facts: Women”): 1.

“Female incarceration rates, though substantially lower than male incarceration rates at every age, reveal similar racial and ethnic disparities. Black females (with an incarceration rate of 170 per 100,000) were more than twice as likely as Hispanic females (75 per 100,000) and 4 times as likely as white females (42 per 100,000) to be in prison on December 31, 2004. These differences among white, black, and Hispanic females were consistent across all age groups. ” Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J.

Beck, PhD, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2004 (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, Oct. 2005), p. 8. 2. “Approximately 516,200 women on probation (72% of the total), 44,700 women in local jails (70% of the total), 49,200 women in State prisons (65% of the total), and 5,400 women in Federal prisons (59% of the total) have minor children. ” Source: Greenfield, Lawrence A. , and Snell, Tracy L. , Bureau of Justice Statistics, Women Offenders (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, December 1999), p. 7, Table 17. 3. “Of the Nation’s 72.

3 million minor children in 1999, 2. 1% had a parent in State or Federal prison. Black children (7. 0%) were nearly 9 times more likely to have a parent in prison than white children (0. 8%). Hispanic children (2. 6%) were 3 times as likely as white children to have an inmate parent. ” Source: Mumola, Christopher J. , Bureau of Justice Statistics, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, August 2000), p. 2 Factors of social and racial discrimination have directly affected the incarceration policies of the country.

In this regard, it could also be identified that drug policies have changed and thus this directly made great turn around on the part of the incarceration rates in US. The following chapter shall highlight the data that would be needed to give proof to the claims of the experts regarding the issues in this chapter. Furthermore, the next chapter shall try to enhance the discussion processes with regards to the changing drug policies in the said country and how this fact affects the expectations of the society with regards the women population.